The week of prayer for Christian Unity draws to a close on Friday as Pope Benedict prepares to celebrate Vespers in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls with representatives of all the different local Christian communities.
Among them will be Canon David Richardson, the outgoing director of the Anglican Centre here in Rome. Set up in the wake of the Second Vatican council, the centre has an important library, runs educational courses, welcomes pilgrims to Rome and maintains close contact with the different Vatican departments.
Every Tuesday the centre welcomes locals and visitors for a Eucharist, followed by an informal lunch hosted by David and his wife Margie for people of all religious backgrounds or none. The aim, as Philippa Hitchen found out, is to foster understanding, reconciliation and better relations amongst all members of the Body of Christ”¦”¦.