Thought for the week and beyond from our Archbishops

‘Calm, courage and compassion needed in face of new lockdown’
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have invited the nation to join them in prayer, in a message encouraging ‘calm, courageous and compassionate’ responses to the difficulties of the second national lockdown in England.   In an open letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, assure the nation of their prayers. They highlight the love of God for us all in the midst of ‘deeply challenging and difficult’ times facing the country.   “We are writing to share our belief that whoever you are, and whatever you happen to believe, you are loved by God. Beyond measure. We also want you to know that we are praying for you, particularly asking that Christ’s love will comfort us, calm our fears, and lead our nation and our world through this terrible pandemic,” they say.   In the letter, the Archbishops encourage everyone to adopt ‘calm, courageous and compassionate’ responses in the face of the difficulties posed by the lockdown.   “So many of us are holding so much pain – our own and the pain of those we love. We will need to be gentle, kind and patient with each other,” they write.   “In the first wave we showed we are a nation of compassion and kindness. Let’s dig deep and keep that love for our neighbours strong in this second time of struggle.   Anyone who wishes to do so is invited by the Archbishops to join them in daily prayer at 6pm during lockdown using resources on the Church of England’s website and social media channels. The weblink to the resources is:
Bishop Ruth and the archdeacons have sent an accompanying letter out supporting the call to pray for the nation, saying: “We know that many of us feel tired and possibly dispirited, so we want to encourage you that we are not alone, that God is with us and promises his Spirit of renewal and hope.”  

A Prayer for Bishop Peter.

Please continue to pray for Bishop Peter, his wife Jane and their family. Pray too for Bishop Ruth and the Archdeacons and others who will seek to lead the diocese during Bishop Peter’s absence.  Here is a prayer you can use:

O Lord, you are our strength and our shield. 

Your love sustains us through all the challenges we face. 

We place into your hands all who are facing challenges, in this time of such uncertainty. 

We hold before you all who are dear to us. 

Particularly we pray for our Bishop, Peter, 

His family and friends and all who love him, 

As they face these coming months. 

May they know your strength and protection, 

Your healing and your love, 

In the name of Jesus, 

And in the power of the Holy Spirit,