Christian Unity in Cathays and Gabalfa
Matthew Dixon of the Parish of Cathays shares with us his insights from the Christian Unity service held in Cardiff:
Yesterday marked the Sunday in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Ordinarily, around the Diocese we would all be meeting together in worship with our Christian brothers and sisters to share in what unites us – our shared love of God.
However, this year things are obviously quite different. It would have been very easy to say that the Christian Unity service would have to be one of the casualties of the COVID lockdown. However, doing so would be a real shame, denying us the possibility of coming together as the greater Kingdom of God. In particular, in Cathays and Gabalfa, this is a particularly key year for us. It is the final Christian Unity week before Pastor Chris Collins retires from leading Woodville Baptist Church, where he has been leading the church for seven years and a key promoter of churches coming together in worship. Also, it is the first Christian Unity week that Citizen Church have been here in our community. It was therefore really important that we continued with our service – albeit this time over the medium of Zoom.
Cathays Methodist Church have an incredibly successful Sunday morning Zoom service – welcoming people from many of Cardiff’s other Methodist churches, and were our hosts for the service. Beth Pearson, one of the newest ordinands in our Diocese – based at Citizen Church – led us in worship, and Zac and the Citizen worship group led the music, thanks to the wonderful videos they have already put online. People from across the churches – including Cathays Methodist Church, St Michael’s Cathays, and St Mark’s Gabalfa, led readings and prayers, and Pastor Chris Collins preached our message for the service.
The theme was of abiding in Christ, and Chris leaves a leadership role here in Cathays and Gabalfa really excited about the new ventures that are happening – both at Citizen Church, and also at Emmanuel Baptist Church, a new church community that have taken over Pentyrch Street Baptist Church. His key message was that however great our worship, our liturgy, our outreach and so many other things are, abiding in Christ – being centred on and fully within Christ – is the most important thing for us to do as Christians. The opportunities to share in fellowship after the service were really uplifting, with a chance to meet virtually some people we don’t often get to see in person.
Hopefully, by next year, we will be able to meet together in person once more. However, it was wonderful to be a part of the service, bringing churches from across Cathays and Gabalfa together online.