Class Collective Worship : New Free Resource

Supporting primary pupils’ wellbeing in the pandemic

Godly Play UK, in association with the Church Schools of Cambridge, is pleased to support the launch of a new, free resource.

Developed by teacher-researcher Elisabeth Sutcliffe, this draws on a Godly Play style and process. Its approach helps to create a different atmosphere within the classroom that provides for reflection as a class and individually. Using story, wondering and imaginative response time, pupils’ spiritual wellbeing is given focus and value. 

This offers teachers accessible, simple-to-follow material that requires almost no additional resources.

And it offers pupils (of all faiths and none) space to wonder and respond to Covid-19 pandemic challenges and opportunities.

A short guidance video is included, alongside four acts of worship (more to be released soon). 

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Godly Play Training in Cornwall

Jane Wheeler, the Schools and Families Lead at Transforming Mission Falmouth is hoping to run Godly Play training for anyone who might be interested. She writes:

I am the Schools and Families Lead at TM Falmouth and recently have been looking at Godly Play training. I would love to be able to offer it across the diocese, including all the TM churches. I have recently heard that it might be possible to put on the 3 day training here in Truro diocese in January or February 2021. In case you are not familiar with it, here is a link: https://www.godlyplay.uk/ I think this style of Bible story telling is appropriate in many settings, including schools, churches and toddler groups.

The trainers have never delivered a course in this diocese before, so it would be great to be the first!!

The normal cost for a 3 day course is £320 per person, which I recognise is far too much for the average children and families leader in church. So I am doing my best to reduce the costs. I am hoping to get the price down to £150 per person.

Please let me know if you are interested, in the first instance, and also if you know anybody else who would like to do this. We need a minimum of 12 people, so do ask around any of your contacts.

Jane Wheeler
Schools and Families Lead, TM Falmouth
07866 665915

Navigating Transition: A Prayer Journey

From a new marriage to a job loss, transition can feel like a rough sea, full of ups and downs.

Whether you’re excited about new beginnings or tackling the pain of loss (or both), prayer is vital to help you navigate life’s big changes.

Over 40 days, this prayer journey will lead you through the four key stages of transition: discerning the signals of change; ending well as you let go of the old; feeling disorientated; and getting reorientated in your new situation.

As you pray through these stages, you’ll learn how to navigate times of transition with God and grow your trust in him – the one who charts the course ahead.

When you sign up, you’ll receive a short ‘prompt to pray’ each day, together with a brief thought helping you explore how to navigate transition.

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Faith groups commemorate United Nations 75th anniversary, look to the future

09 September 2020

An online event on 8 September brought together a wide range of faith expressions, delivering messages of hope and solidarity to the United Nations, underlining the urgency of upholding a robust multilateral system for the coordination of responses to the mounting global crises.

Promoted by the United Nations Multi-Faith Advisory Council to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the world’s largest intergovernmental organization, the event featured speakers who provided elements to help discern the best way to promote peace, considering important aspects such as gender-based violence, women and youth engagement in peace building and interfaith cooperation for peace.

The event also touched upon the history of the UN, and its role in promoting peace across both national borders and religious traditions.

Watch the recording of the online event “Faith in the UN”

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What is Worship?

In this five-part series of short films worship leader Wil Berdinner from All Saints Highertown, Truro seeks to answer the question ‘What is Worship?’.

Episode 1 (Language) looks at the Hebrew word ‘shachah’ and the Greek word ‘prokuneo’ and the act of bowing down.

Episode 2 (Spirit & Truth) looks at what Jesus says about worship, with attention on the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in the Gospel of John, chapter 4.

Episode 3 (Worship & Praise) looks at the difference between worship and praise.

Episode 4 (Rediscovering Worship) looks at the story behind Matt Redman’s song ‘The Heart of Worship’.

Episode 5 (Going Forward) summarises the previous episodes and connects them to church life at All Saints Highertown.

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Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer

Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer is a huge Christian landmark. It will sit in the heart of the UK at Coleshill, near Birmingham, by the end of 2022. The gigantic monument of hope will host a million accounts of answered prayer, making it the largest database of hope stories in the world.

Each brick will recount a personal, specific way in which God has answered a prayer for people both now and in the past, offering a vast amount of experiences all explaining how God has come through for individuals in the midst of life’s storms. 

