WHATEVER our beliefs or faith, I firmly believe that every person on earth is equal, which includes you and me.

As a newly ordained deacon in the Church of England I had the enormous privilege to take part in a two-week Study Conference at Canterbury Cathedral for newly or nearly ordained ministers from all around the world.

There were 27 delegates from 16 nationalities across four continents.

I am still pinching myself to realise that I had indeed been part of it all.

Worshipping took place three or four times-a-day in the beautiful historic Cathedral, founded in a place where Christianity first came to the shores of England.

As delegates, our commonality was a love of God, respect for one another and the people we serve from whence we came, and the willingness to understand one another’s contexts, issues and struggles, agreeing to disagree with love and respect on various views of life impacting issues.

All were members of the Anglican Communion which is made up of Anglican churches in 165 countries, under the governance of 42 Provinces, of which the Church of England is part of. 

Living, eating, worshipping, learning together for two whole weeks, saw strong bonds and relationships formed, thus trust being built up, enabling the difficult issues to be discussed openly with respect.

For many delegates English was a second language, or indeed for a few, English was very limited, many had never stepped foot outside their own countries.  

The Anglican Communion works globally, giving the church a voice in many areas such as the United Nations, looking at human dignity, unity in faith and order, reconciliation, bringing people together across divides, to name but a few.

Do look at the Website of the Anglican Communion for extensive details: www.anglicancommunion.org .

The Diocese of Jerusalem is one Province within the Anglican Communion, made up of the Anglican churches in Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Israel.

Despite the war and horrendous atrocities on all sides, much work is being done, where organisations such as: wwwmusalaha.org , are working with Muslims, Christians and Jews for reconciliation, especially among the young people to change attitudes and build loving relationships.

Another privilege for me was to visit the Diocese in Jerusalem during 2022, and only last week invited to listen in on a live Webinar from Jerusalem to hear what help we can all be in the current situation.

Please contact me if you would like any more details about any of the above, email: [email protected] .

I finish with a couple of quotes from The Very Reverend Dean Richard Sewell, Dean of St George’s College, the Anglican Study and Pilgrimage Centre in Jerusalem incorporating St George’s Cathedral.  

"Don't look away" - as hard as it is, "don't look away!"

"Don't allow hatred to enter into your language when speaking about the conflict."

"Practice Radical Empathy, particularly with those with whom you struggle in this conflict."  

Rev Sandra Collier

Assistant Curate

Holy Cross Church