This past week, groups have gathered around Romsey to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

It’s a worldwide event involving different Christian traditions in many countries. This year’s theme is ‘Justice, only Justice.’ This is not an event to make us feel smug about how much better we are than everyone else: The Indonesian Christians who drafted this year’s programme ask us to start with our own behaviour: what more could we do, as individuals and as congregations, to bring about a more equitable place for all.

This is the 52nd year the event has taken place. When the idea was first mooted for a worldwide Week of Prayer, communication was far less immediate than it is today. Now, it’s possible to follow events almost everywhere, almost instantly. But it’s still so easy to move on to the next news bulletin to forget reports we might have heard of natural disaster, or violent revolution, or a nation with few medical resources dealing with terrible disease, long before any adequate action to help has been taken. And Justice – the call for justice – is important at every level of public life worldwide.

Will prayer make a difference? We believe so. Not that justice or peace or mutual understanding can be ordered up like a takeway meal on Deliveroo. But to focus thousands of minds through prayer, to take time to ponder how each small step might happen, to draw on God for spiritual strength together? That’s how great changes in society worldwide have come about through the generations.

On Sunday at 6.30pm in Romsey Abbey, Churches Together in Romsey meet to mark the Week’s close.

You are very welcome.

Averil Bamber

Romsey Abbey