Church of England Diocese of Rochester Westerham

Worship From Home

We may not be able to meet together in our building but we can 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.


Palm Sunday

God's Story From Crossroads Kids' Club (Video suitable for children)

Make a palm cross to display in your window.   (Thanks to St Stephen's Church Tonbridge)   Take a selfie of yourself with your home-made palm cross - why not add a 'hosanna' in your post as well?   Then make sure you tag us - on Facebook @stmaryswesterham and  @CofERochester on Twitter @SeeOfRochester and use the hashtag #PalmCrossSelfie.   Also Instagram #st_marys_westerham

The Church of England will share a pre-recorded Palm Sunday Eucharist with the Bishop of Manchester on the Church of England’s Facebook page.   The Archbishop of Canterbury will also publish a reflection on Facebook and his website


BBC’s 2020 religious Easter programming announced.   Details of services, music and reflection on TV and radio here...


Holy Week @ Home...   something to read and do every day of Easter week, with some links to videos to help parents share the Easter story together with their children as you make an Easter garden together.   From York Diocese


Reflections - The Very Reverend Dr Philip Hesketh AKC Dean of Rochester of Cathedral


Podcasts - Bishop James and Bishop Simon


Prayer

The Church of England has provided a number of different sets of prayers to use - Prayers about the outbreak, Personal prayers and Prayers to use with children.

If, for any reason, you are not able to pray at the same time as the vicar using the same liturgy for the daily Morning and Evening Prayer, the following can be used to Worship at Home.

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.

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.


For families

The Diocese of Rochester Children and Young People Mission and Ministry Team has put together some "survival resources" that families can share.    This includes ideas on how to explain to children what is going on at the moment, as well as ideas for family worship at home with links to songs, stories and activities.   There are also ideas for "keeping busy" activities in the week


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.


Spiritual Communion

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)