You are here24th January 2016

24th January 2016

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 24 January 2016

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone


Just over 100 years ago, in 1908, the Pope declared that this period would be an “Octave of Prayer for Church Unity.” It’s an oddity that, at that time, there was no thought of involving Christians from other denominations! And it took until the 1920s for Protestant denominations to agree to a similar concept. Of course, being those times, they decided to celebrate it at another time of year……!

Times went by – and the effect of two world wars made people think rather harder about what unites us, rather than what divides. There were “Sword and the Spirit” Conferences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the early 1940s – although the powers that be remained very suspicious of the moves at that time. But in 1941 a Faith and Order Conference moved the dates so that Christians could share it together. From such came the World Council of Churches – and the current “Churches together “movements across the world are a direct descendant of these decisions

Of course there are many obstacles – and there have been few notably successful “mergers” of denominations down the years. Too much water has flowed under the bridge in the last thousand years to make things easy. But the fact is that things ARE very different now from what they were even a generation ago. The days when church leaders were reprimanded for agreeing to say the Our Father together have long gone – and quite right too!

For me, I trained for Ordination among Methodists, URC members as well as Anglican Ordinands – and we even spent time in the Roman Catholic seminary at Oscott. Since then there have been occasions when I have been called upon to speak at other denominations – and even participate (as far as allowed) at a Roman Catholic Mass. These things enrich our faith.

This Sunday we welcome our brothers and sister to a united service at St Michael & St Wulfad, to join in prayer for that day when “we shall be one” in Christ. Do come and join in


Ian Cardinal

Hymns for today

Aston Stone 6pm
174 246 122
205 197 73
209 209 77
127/386 342/231 308
532 532 186



Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Ron Burton, Harry & Mary Townsend, Ron Osborne, Doreen Knight, Rod Tobias, Noelle Emery, Andrew Kelsall, Terry Clarke, Peter and Dianne Harvey, Elsie Richardson, Glenn Ashall, Barbara Thornicroft, Roy & Barbara Ball, Martin Cardinal, Baby Tanya Hancock, Vera Tomkinson, Crystal Jenkins, Neil Wynne, Gary Kelsall, Julia Johnson, Rosemary Tranter, Anita Griffiths, Jocelyn James


And for the departed:

Barbara Harris, Beatrice Fielding, Josie Gallimore, Margaret (Peggy) Sutton, Beryl Barnes

Remembering their families and friends at this time


This week:

Tuesday 26th 11.45 am – 1 pm DROP IN CAFÉ – St Michael’s Hall

Wednesday 27th 7.30 pm Aston PCC meets - Church

Thursday 28th 10.30 am Holy Communion – St M&W


HOT POT SUPPER Aston Village Hall Saturday 13th February – details to follow


WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY final service of the week is this Sunday evening at 6 pm. Preacher: Jane Morris, reflecting on her experience of ecumenism in her own journey


LENT 2016 –which isn’t very far away, Ash Wednesday being February 10th! Yellow leaflet at the back of both churches: do take one as it gives details of our Lent course for this year