President and Vice President join in prayer with Christian women across the world

The Methodist Church's President and Vice President will todayattend special services to mark the Women's World Day of Prayer.They are using the occasion to make a particular appeal to allChristian women to take a lead in reconciling social and politicaldivisions across the world.

This year is the first time that the two most senior positionsin the Methodist Church in Britain have been held at the same timeby women. The Rev Dr Christina Le Moignan, only the second women tohave been President of the Methodist Conference, is attending aservice in Birmingham where she is Methodist District Chair. MrsAnn Leck, who as Vice President of the Methodist Conference is themost senior lay person in Methodism, will be at a service near herhome in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

Christian women in more than 170 countries now take part in theannual Women's World Day of Prayer. Each year, an order of serviceis produced by representatives of churches from one particularcountry. The day of prayer is particularly well supported inBritain, where almost two-thirds of churchgoers are female.

The President and Vice President have made the followingcomments on the occasion of the Women's World Day of Prayer:

"The Christian women of Romania, who have prepared this year'sservice, could not have taken a more timely theme: 'Challenged toReconcile'. In many countries those who pray today will know frombitter experience the misery that unreconciled divisions can cause.Since 11 September the whole world has seen the potential fordestruction of such divisions.

"Women have traditionally been reconcilers, and Christianity hasat its heart the gospel of reconciliation. We hope that thisservice will inspire Christian women to meet today's challenge ofworking for reconciliation in a hurt and divided world.

"Women across the world, as they join in the Women's World Dayof Prayer, will be celebrating the diversity of the world's people,not seeing difference as fearful and threatening. We pray for thatreconciliation which will make celebrating our many-coloured worlda reality for everyone."