The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Primates around the Anglican Communion and to Moderators of the United Churches calling for prayers for the leaders of the Orthodox Church. They are preparing to gather for Holy Council later this month. Here is the text of the letter.

“At the Primates’ meeting and gathering in Canterbury this past January, all of us who were there were deeply aware of the prayers for our work not only from Anglicans around the world, but also from our ecumenical friends. The many messages and gestures of prayerful support received from leaders and other Christians was one of the many graces of that time in Canterbury.

“Today (June 4), in the midst of Orthodox Eastertide, I am with His All Holiness Bartolommeo, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, in Cappadocia, one of the ancient centres of Christianity. Our visit occurs just weeks before the intended Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which Patriarch Bartolommeo has convened and over which he will preside. When it happens this will be the first gathering of Orthodox leaders representing their Churches in almost 1000 years, and has been anticipated throughout the last century.

“I have assured Patriarch Bartolomeo of my own prayers for him, and for this vital Orthodox gathering. I most respectfully request that you and Anglicans around the world join me in prayer for the guidance and blessing of the Holy Spirit upon the leaders of Orthodox Church as they prepare to meet in Crete in holy council, following celebrations of the Feast of Pentecost (in the Orthodox calendar) on 19 June this year. Please remember Patriarch Bartolomeo and all who will gather in Crete. Remember them in your daily prayers. Pray for them especially at the celebrations of the Holy Eucharist in cathedral, parish, monastic and other communities. Such prayer for one another is most effective, and is a profound expression of love and solidarity within the Body of Christ.”

Archbishop of Canterbury urges Anglicans to pray for Orthodox leaders