[Church of Ireland] Anglican Bishop Andrew Forster and Roman Catholic Bishop Donal McKeown led members of different Christian denominations on the west bank of Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in a prayer walk around the iconic city walls to mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Participants gathered by the near St. Columb’s Cathedral, where the two bishops led them in a brief prayer. They were then sent on their way – socially distanced and in their own “bubbles” – to walk round the walls, starting their circuit at the steps beside St. Augustine’s Church.
The groups stopped at various points along the route to pray together, using a resource prepared specially for the occasion. They were invited to pray that political leaders and elected representatives would be united in governing in everyone’s interests; to pray for people who had lost their livelihoods in the pandemic; for doctors, nurses and other health care workers; for residents and staff in care homes; for those seeking a cure for COVID-19; for people “enslaved by addiction”; for young people, teachers and all involved in education; for members of the city’s emergency services; and for those in the arts sector, which has experienced much hardship during the pandemic. The groups were also invited to reflect on the city’s shared Columban heritage and to give thanks for the diversity which has enriched the city.