Churches called to celebrate 2000
by David Duprey
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the world-famous composer, introduced members of the Conference to the Open Churches Trust and ``Celebration 2000'' in the Gulbenkian Theatre last Wednesday. The Open Churches Trust was begun by Sir Andrew ``to open for public use, enjoyment and education the thousands of beautiful places of worship often kept locked as protection from theft and vanalism. ``This trust hopes to help the congregations of the finest of these buildings to open them so the public can enjoy not only their beauty and structure but also their often unique history,'' he said.
``Celebration 2000'' is a project to celebrate the birth of Jesus at the turn of the millenium, and Conference members previewed a special liturgy designed to mark what God has done in Christ through this past millenium. Pupils at all 5,264 secondary schools throughout the United Kingdom have been asked to compose millennium prayers, and the ``winner'' will be chosen by an ecumenical group of church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Churches Open Trust and ``Celebration 2000'' is offering materials for Conference members to take home and adapt as they wish. The goal is to have prayers said and bells rung around the world at noon on January 1, 2000. Further information may be obtained by phoning 0171 240 0880.
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