The nation will join together on Tuesday 23 March for a National Day of Reflection, organised by Marie Curie, and for Christians, this will be a day to both reflect and pray.
Across the country, churches are invited to be prayerful one year on from the start of the first lockdown. There will be a minute’s silence at 12 noon followed by a ringing of church bells and later a doorstep vigil at 8pm.
The National Day of Reflection looks to reflect on our collective loss, support those who have been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.
From Church leaders
Church leaders from many of our national Member Churches are encouraging their members pause and pray
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, CTE President and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales said: “We reflect in hope that, as the pandemic is controlled and we open up our lives again, we will gather in the lessons we have learned and build our society into a better shape, more compassionate, less marked by inequalities, more responsive to needs and deprivation. We ask for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us in this endeavour, whether we are focussing on overcoming family breakdowns, economic recovery, or building political consensus.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, and CTE President Justin Welby said: “This Day of Reflection is an opportunity to pause and remember all that’s happened over the past year, to mourn those who have died but also to give thanks for those who have looked after us and our communities. It is a moment to pray together to our Father in Heaven to comfort us in our grief and to lead us into the hope of the risen Christ and the eternal life he promises. As we reflect on the pandemic, may He strengthen our resolve to rebuild a kinder, fairer and more compassionate society, may He be with those who are struggling and may He guide us in honouring those we have lost over the past year.”
Rev Dr Hugh Osgood, the Free Churches Moderator and Free Churches President of Churches Together in England, endorses the call to prayer on the Day of Remembrance on 23rd March saying, ‘It is fitting that the day we set aside to remember should also be the day when we bring together the strength of our many prayer initiatives across the nation to raise our voices prayerfully as one.’
General Secretary of Churches Together in England, Rev Dr. Paul Goodliff said: “the churches in membership with CTE want to ‘fan the flames’ of prayer at every opportunity, and I welcome the way in which we can not only remember the past year on this National Day of Remembrance, with all of its challenges and sorrows, but also as Christians bring together remembrance and prayer. Our hope, whether in life or death, is in the mercy and kindness of God, and we join with so many who will pray on the 23 March.”
His Eminence, Archbishop Dr A. C. C. Evangelou MBE (International President of the Ixthus Church Council) said: ‘I commend and fully support the initiative to have a day of reflection on the anniversary of the UK’s first Covid lockdown. Our prayers and thoughts of compassion are extended to all the families that have experienced the loss of loved ones and to those that have suffered hardship in anyway during this pandemic. We also offer up our gratitude and admiration for those doctors, nurses, front lines workers and many others for their dedication and selfless service in helping and supporting so many in these days of extreme challenge.’
Resources for the Day of Reflection and Prayer
- Prayers, reflections and ideas for the day from the Church of England
- Marie Curie National Day of Reflection toolkit
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