We want to see Jesus’ miraculous and loving nature celebrated through these answered prayers and believe that the one million testimonies will ignite faith, and belief in the power of prayer on a national level.

This project is about how one person’s answered prayer can become another person’s hope. Answered prayer is a springboard for faith with each story reflecting a beautiful aspect of God’s intention towards us. We know it will make hope visible to our country.  

Our Vision

Preserve the Christian heritage of our nation

God has faithfully and powerfully moved throughout the history of the UK. He has answered prayers of people such as St Augustine way back in the sixth century, right through to the more modern times of WWII, when millions of people queued up outside churches to pray for the men on the beaches of Dunkirk. 

75,000 ‘heritage bricks’ will be included in Eternal Wall to celebrate answered prayer dating as far back as 600 AD. This is to preserve and remember how God has helped people all throughout our nation’s rich history.

We have no way of knowing what culture and society will look like in a hundred years’ time, but we do know that Eternal Wall will still be standing, and that people will still be able to discover its stories of hope, and see that Jesus answers prayer. 

We know that we will have faithfully sown into future generations and shared with them what Jesus has done in our time. 

Ignite a faith for prayer on a national level

You will come to Eternal Wall and be inspired by the fact that every single brick in its design represents a story of Jesus answering prayer. Faith or no faith, we believe you will be encouraged by the many stories of God changing situations around, and perhaps you will even be inspired to ‘try praying’ to Jesus.

You will have free access to the incredible database of one million answered prayers. Type in whatever situation or storm of life you’re going through, and discover personal accounts detailing how God answered and came through for many different people. We know that if He has done it before, He is more than faithful to do it again. Your faith will be lifted and you will be encouraged to seek Him for an answer.

Reveal Christ to the nation

It is, we believe, a time for Christians to be bold about their faith. Around 500,000 journeys will travel past this monument every week, and we estimate that 200,000 people will visit the site annually. 
We hope that as you discover the answered prayers and comprehend the colossal nature of what you are witnessing, you will personally encounter the God who answers. 

Furthermore, we also believe that this project will embolden Christians to share their faith and their stories of answered prayer more freely.

Watch the video of how we got the land. Join us in making hope visible by clicking on one of the options below.

A million stories of hope

Eternal Wall will make hope visible to the nation on a huge scale. Each one of its million bricks will represent an answered prayer, contributed by individuals from all across the UK. The monumental piece of public art will be the largest database of hope stories in the world.

Share your answered prayer

Monumental Art

Standing at 169ft (51.5m), the arch of Eternal Wall will be visible from up to six miles away. The striking new UK monument will be over twice the size of the Angel of the North, and be seen by 500,000 journeys each week.

Interactive bricks

Every single one of the million bricks in Eternal Wall will represent an answer to prayer.

A bespoke app will allow visitors to:

  • Hold a phone up to any brick to unlock the associated story
  • See uniquely crafted content, highlighting answered prayers relevant to personal interests
  • Zoom in on bricks out of reach and high up on the 168ft structure
  • Search for answered prayer stories about specific situations or topics from the database
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How Faith Communities can boost Mental Health among Youth : Podcast

WCC PODCAST: In the first episode of the podcast series moderated by members of the WCC COVID-19 Support Team, we will reflect on how faith communities can boost mental health among youth.

Listen

Church of England Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches: Updated 15 Sep

Last updated Tuesday September 15 at 13:45

The Government has issued an updated version of its guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic in light of the new ‘rule of six’ regulations.

The Church of England is continuing to engage with the Government. All of the advice below is being reviewed.  Updates and amendments will be highlighted at the top of this page as they are made.

Last updated Wednesday 09 September at 10:42

Following indications that the number of people permitted to take part in a social gathering is to be reduced from 30 to six in England, we understand the new regulations will not apply to public worship or individual prayer in church buildings. Read our short statement.

Last updated Thursday 03 September at 12:05

  • Updated FAQ Should we still deliver printed communication? in General section

Last updated Tuesday 25 August at 9:10

  • Updated FAQ Can church bells be rung? in Prayer and worship section

Last updated Thursday 20 August at 9:20

Monday 17 August at 14:32

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Methodist Church Coronavirus Official Guidance : Updated 10 Sep

Latest

Update 10 September

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last night provided us with further clarification on the Government announcement this week of changes to permitted social interaction which come into place on Monday 14 September in England. We understand that the full regulations will be published later this week and we will update our guidance accordingly.

