At the recommendation of our Unity Group, the Chapter of Southwark Cathedral has decided that the Cathedral should join the Community of the Cross of Nails (the CCN)
The CCN is a world-wide interdenominational network of churches and other Christian organisations who share a network of common commitment to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation by healing the wounds of history, learning to live with difference, celebrating diversity, and by building a culture of peace. It has its roots in the post-war re-building and re-birth of Coventry Cathedral and takes as its inspiration the words of Jesus on the cross “Father forgive”.
The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun, has generously contributed to the purchase of the Cross of Nails for the Cathedral so that this can be a significant and permanent addition to the Chapel designated to St Francis of Assisi and St Elisabeth of Hungary. This chapel will have a new designation for reconciliation in our own communities here in South London. This will be the focus for the Cathedral’s membership of CCN, with a particular emphasis on the problems of youth violence and knife crime.
CCN partners engage with the challenges faced by many communities where a just and inclusive society is crucial for stability and peace.
The Cathedral has for many years enjoyed a rich and engaging link with the Cathedral in Bergen, Norway. We are therefore delighted that Bergen has also decided to join the CCN, and to do so at the same time as Southwark. We see our membership as an extension of our ecumenical work, and having Bergen as a CCN member as well as a friend will, we are sure, give added poignancy to that relationship. The Crosses of Nails of the two cathedrals will be blessed at a service at Coventry Cathedral next Sunday – 19 January. Rev. Canon Gilly Myers and Paul Timms (Dean’s Verger) will be representing Southwark with others on that occasion.
The following week, 26 January, Southwark’s Cross of Nails will be presented at our 11.00am Eucharist by the Dean of Coventry, The Very Reverend John Witcombe at which the Bishop of Southwark will preside. We will be joined at that service by friends from Southwark’s link Cathedral in Rouen, representatives of other CCN partners and other guests.
Members of the CCN comprise a network of ordinary people who work to learn the things which make for peace and the skills to seek peace and to pursue it in our relationships and in our everyday lives. This is an exciting development for Southwark Cathedral and a new challenge as we go forward at the start of a new decade.
A litany of reconciliation will be prayed weekly in the Cathedral by Day Chaplains and there will be opportunities to become involved by attending pilgrimages at Coventry aimed at strengthening the purposes of the CCN and its community.
Please look out for future announcements and please do ask about how to get involved with our membership.
To find out more about the CCN visit the website here