We are now open for private prayer on Wednesdays from noon to 1.00pm and for a communion service at 10.30am on Sundays. I am sure we all appreciate that nothing in life can ever be “completely safe”, but we are following Church of England guidelines as we undertake a risk analysis to make the service as safe as we reasonably can. I am mindful that some will be nervous about this and, for practical reasons, some may not be able to attend. However, we can still worship from home, either alone or with those who live with us. Follow the underlined links to access these resources which can be downloaded, printed, and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.
These resources are offered to help those who are struggling to find words at this difficult and stressful time, and to enable Christians to worship in solidarity with one another even if it is not possible to gather in church.
Join us online...
On Sundays, read the clergy's " Thoughts on a Sunday
Please tell those who are not on-line...
... Daily Hope; a new national, free phoneline from the Church of England. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – offers music, prayers and reflections, as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone.
The church office will also post details of "Thoughts on a Sunday", prayers and the newsletter if requested. Please call 01959 561330.
National Church Service
BBC1: 1.15pm Songs of Praise
• Radio 4, 8.10am - Sunday worship
Our Diocese is continuing to produce resources...
The Cathedral is continuing to share prayer each day throughout the lockdown. These are being shared on their website and social media channels - use the hashtag #stillpraying
Also look out for the weekly Reflections films. Shared each Monday on our Diocesan Facebook and Twitter channels, as well as on YouTube, these look ahead to the Gospel reading for the following Sunday.
We also now have the regular#BeaconsofHope series, which Rochester Diocese are sharing with the Diocese of Canterbury. Again, find them online on the YouTube channel and social media pages.
The Cathedral also shared a Choral Evensong in April which is still available. ( All the music was recorded before the lock-down). Watch it here...
To help with daily prayer... Prayers for the morning, during the day, evening and night (compline) on the Church of England website, in traditional or contemporary language. You can also download the Daily Prayer app on your phone - it's available for both iOS and Android devices. (Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.)
Faith at home. The Church of England has launched a new programme for families to help make prayer a household habit once again. #FaithAtHome will feature weekly video content to help families to talk about faith and pray together. The videos will be led by children, young people, staff and school leaders from across the country. #FaithAtHome will explore themes including courage, patience, generosity, resilience, love and hope and can be accessed on the Church of England website
The Church of England has provided a number of different sets of prayers to use
Or perhaps you have a Prayer Book (Book of Common Prayer) at home; you might find it helpful to say Morning and Evening Prayer in traditional language, and / or "The Litany" from the front of the book, or other prayers and Psalms in words that are familiar to you.
Diddy Disciples offers resources for families with children.
The Church will continue to share audio of Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, which many thousands of people listen to on a regular basis. Christians can join in these services by downloading the free Time to Pray app from Church House Publishing.
Study and Reflections
As there are now so many things we cannot do, why not take the time to learn more about our faith, choose from one or some of the following, depending on what is most helpful to you...
The Bible Project is a series of short videos to help us how to approach and understand the Bible, particularly to read each story in its overall context.
The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) provides many resources, including
40-day prayer journeys - daily prompts to spark your imagination, encouraging you to pray – however briefly – with renewed energy, creativity and faith that God’s purposes will be worked out in your life.
Connecting with Culture - a weekly blog reflects on news, trends, innovation, and the arts, looking for what we can learn from, celebrate, and critique in culture and every area of life.
The Bible Society produces Daily Lyfe - an opportunity to spend a few minutes during each day to read and reflect on a Bible passage.
The Diocese of Rochester Children and Young People Mission and Ministry Team has resources for the under 18's, including ideas for family worship at home with links to songs, stories and activities. There are also ideas for "keeping busy" activities in the week and on keeping connected. The Children and Young People Team have a facebook page with lots more information on here for material, keeping in touch at home etc. In response to the concerns regarding mental health the Children and Young People team, has collated resources and signposts to specific agencies, to encourage and enable parishes in their ministry with young people on the topics of Anxiety and Mental Health and Bereavement and Trauma which you might find helpful.
Growing in faith together (Thy Kingdom Come) has issued five simple ideas for families to weave prayer and bible readings throughout these days of home schooling.
1. Keep a regular routine of prayer. Good times to pray together are those times you do something regularly, eating together, going to bed or washing your hands! Or Light a candle and Pray the same family prayer at the same time every day.
2. Read a bible story at bed-time or watch one online with them during the day.
3. With the ongoing situation, it can be difficult adjusting to not seeing family and friends in person, however, you can still pray for them together daily. Write them a letter or send them a picture saying that you are thinking and praying for them?
4. Choose one of the follow family fun prayer ideas - Bright prayer ideas for families at home!
5. Listen to a podcast together. For example, you can click here to listen to Family Prayer Adventure podcasts.
The Church of England recognises the Church of which we are members is not defined by the walls of a building but by the Body of Christ of which we are members. In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’. In making a Spiritual Communion, you may wish to pray all or part of the Act of Spiritual Communion.
Please use these resources, either on your own or with your household. Finally we remember, as St Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NRSVA)