The annual gathering of Bishop Friends of the Focolare Movement is being held in Halki and Istanbul. These are bishops from Christian Churches who hold fast to a spirituality of unity, which is at the heart of the spirituality of the Focolare movement, itself a lay movement within the Roman Catholic Church. I have been one of these bishop-friends since 2002.
About 10 of us, mostly Anglicans and Lutherans, from the UK, Brazil, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic attended the Eucharist for Advent Sunday at Christ Church, Istanbul, where I presided and preached. The Chaplain is the Revd Canon Ian Sherwood.
The congregation of Christ Church is like so many of our urban parishes, a mixture of people from around the world. At the coffee following the mass I had conversations with Iranians, Americans, British, Turkish, Irish, Pakistani and Nigerian members in attendance - a rich mixture and a welcoming community.