On All Saints Day the Archbishops wrote to all the clergy in the Church of England. In this letter they stated their conviction that the first and primary response of the Church at this time was prayer.
“Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.
Above all we recall people to some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines that shape our Christian life. How we do this is up to each congregation and clergy person. We will publish resources to support you before the first day of lockdown. During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.”
The Archbishops, in consultation with the House of Bishops, decided that this call would take the form of an invitation to every Christian and person of good will to pray at 6pm every day, beginning this Thursday 5 November for the period of this present lock-down. In order to stimulate this time of prayer, where it is possible, churches are encouraged to ring a single bell at 6pm.
This call is going far and wide – and the hope is that many of our ecumenical partners will join us.
The Archbishops promised some resources in the form of different styles of written prayers with a particular thematic focus for prayer each day.
The weblink to the resources is https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/call-prayer-nation. In addition, please find here a direct link to a simple printable prayer booklet which is intended to be shared with all members of your congregation - Prayer Booklet.
This material is intended simply as one tool to enable participation - the hope is that individuals and worshipping communities make these times of prayer their own. There is no desire to be directive in this – rather simply to encourage all to be united in Prayer for the Nation.