Laudato Si’ at 5: As Prophetic and Relevant As Ever

View the Laudato Si’ Week webinar “Laudato Si’ at 5: As Prophetic and Relevant As Ever”, a special conversation with Fr. Augusto Zampini-Davies, adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development and Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC).

Learn more about how everything is connected at www.laudatosiweek.org.

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Thy Kingdom Come: whole host of resources available to help you join in the global prayer movement

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day (21 May) and Pentecost (31 May) for more people to come to know Jesus.

Praying for people to come to know the love, hope and peace found in Christ is at the heart of Thy Kingdom Come.

Daily Prayer for Thy Kingdom Come is a great way to set up regular, daily patterns of prayer to hold these people in prayer – whether you are doing so on your own, as a household, or joining with a small group or as a church virtually.

There resource is available in a range of offline and free online formats:

The booklet – in full-colour and complete with services, psalms and readings – is available now from Church House Publishing for just £1.99 with Free UK Delivery when you order online (with bulk discounts on 10s and 50s).

The free app for iOS and Android – containing audio for Morning, Evening, Day and Night Prayer from the booklet for all 11 days. The app has been updated with 2020 Sunday psalms and readings and a new feature that allows you to set reminders for any or all the services at times that suit you.

A podcast featuring all eight hours of the Daily Prayer for Thy Kingdom Come audio is also launching soon.

Smart speaker – from Thursday 21 May (Ascension Day), you can also get Alexa and Google Home to ‘Ask the Church of England for today’s Thy Kingdom Come’ to hear a short service of Prayer During the Day (before 7pm) and Night Prayer (after 7pm) throughout the 11 days.

Watch a special Thy Kingdom Come Pentecost Service with the Archbishop of Canterbury and a range of other contributors from 9am on Sunday 31st May here.

More new resources from Thy Kingdom Come

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, Thy Kingdom Come is going to look slightly different this year.

Find out about new initiatives – like Prayer and Care – and further resources, including the Interactive Prayer Map for families, to help you get involved in new ways.

Local service

On Sunday, May 31, at 11am, there will be a virtual service for Cornwall.

Led by Revd Steve Morgan, Sarah Yardley will speak and a worship band from across Cornwall will be led by Niall Dunne.

There will be bible readings and prayers from people across the county and form different denominations.

The service will be on Facebook and Youtube – details and links to come!

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Bishop Mark – ‘Our Common Home and Care for the Vulnerable’

Bishop Mark reflects on the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ letter ‘Laudato Si’

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Thy Kingdom Come: Light Up Cornwall in Prayer

Add your name/your church’s name to the Thy Kingdom Come prayer map

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COP26: A Decade to Deliver

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Chair of The Elders, speaks on the impact of Covid-19 on preparations for climate change, introducing this webinar run by Climate Action

Recorded on: Thursday,14 May 2020

COP26: A Decade to Deliver: The pandemic has given us a glimpse into a global economy decimated by a crisis. If governments and businesses do not maintain their commitments to climate action, and if COP26 is not successful in addressing the global climate emergency, the current levels of economic disruption will be our reality by 2050. The actions we take this year, and the outcomes of the COP26 in 2021, will dictate our global capacity to stem the climate breakdown forever. 

Discussion points included:

  • How has the pandemic affected climate and environmental diplomacy?
  • What are the critical components that must be addressed for COP to be a success?
  • What is the role of the private sector, NGO community, and Civil Society groups at COP?
  • How can we maintain momentum throughout 2020 and what can organisations do this year to lay the foundations for more ambitious climate action?
  • Should we be linking the economic recovery to the SDGs and how do we ‘build back better’?

Featured Speakers: 

Moderator:

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Gleanings: Listening and Learning about poverty under lockdown

We are all sharing the experience of the storm caused by COVID-19 and the lockdown, but it is increasingly clear we are not all in the same boat. Some are being buffeted but remain fundamentally secure, yet it is clear that some groups are at risk of being financially overwhelmed.

The Joint Public Issues Team and Church Action on Poverty have started an ongoing programme of research with churches and local charities. Through surveys and regular focus group conversations we are aiming to understand the impacts being seen seeing on the ground.

