Walking Together

bishoptimthorntonBishop Mark together with Anglican counterpart in the southwest, Bishop Tim Thornton of Truro (right) are this week together on pilgrimage to Canterbury and Rome as part of a 36-strong gathering of Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different countries.  The meeting has been organised by IARCUM – the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission.  During their time together they will be joining in prayer in the two different traditions and making visits both to the tomb of St Thomas Becket in archbishopjustinwelbyCanterbury Cathedral and the tomb of St Peter in Rome.  There will be meetings with the Holy Father and Archbishop Justin Welby (left).  Bishop Mark and Bishop Tim have been meeting together to reflect and pray in these last two years as have other paired-bishops throughout the world.  As St John Paul II said about ecumenism ‘affective ecumenism leads to effective ecumenism.’   Bishop Mark writes, “It is a huge privilege to me to be part of this group.  During this week I can but think of that first ‘sending forth’ of St Augustine by Pope St Gregory to build and strengthen the Christian faith in our country.  As we meet in Rome with Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin, at the sight at which this first commissioning took place, I will be praying most especially that we can all have a renewed sense of the power of the Gospel to transform lives.  I am especially pleased to be making this pilgrimage with Bishop Tim of Truro; our friendship has grown over these past two years, and I look forward to deepening ways in which we may more concretely give witness to our love of Jesus Christ, and to  serve those most in need".stjohnpaulii