While our churches are closed for normal public worship, it's a great opportunity to try something new.
Here are a few of our favourite resources and websites that you might like to explore. Let us know how you get on and what you find helpful.
From the Church of England
The Church of England produces a number of Apps for smartphones, including Live Lent (it's never too late to start); the Daily Prayer App which is the formal Morning, Evening and Night prayer that are often used in church - this is what Justine will be using at 9.30 . This is great, because you have everything you need in one place, you can do traditional or modern. But it is quite formal. It's easy to follow and you can use on your own or with your family. Versions of the app are available for Apple and Android.
Time to Pray provides shorter services for during the day and night time.
We started live-streaming morning and evening prayer on the 23rd of March.
The Church of England website has a range of prayers that you might want to use when your own words fail at this time. Remember our prayers don't have to be beautifully crafted or perfect in any way. This range of prayers includes a useful 'worship at home' service which is printable.
We are offering a selection of times and ways to worship. Many of them are on our Facebook Group. If you haven't joined yet, I would urge you to consider doing so, it's proving a great way to stay connected. You can find it here.
Morning prayer takes place in the Group at 9.30 am Monday to Friday.
We pause in the day with Christians in this country and around the world to pray the Lord's Prayer at 1pm and 7pm. You can catch a glimpse on Facebook of our prayer as life goes on around us at these times.
We finish our worship with Night Prayer at 9 pm. It's an opportunity to reflect together on the day - the good, the bad and the ugly as we place it all into God's hands and ask for God's blessings on us as we sleep.
God knows what is on our hearts and in our minds anyway as Paul writes in Romans 8:26 'Likewise thehelps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very intercedes with sighs too deep for words.' But sometimes someone else's words can help too, so have a look and use what works for you.
Spiritual Communion - from The Salesian Church in Battersea
A way of reflecting on God's presence in the week that has passed and inviting God to be present in the week to come. You might even want to try a cut down version every night - I really like that it asks you to think about what you feel grateful for during the day - something it's really easy to forget at the moment.
For those who like images
An Ordinary Office http://anordinaryoffice.org.uk (link broken at the moment but we're investigating) is a fabulous resource for when it feels too hard to concentrate on anything for too long. Described as a dispersed but inclusive community Justine's used it when she's been ill and Wendy is a big fan of Nocturne when sleep is hard
For those who just want to be
Maybe just light a candle to remind you of God's presence and allow your mind to go to those places and images that you are carrying today. Some people might find music helpful.
While we're all stuck at home, perhaps this is a great opportunity to explore your faith. This year our Lent course has been 'Broken' the series starring Sean Bean. It's based on life within a Northern inner city parish and follows the life of Father Michael as he struggles with parish and personal problems. Paula Gooder, wrote the course material, says 'there are no soft or easy answers'. It's not a course for the fainthearted, the themes involve extreme poverty, sex, sexual abuse and there is a lot of swearing. But it is a course which focusses on what it means to be the church in difficult times - perhaps what we need to see and hear right now.
We'll add more online learning resources and book suggestions as time goes on, so keep checking in.