During the Covid-19 pandemic we learnt different ways to nurture our faith. For many the reopening of churches did not mean a return to 'normal' immediately.
We hope some of these resources are still helpful.
If you are able to access the internet there are very, very many options. So PLEASE help those who do not have this lifeline – perhaps by printing some items out for them.
A service for use at home
can be downloaded here.
Set aside a period each day, or several
- you may find it helpful to have a specific place;
- maybe light a candle, to help you focus;
- perhaps use a holding cross if you have one;
- but above all be comfortable and at ease.
Just a suggestion
- Ask God to help you remember he’s there with you.
- Say the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, “Our Father”
- Give thanks for the day (if you feel able)
- Read a bible passage – slowly. Now read it again.
- What phrase or word stands out for you? Why?
- Choose one point which has registered with you and pray about it.
- Look toward tomorrow. What do you expect the day to hold?
- Ask God to help you remember he is with you always.
The lectionary readings may be found in our church magazine.
Services of daily prayer
are available on the Church of England website . There are services of Daily Prayer in both contemporary and traditional forms and for all times of day. Once you get to the page, click the ‘More Options’ link to filter by date, time of day and form of service. Also on the site you can read or hear a daily prayer. If you have a smartphone why not download and use the “Daily Prayer” app? It is free to download from the usual sources.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
PLEASE share this especially with all those you know who do not have internet access.
Geoff Stokes, our organist, with his wife Tricia, has recorded a number of hymns which can be found here on his YouTube channel
Now you may have some extra time, it is not too late to sign up for the Diocesan Year of Discipleship
If you have access to Facebook or Twitter you will find many, many live streams of daily prayer, so no difficulty in finding a style that suits your particular preferences. Please also encourage others to like or follow us.
When you can’t get to church
this is a booklet with lots of good hints, tips and examples for praying at home.
Creative Ways of Praying
- You might fïnd it helpful to listen to favourite hymns or worship songs, or other pieces of music that have a special meaning for you.
- Pictures can help prompt our prayers - for instance photos of loved ones, maps or pictures of our community or the wider world.
- If the news is getting you down, try praying for the people and situations that are mentioned.
- Why not try doodling, painting, or drawing as you pray?
The BBC Radio 4 Daily Service & Sunday Service
Most of us can access these but again, if you are able to go online you will find a number of previous services too.
A Sermon for every Sunday
This is a really great website where, as the name suggests, you can see and hear Sermons for every Sunday. These are delivered by a number of different preachers, some of them very well known. Usually a manuscript is available for reading too. Often you can access sermons on the same texts from earlier years as well, so you get a wide variety of approach and tone.
Our own sermon archive
Here on the website of St John with St Mark you will find some reflections and sermons from our own Ministry Team. Some you may have heard before, many probably not. At last count there were 68 sermons there, enough to keep you going for over a couple of months if you ration yourself to one a day!
Ian Banks has prepared talks for an online congregation from churches in Bury, Heywood and Rochdale areas. Explore the website of St John with St Mark to read, or listen.
Aimed mainly at Families
Daily prayer and worship activities currently free for all at EngageAtHome
We are simply aiming to share a few ideas. Please let us have your suggestions and both the benefice websites have numerous links you may find helpful.
Prayers about the outbreak
If you want to pray specifically about the outbreak, this Church of England site gives you some models to work from. Here’s an example:
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you are finding isolation difficult
you may find some help in the prayers, advice and reflections here