In summary:

  • Places of Worship can remain open for services and prayer.  As before, the limit on the number of people is determined by the risk assessment with attendees divided into multiple groups of no more than 6 people.
  • Weddings and funerals are still allowed and maximum numbers remain at 30 with people divided into multiple groups of no more than 6.
  • Community Halls remain open and activities are allowed as before but within each activity, participants can be in groups that consist of no more than 6 people.

The government has emphasised that venues must be Covid-19 secure and contact details must be left for Test and Trace.  More information can be read here.  

Update 9 September The Archbishop of Canterbury has posted the text below on social media following yesterday’s Government announcement regarding social interactions:

“After contact with Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship. Worship is the work of God – not a social gathering – and gives the strength to love and serve. The increase in COVID cases is very concerning. We must follow the guidance and take all the necessary measures to keep people safe. And let’s keep praying for everyone who is affected – those who are ill, or whose families are ill, those who are anxious, or struggling with cancelled plans and isolation. We give grateful thanks to God for the NHS and all those who work tirelessly to keep us safe.”
The Archbishop of Canterburywww.facebook.com/archbishopofcanterbury

Update 3 September

Updated with guidance and information on conferring and decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pastoral message from the Bishop of Truro and the Bishop of St Germans

We recognise that this is a worrying time for many with COVID-19 cases on the rise again. It’s also an anxious time as we try to work out what we can and can’t do in a situation that seems to be ever-changing.

Having looked at the latest government guidance we are confident that we can carry on with the arrangements that we have established for Sunday worship over the last few weeks and we encourage you to do so. We are convinced that the procedures we have established are safe and ensuring community of worship is important and valuable for us all. The only difference is that people must not sit in groups of more than six, but on our recent experience that is rarely happening anyway – if at all.

Many if not all our churches are facing their annual meetings. We are still unclear whether these could take place in churches or church halls or not, but we think on balance this is unlikely given that the potential electorate for the election of Churchwardens is anyone physically living in the parish. For that reason Bishop Philip will be issuing an instrument allowing them to take place virtually and you should assume that this will be how they happen. To help with that over the next few days we will be issuing guidelines as to how the meetings should be conducted, as well as offering training from Church House staff in the technology needed.

Happily our ordinations will still happen as planned at the end of next week and we do encourage you to pray for our wonderful ordinands.

We continue to be very grateful and full of admiration for the dedication, resourcefulness and commitment you have shown over the last months. Please know that you do not face these challenges alone. And don’t forget the ‘Diocese of Truro – let’s share best practice and support one another!’ Facebook page. If you’ve not yet joined it please consider doing so: it’s a great source of encouragement (and poetry, and jokes….). We will be providing updated guidance once it is available. You can view the current Covid-19 guidance on the diocesan website here.

Finally, to return to the beginning, we recognise again that levels of anxiety are rising once again, and the tiredness many feel is real. So we close with these wonderful words of St. Paul to the Philippians:

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That is certainly our prayer for you all.

With our love, in Christ.

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Unless the Lord Builds the House: A five-week course on Christian faith and housing

Housing is a spiritual matter. It is about what Pope Francis calls our “human ecology” – the way our physical environment – whether urban, suburban, or rural – reflects and shapes our relationships with each other, and ultimately with God.

In 2019, the Archbishop of Canterbury launched his Commission on Housing, Church and Community, which has explored the contribution that Christians can make to tackling the housing crisis and why this is an integral part of the Church’s mission, rooted in a theological understanding of housing and community.

This five-week course – produced with the assistance of the Church of England and the Caritas Social Action Network – aims to engage a wide range of Christian congregations in community listening, prayer and theological reflection. It is built around the testimony of Christians like Lucy Achola and her parish in Manor Park and is designed to help people discern how to take action locally in the context of community listening, prayer and ecumenical collaboration.

The course guide is here

The videos which accompany the course are:

Week One – St George’s Stamford, here

Week Two – Two videos from the Catholic Parish of Manor Park, here and here

Week Three -Paul and Holly’s stories, here and here

Week Four – St George-in-the-East, here

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