The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch today led a prayer vigil for refugees at Lambeth Palace.
The special service marked a highlight of day two of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Archbishop Justin Welby, which also featured a lecture by the Patriarch on environmental issues.
During the service, held in Lambeth Palace Chapel, the two leaders led prayers for all people risking their lives fleeing from conflict, violence and persecution, and those whose existence is threatened by climate change.
Both leaders gave a blessing during the service, which featured the Coventry Litany and intercessions led by members of the Community of St Anselm.
Prayers were also said for those under immense pressure to develop an effective and equitable response to the refugee crisis, and for those negotiating at the climate change talks in Paris later this month.
Before the vigil the Patriarch gave a lecture on environmental issues to an audience of faith leaders, scientists and lay church members working on climate change.
His All-Holiness spoke of a “crisis of solidarity” being witnessed in our struggle to respond collectively to climate change – as well as the refugee and migrant crisis – and called on Christians to act.
The event also featured contributions from Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, and the Revd Archdeacon Dr John Chryssavgis.
After meeting with members of the Chemin Neuf and St Anselm communities based at Lambeth Palace, the Patriarch attended a special choral evensong at Westminster Abbey with Archbishop Justin.
This morning the Archbishop and His All-Holiness met privately to discuss issues facing the Anglican and Orthodox churches and the wider world. This included discussing joint Christian efforts for the protection of the environment, and the urgent social and pastoral problems created by the massive migration from the Middle East.
His All-Holiness is visiting London in response to an invitation issued by Archbishop Justin Welby when he visited the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2014.