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Secretary General Anthony Poggo & Archbishop Justin Welby attend Pope Francis' prayer event

Posted on: September 25, 2023 2:23 PM
Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City will be the scene of an unprecedented ecumenical prayer gathering on Saturday 30 September. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion are amongst a host of Christian leaders who have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to pray together.
Photo Credit: Vatican Media

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, will travel to Rome this weekend to take part in an ecumenical prayer event hosted by Pope Francis. The Pope invited leaders of several Christian denominations to take part in the Together event, ahead of the Catholic Church’s Synod of Bishops. 

“The path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church are linked”, Pope Francis said earlier this year as he announced the event. “I would like to take this opportunity to announce that on Saturday 30 September, an ecumenical prayer vigil will be held on Saint Peter’s Square, with which we will entrust the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. 

“For the young people coming to the vigil, there will be a special programme throughout that weekend, entrusted to the Taizé community. As of now, I invite brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this ‘Gathering of the People of God.’” 

The Ecumenical prayer event is part of a weekend of activity leading up to the Synod of Bishops, which will take place from 4 to 29 October in Rome. A programme for young people aged between 18 to 35 will run throughout the weekend, ahead of the ecumenical prayer vigil on Saturday. 

In addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Patriarch Bartholomew from the Orthodox communion of Churches and the Revd Anne Burghardt, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, will also attend the Ecumenical prayer vigil. 

Vatican Media will broadcast the service on its YouTube channel in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic. Build-up will begin at 4.30 pm CEST (2.30 pm GMT) with the unprecedented ecumenical service beginning at 6.00 pm CEST (4.00 pm GMT). 

During the weekend, Archbishop Justin and Bishop Anthony Poggo will travel to the Anglican Centre in Rome (ACR), with its Director, Archbishop Ian Ernest, for the opening of an exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the John Moorman Library – one of the key facilities of the ACR. 

On Sunday, Bishop Anthony Poggo will preach at All Saints Church in Rome, part of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe. On Monday he will meet with Archbishop Ian Ernest and Grace Barlow from the Anglican Communion Office to discuss next year’s Primates’ Meeting, which is being hosted by the Anglican Centre in Rome. 

  • You can watch the live stream here and more information is available here.