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Ancient and modern churches open for Christian unity walk

London SE1 website team

Members of SE1 congregations visited each other's churches on Saturday as part of an ecumenical walk marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Mural at Haddon Hall Baptist Church
Mural at Haddon Hall Baptist Church
Thomas Guy memorial at Guy's Chapel
Thomas Guy memorial at Guy's Chapel
Our Lady of Walsingham at St Alphege
Our Lady of Walsingham at St Alphege
Flexible space at St Andrew's Short Street
Flexible space at St Andrew's Short Street

The walk, organised by the Southwark Cathedrals' Unity Forum to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, began in Bermondsey with visits to modern minimalist Haddon Hall Baptist Church, 107 year old Methodist Bermondsey Central Hall and the ancient parish church of St Mary Magdalen.

At St Mary's the new curate Shola Aoko welcomed the walkers who were shown stones recovered from nearby Bermondsey Abbey.

In Borough there was a visit to St Hugh's where Sunday attendance has risen dramatically during recent years.

At Guy's Chapel, now part of King's College, Chaplain James Buxton conducted a tour of the crypt where Thomas Guy is buried.

Precious Blood parish secretary Hilary Wines reminded visitors that its architect, F A Walters, was also responsible for the more famous Buckfast Abbey.

At St Alphege there was a rare opportunity to visit its little known Walsingham Shrine in a secret courtyard.

This was followed by a short walk to the new St Andrew's Church in Short Street where the Revd David Pape explained the advantages of a flexible church building. Users of the building's facilities include not only residents but the Young Vic and a dance class.

The day concluded with tea at St George's RC Cathedral and a look at work by Augustus and Edward Pugin.

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