THE Archbishop of Canterbury and the RC Archbishop of
Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, made a joint visit to a
north-London centre for asylum-seekers last Sunday, at the start of
a joint week of prayer for the poor.
The two Archbishops have made a series of video reflections
available on their websites featuring Anglican and Roman Catholic
voices. There are prayers, too, as they seek to focus their
Churches' attention on issues of poverty and "encourage people to
pray for the work churches do to support people in need in their
parishes and beyond".
A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said: "Their hope is that, by
joining together in prayer, . . . they will foster the work of the
Church in strengthening communities and helping those in need
across the country."
In an interview for the Radio 4 Sunday programme,
Archbishop Welby said that God was calling the C of E and RC
Churches to tackle poverty together. "This isn't some sort of
stunt. It's just an inevitable response to the work of the Holy
Spirit in drawing us into co-operation. Christians across the
country are working together regardless of Church, and so it seemed
appropriate for us to go together."
Cardinal Nichols told the programme that it was a "disgrace"
that people were living in destitution "in a country as rich as
ours. . . Working with the Government, we have to find ways of
making sure that the destitution of people today is not a reality.
We can afford to support those who are destitute," he said.
Speaking at the refugee centre, Archbishop Welby said that his
visit had reminded him "how much I need to listen more carefully
and hear the voice of the poor. How easy it is to be caught up in
church struggles and church bureaucracy and administration."