This service was an extension of the regular 'Jour du Seigneur' Sunday programme on France 2, and marked the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The service was the result of many months of planning, receiving liturgy and musical recommendations from different Christian denominations based in and around the city. These included Anglican, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Maronite ministers as well as the producers of France 2.

The service was recorded at the 'Moisson des Blés', an Evangelical church in the centre of Bordeaux. This is a very special place for Bordeaux Anglicans, as this church was formerly known as St. Nicolas, and was home to the Anglican church in Bordeaux from 1841 until around 30 years ago. Most of those from the Bordeaux congregation who came to support the service, can remember worshipping at St. Nicholas, and shared their fond memories with ourselves and the other ministers.

It was wonderful to be a part of this celebration, and to witness how the whole service had evolved from planning to celebration. The spirit of unity was very obvious in the final service, where the ministers worked together to produce, a service which included uplifting music, rich liturgy and prayer, encompassing parts from all our different traditions.

I found the service incredibly moving, and encouraging, and it gave me great hope for the future. The producer told us, that although they do a service like this every year in different areas of France, they had not worked with the 'Anglicans' for 15 years! For that reason, it makes it even more special that we were invited to take part, and I felt very proud to be there, representing women’s priestly ministry in the Anglican church and also women’s ministry in Bordeaux. I pray that Anglicans become a regular part of this celebration in the years to come, and that the new friendships which have been forged from working and worshipping together will produce great fruit for the Lord and His mission through us in Bordeaux.

The theme of the service was 'The Vine' and although it was about unity, it did not ignore the differences which still separate the different denominations, most notably the sharing of bread and wine. This was sensitively handled by bread and wine being placed on a table in front of the congregation, unbroken bread and uncorked wine, a poignant reminder that there is still much work to done between us.

My thanks, to all who came and supported us at this service, especially those who came boldly forward at the end, and sung a verse of 'Thine be the Glory' in English, demonstrating that we do indeed know 'how to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land'! As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues, I pray that all denominations will persist in finding ways to understand and overcome our differences, celebrate our diversity, and continue to work together, until we all truly become one in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Charlotte Sullivan, Assistant Chaplain in Bordeaux