THIS YEAR'S Christian
Unity Week, which starts on Wednesday, will follow last year's pattern of joint talks and prayer services between various denominations up and down the country. But because the Directives for ecumenical activities have not yet been issued by the Vatican, there is widespread uncertainty about "how far one should go."
In some districts bishops and clergy have cautioned Catholics not to attend unity services in other churches. Elsewhere, bishops and priests are themselves preaching in Anglican and Free Churches.
On Sunday, January 22, between 3,000 and 4,000 people are expected to meet at Trafalgar Square, and then march to the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, for a united service at 3.30 p.m. Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and Free Churchmen will walk together behind a Salvation Army banner.
At Westminster Cathedral there will be unity prayers and a sermon every evening, ending on January 25 with a talk by Archbishop Cardinale, the Apostolic Delegate, Four days later he will preach at St. Aiden's Methodist Church, Eastbourne.
In Canterbury, Fr. Pierre Michalon of the Catholic Unity Centre in Lyons, will speak at a meeting in the Anglican Cathedral on January 25. Mrs. Chiara Lubich of the Italian Focolare Movement will be introduced by Canon Bernard Fawley of the Archbishop of C'anterbury's Commission on Roman Catholic Relations for a talk she will give on January 21 at St. Aug,ustine's College.
Bishop Wheeler of Leeds will speak at an ecumenical meeting every night of the week, starling on Wednesday in Shefliold, then to Iluddersfield, Bradford, the Leeds Cathedral, Halifax, Doncaster, Barnsley and ending with a big meeting at Leeds Town Hall ss.ith the Anglican Bishop of Pontefract on the 25th.
On Monday, just before "the week'", Bishop Foley of Lancaster will hold a reception for the 12-member ecumenical commissions of both his diocese and the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn, as well as Free Church representatives. On Wednesday he will say a special Mass and preach at the Cathedral. On the 25th he will take part in a public meeting at the Lancaster Town Hall.
Bishop Parker of Northampton will attend a tea for clergy of all denominations, with the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough, on the 23rd. Bishop Cunningham of Hexham and Newcastle will speak at the Civic Hall, Jarrow, on the 17th. Bishop Worlock of Portsmouth will speak in a unity forum at Aldershot on the 14th.
In the Clifton Ill'ocese young Catholic and Anglican clergy will attend a conference on education and common service. In Nottingham Bishop Ellis will join the Anglican Bishop of Southwell and the president of the local Free Church Federal Council for a service in the Albert Hall there on Thursday.
Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham will speak at the Town Hall, Walsall, on Wednesday, at the Birmingham Town Hall on the 23rd and at the Methodist Central Hall, Coventry, on the 24th. Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff will speak at the Hereford Town Hall on Thursday.
In Middlesbrough there will be a rally on missions at the Town Hall led by Bishop Sansbury, president of the British Council of Churches, Fr. Joseph Hughes, M.H.M., and the former moderator of the Methodist Church in India.
In Plymouth a meeting at the Guildhall on Thursday will explore the theme "One Church, One World" with the Rev. Paul Oestreicher of the B.C.C., the Rev. Harry Morton of the Methodist Missionary Society and Fr. Ian Jones of Christ the King parish, Plymouth. Bishop Restieaux will lead the opening prayers and the Anglican Bishop Sanderson the closing prayers.
In the Newcastle City Hall on the 23rd a woman Congregational minister, the Rev. Elsie Chamberlain, will talk with Fr. Bernard Leeming, Sete of Heythrop College and Fr. Benedict Green of the Anglican Community of the Reserrection.
In Manchester Cardinal Heenan w.11 preach at a unity service in the Free 1 rade I fall on the 20th. Bishop Holland of Salford, the Anglican Bishop Greer of Manchester. and Dr. K. C. Dykes, leader of the local Free Chereh Federal Council, will lead the prayers. Bishop Grasar of :Threwsbury will preach at a enity service in Walker Hall, Mirewsbury, on the 20th and will be the first Catholic bishop since the Reformation to attend a service in Chester Anglican Cathedral on the 22nd.
All denominations at Crawley New Town, Sussex, will keep a round-the-clock prayer vigil at St. John's Anglican Church on Friday. Nearly every town in the Liverpool Archdiocese has arranged joint meetings, with the stress on prayers rather than on lectures or discussion. In Westminster every parish has been asked to celebrate one evening Mass for unity, at the very least.
Next July a meeting of priests laymen and religious from every diocese will be held at Heythrop College to lay plans for a national secretariat for Christian unity.