Briefing – May 2020

This briefing provides a short snapshot of our findings, putting churches’ experiences in the rapidly developing wider context, and offering a context for thinking about what happens next.

Insights into the Social Impact of COVID-19 – Briefing

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Ready for the New “Normal”: A Discussion Paper

A paper from the United Reformed Church which will be of interest to other churches

When the lockdown starts to ease, what MUST resume, what SHOULDN’T and what might we do differently? Making a plan now to carry us past lockdown into a healthy future.

Contents:

Part 1 A Road Map for Reflection: where we are how we travel forward
  • Grief and hope
Part 2 Resuming Activities in Shared Physical Space: questions to help with planning
Whilst the lockdown phase continues:
  • Who makes the decision to re-open? 
  • Who should come to church? 
  • Planning the use of space 
  • Dealing with trauma 
Getting the building ready to start up using it for cancelled activities again.
Adapting what we do to ensure social distancing for the months to come:
  • Worship in the premises 
  • Resuming lettings and church activities 
  • Church meetings 
  • Finances
Part 3 Taking stock, reviewing principles, doing things differently
What’s the ‘new normal’ for us?
  • Using the building 
  • Worship 
  • Community engagement 
  • Pastoral care 
  • Meetings 
  • Managing external users
Different points of the journey

Different people will need to consider the questions posed here at different points. 

  • Some relate most closely to the Minister/Elder in Local Leadership (ELL)
  • Some questions relate to the functions of the Elders’ Meeting (which includes your Minister/ELL)
  • Some need the involvement of the whole Church Meeting

This is a shared exploration with other churches in the URC and with ecumenical partners. Remember that you are not alone in this. Your Synod Officers are available to help you.

The full document takes you through these parts of the journey step by step. 

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Many Brits Look to Faith During Lockdown

3 May 2020

  • Nearly half of adults in the UK (44%) say they pray
  • A quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown
  • Over half of those who pray (56%) agree that prayer changes the world

Prayer is a vital part of life for the public, with just under half of UK adults (44%) saying they pray, and among those who pray a third (33%) say that they have prayed since the COVID-19 lockdown because they believe it makes a difference, according to a new nationwide poll of 2,101 UK adults by Savanta ComRes1 for Christian relief & development agency Tearfund.

With churches being closed due to restrictions on social gatherings, thousands of churches are streaming their services online. A quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown (on the radio, live on TV, on demand or streamed online), this jumps to three quarters (76%) amongst regular churchgoers. One in twenty UK adults (5%) who say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown have never gone to church.

A third (34%) of UK adults aged 18-34 say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown (on the radio, live on TV, on demand or streamed online) this compares to one in five (19%) adults aged 55+.

While some may view religion as more appealing to the older generation, the research shows that younger adults aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to say they pray regularly (at least once a month) than adults aged 55 and over (30% vs. 25%).

When it comes to popular topics of prayer among those who say they pray, over half (53%) say they’ve prayed about family members, a quarter (27%) have prayed for frontline services and one in five (20%) say they have prayed for someone who is unwell with COVID-19. Just over a sixth of those who pray (15%) say they have prayed for other countries with COVID-19, highlighting the challenge for Tearfund to encourage more people to pray for global issues.

The new findings on prayer reveal a strong belief in the power of prayer to bring about positive change in the world. Among those who pray, two thirds (66%) say they agree that God hears their prayers and over half (56%) say they agree that prayer changes the world. Half of those who pray (51%) agree that they’ve witnessed answers to their own prayers and over two fifths (43%) agree that their prayer changes the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries.

Dr. Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund says: “It is encouraging to see the number of people in the UK praying during such a challenging time. Our experience at Tearfund is that prayer and practical action go hand-in-hand, and are both crucial ways of responding. With COVID-19 rates continuing to rise around the world, we are calling more people to pray and take action.”

Alongside praying for the situation, Tearfund are responding to the coronavirus pandemic around the world by providing crucial hygiene and sanitation assistance to minimise the risk of infection. To find out more about Tearfund’s work and to make a donation, please visit www.tearfund.org/covidinfo.

