30 August 2023
A group of young people from the Methodist Church in Britain are preparing to travel to Rome at the end of September, joining thousands of others from across Europe for a weekend of prayer, learning and service.
Together – Gathering of the People of God was initiated by the Taizé Community with the encouragement of Pope Francis. The event is being organised by the Taizé Community in close collaboration with 60 Christian movements, organisations, and Christian world communions, including the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome. Young people aged 18 to 35 are invited from Christian Churches, communities and organisations to the weekend of sharing, taking place from Friday 29 September through to Sunday 1 October 2023. The young people will be hosted by the parishes and communities of Rome and be staying with local people there.
One highlight of the weekend will be an ecumenical prayer vigil on Saturday in St Peter’s Square in the presence of major church leaders including World Methodist Council president the Revd Dr Jong Chun Park, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Pope Francis, listening to the Word of God with praise and intercession, Taizé songs and silence.
One of the group of eight young people making the trip from the UK is Trish Earlam (left) who attends Trinity Chapel in Penyffordd in the Buckley and Deeside circuit. She commented: “I’m hoping I can inspire and encourage the young people I work with in church by sharing reflections and photographs after the trip. I’ve never been to Rome before, so I am looking forward to seeing some of the city as well as the celebration.”
Another of those making the visit is Annika Mathews (above), a Methodist worship leader and a Church of England occasional preacher at St Mary’s Church, shared Anglican and Methodist Church in Guildford in the Wey Valley Circuit. “Prayer and worship are some of the most powerful ways Christians across denominations can unite. In this time of conflict across many regions, it is especially vital we pray and work for peace.
“I have attended previous events organised by the Taizé community where I have enjoyed meeting other young adult Christians, particularly internationally.”