HUMAN weakness alone had fragmented Christian unity, Archbishop Worlock of Liverpool said last Sunday.
Preaching at the Annual United Service at the Queen's Hall, Wigan, he pointed to the divisions which had quickly spread among the early Christians and said that we should be able to recognise their failings in ourselves.
We should be prepared to live up to the contradiction which lies at the root of Christianity. "By word and by example we must profess our faith in Christ's death and resurrection. Our whole lives must be witness to the impor
tance of that triumph: but to the world it was failure."
The Archbishop praised the work of Christians of differing denominations who joined together in Christian service to those in need, but said that this would not he enough in itself.
"It would indeed be tragic if the results of the present endeavours for Christian unity achieved no more than a mere increase in church attendance — essential though worship of God is to the Christian cornmunity. Nor should it stop at perhaps the easiest field of ecumenical collaboration, namely, social works."
Stressing the importance of
each Christian's duty to bring Christ's message in to his or her own environment, the Archbishop said: "Among the followers of Christ there are different ministries, different vocations, different tasks. Good ecumenical relations between bishops, priests, minister and religious men and women are of a strictly limited value unless the laity are together in considering how they can together bring the goods news of Christ's death and resurrection to their own workaday surroundings."
Earlier at the weekend in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Archbishop Worlock emphasised the im portance of mutual love in the quest for Christian unity.
Archbishop Winning of Glasgow told the Wellington Church of Scotland in Glasgow on Sunday that he believed the differences between Christians resulted from different views of the same truth.
"We in Scotland are sometimes discouraged by our apparent slowness in coming together . . . this is a nation of five million people. I cannot tell you how many of these pray or even believe in God, but I know that practising Christians are in a minority. It is up to us who believe in the Church to lead the way."