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Cardinal Nichols to join Justin Welby for Facebook livechat

Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols

The most senior Catholic churchman in England and Wales will join the leader of the Anglican Communion for a public appearance on Facebook.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, will collaborate with Justin Welby on Friday to discuss “prayer, unity and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ”, according to the event page hosted by Welby’s Facebook account. The live chat will start at 2.20.

Last Thursday, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a live Bible study on his Facebook page. The video has been viewed 884,000 times.

The two leaders have previously appeared together at the Royal Albert Hall, in a joint interview hosted by Nicky Gumbel.

They spoke then of what Welby called their “implicit trust in each other”. He said: “It is not something that is heavy, that we work at because it’s an uphill struggle, but it’s much more like a breeze coming from behind us that catches our sails and helps us to go forward.”

Cardinal Nichols said at the time that reconciliation is “not something we negotiate and construct, but something we receive in two places: on our knees and in the service of the poor.”

Welby has often spoken of his admiration for Pope Francis and his sympathy for Catholicism. His spiritual director is a Catholic priest.

The Catholic bishops’ conference encouraged an Anglican prayer initiative in the days leading up to Pentecost.