Other findings from poll include:

  • A quarter of UK adults (26%) say they pray regularly (at least once a month).
  • One in twenty (5%) of UK adults say they have started praying during the lockdown but they didn’t pray before.
  • Among those who pray, nearly half (45%) say that they prayed since the lockdown because they believe in God, a third believe that prayer makes a difference (33%), a quarter (26%) say that they prayed in times of personal crisis or tragedy and a quarter (24%) say they have prayed to gain comfort or to feel less lonely.
  • A quarter (25%) of those aged 18-24 who pray say that since the COVID-19 lockdown they have prayed about the UK government’s response to COVID-19, this exceeds all other age groups (15% for those aged 25-64 and 23% for those aged 65+).
  • Men are significantly more likely than women say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown (on the radio, live on TV, on demand or streamed online) (28% vs. 21% respectively).
  • Since lockdown, one in five (18%) of UK adults have asked someone else to say a prayer and one in five (19%) UK adults say they have read a religious text during lockdown.
  • Top five things to pray about during lockdown among UK adults who pray are: family (53%), friends (34%), thanking God (34%), yourself (28%) and the frontline services (27%).
Download Full data

The State of Christian Organisations in the UK during Covid-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to understand what is happening, to keep informing the decision-makers and media about the situation on the ground.

YourNeighbour.org recently partnered with Eido to help understand identify the main needs and experiences of Faith-Based Organisations in the UK during Covid-19.

In this 1-hour webinar, we join Eido Research and and Stewart McCulloch (CEO of Stewardship), to talk through the key findings and discuss some of the best practices approaches to continually adapting to Covid-19. We answer three key questions:

1. How has Covid-19 impacted faith-based organisations in the UK?
2. How have faith-based organisations responded and adapted to Covid-19?
3. What are the main needs of faith-based organisations currently?

Watch the webinar and download the results of the research: 
https://www.eidoresearch.com/the-state-of-faith-based-organisations/research-results/ 

Download report

Report Summary

In summary, this report has highlighted the challenges facing Christian organisations during the Covid-19 crisis. For the vast majority of organisations, the crisis has directly led to both an increase in demand for services and a decrease in available funds and staffing. There appear to be some slight differences between churches and Christian charities’ experience of these, and needs seem to be most severe in organisations outside of London.

Organisations have also made significant changes to their activities. 71% of churches and 50% of charities are delivering new services that they’ve not delivered before. This means that organisations are trying out and testing new approaches and methods to deliver positive outcomes. In some cases moving into areas of the community that they have never been active in before.

Christian organisations have many high priority needs right now, including prayer, funds, volunteering, support with technology, and support with communication. They also highlighted the value of encouragement and connection. Organisations want to be working in increased partnership with each other.

This report has been produced to add to the understanding of the needs of Christian organisations as a result of the crisis, and add momentum to providing effective support that meets the need. Please share it with others who may value reading it.

Please keep supporting your local Christian organisations and visit yourneighbour.org for practical ideas, or give.net to donate through Stewardship.

Eido Research is looking to conduct further research in this area to more fully map and celebrate the Christian response to Covid-19. If you want to get involved in this, or other projects like this please get in touch with us at eidoresearch.com.

Who Are Transformation Cornwall and What Are We Doing Now?

Transformation Cornwall is an ecumenical charity that strengthens faith based social action in Cornwall.

Transformation Cornwall is supported by the Diocese of Truro, the Church Urban Fund, the Cornwall Methodist District and Churches Together in Cornwall. We are part of the Church Urban Fund’s Joint Venture programme with dioceses around the country.

We provide infrastructure and capacity building support to groups, churches, faith and non-faith based organisations to enable them to respond to issues of poverty, deprivation and marginalisation in their area.

Transformation Cornwall works in three main ways:

  • Providing capacity building events, support and information through their ‘Meet the Funders’ programme.
  • Working with individual groups and organisations through 1:1 surgeries to enable groups to have project specific information.
  • Strengthen links between faith based and mainstream organisations
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