The Welcome

 

The Lord be with you
All        And also with you

 

We say together

Loving Lord

fill us with your life-giving,

joy-giving, peace-giving presence;

that we may praise you with our lips

and all the day long with our lives,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN 

 

We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘In Christ alone my hope is found’

By Stuart Townend & Keith Getty

 

Prayer of confession from Psalm 25

            I offer you my heart, O Lord:

            Show me your paths
All        and teach me to follow;


guide me by your truth
All        and instruct me.


You keep me safe,
All        and I always trust you.

 

We say together

All        Please, Lord, remember,
you have always been patient and kind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forget each wrong I have done.
Show how truly kind you are
and remember me.
You are honest and merciful,
and you teach sinners how to follow your path.

 Amen.

 

 

 

1st Reading Romans 9: 1 – 5     

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

 

This is the word of the Lord

All   Thanks be to God

 

We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘I am the bread of life’

By Suzanne Toolan

 

Alleluia, alleluia

We do not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

All        Alleluia

 

Gospel Reading   Matthew 14: 13 – 21

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

This is the Gospel of the Lord

All        Praise to you, O Christ

 

Some thoughts to share

 

Intercessions

Dear Father God, we welcome you this day.

You promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

 

We pray for the witness of the Church, especially in places where the Christian faith is ignored, forgotten or repressed.

Strengthen all your clergy and all your Church in the service of Christ.

We pray for Toby and his family as he encourages and supports us.

We pray for Sarah, Linda, Elaine, Les, Robert and Sue and their families as they help Toby and our church communities during this time of uncertainty.

Let all those who confess your name be united in your truth, live together in your love and reveal your glory in the world.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those searching each day for food or walking long distances for clean water.

We pray for those who have fled their homes in fear and for those whose lives are cut short by persecution, torture or terrorism.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for our community and those who lead it.

Help us to make it a place where everyone can flourish.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen.

Give wisdom to all in authority.

Direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and peace.

Do all this so that we may honour one another and seek the common good.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for those whom we love.

We thank you for those people who sustain us by their love and forgiveness.

Make us alert to each other’s needs and quick to serve and encourage one another.

May our gentleness with each other reflect your gentleness with us.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for the sick and for the departed.

We pray especially for all those affected directly or indirectly by COVID-19.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.

Give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation.

We remember those who have died in the faith of Christ.

According to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the loving example of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, who was obedient even to death.

He died that we might live.

 

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and all Christian people to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen

 

We declare our faith

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried. 


On the third day he rose again;
he ascended to heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge
the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. 

Amen.

 

We pray

The Collect

Lord of heaven and earth,

as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,

give us patience and courage never to lose hope,

but always to bring our prayers before you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All        Amen.

We say together

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory
are yours, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

We listen to the pre-recorded song

‘How deep the Fathers love for us’

By Stuart Townend

 

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we live in a world where we are so overcome with our problems, we sometimes forget that our neighbour maybe suffering too. Lord as we leave this place today, fill us with compassion for our fellow man. Help us to see them as you do, give us a heart to love them and see them through their trials, let us be the light that they see so that you shine through.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday

Due to the increase in demand for food, Clayton Baptist Church are running short of food supplies, i.e. tins of soup, breakfast cereals, eggs, tins of fruit, tins of meat, tins of veg, pasta sauce, tea / coffee etc. Also fruit and vegetables. Please can you help by donating items to Clayton Baptist Church. Alternatively if you bring your items to church on Sunday we will make sure that they get to the food bank.

Thank you.

A prayer for the gift of love in troubled times

O God, who has revealed yourself as love,
and taught us by your word that whoever lives in love lives in you; in times of trouble and uncertainty renew our hope in this promise; help us to receive afresh your gift of love,
that with generosity we may share it in the service of others
to promote the common good;
through him who is the perfect expression of love,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

S. Jones

 

1st August 2020

Dear friends

How are you keeping?  This phase of the pandemic is beset by uncertainties.  We continue to pray for our leaders and for society as a whole as difficult balancing acts are undertaken to allow social and economic activity to resume, whilst not allowing the virus to spread rampantly again.  Indeed, as I’ve been drafting this letter the rules have changed again for our area, to prevent meeting with others in homes and gardens.  Individuals also face difficult decisions, especially as official shielding is ‘paused’.  At the same time many are feeling the effects of the massive economic slowdown, with the consequences for people’s jobs.  All this means that this period can be emotionally draining and challenging.  Let’s continue to look out for each other and be sensitive to the variety of ways in which we are personally experiencing all this.

For four Sundays now, our churches have been open once again for public worship.  Throughout August services in church will continue to take place just once a week in each parish – at the usual times of 9:30am at St James’ and 11am at All Saints’.  The second Sunday – 9th August – will again be family-friendly.  Adult numbers have been in the high teens at Altham and the low thirties at All Saints – and each week there has been a number of children present.  I have been pleased to see how well it has been possible to conduct worship safely and how people have followed the instructions.  Some things are quite strange – such as giving the communion bread without saying anything and not sharing the consecrated wine together.  Many valued things are missing, including refreshments afterwards as well as hymn-singing.  But gradually a temporary normal is becoming established – now also including face coverings in churches as well as in shops.  Please note that from 8th August face coverings will be a legal requirement in church (apart from those with an exemption).

I don’t really like the phrase ‘new normal’ for these kind of things, because it is right to remember that they are exceptional and we pray for the day when they can be lifted.  ‘New normal’ is, I think, a better phrase for those things which will emerge as long-term changes.  Ones we pray will be for the good.  Greater concern for each other, proper provision for the care system, more families out walking together, better provision for cycling…and, dare we hope, a greater awareness of the preciousness of life and our dependence on God.

Those in church are very conscious of those who aren’t with us physically, but are in spirit (and in the Holy Spirit).  Don’t forget that anyone with an internet connection can view the 11am service from All Saints – either live or later on.  You don’t need to have a Facebook account.  Just go to www.facebook.com/allsaintsclayton.  The daily online services will, however, pause over the next two weeks, during my holiday time, but will then resume.  I love the fact that people are joining together to join in the prayer of the church via this means and we will have to find a way of this being an ongoing part of the new normal.

Back in lockdown VE Day stood out as a day of glorious sunshine and of togetherness.  It came just as we edged out of the peak of deaths.  And it helped us remember that we have been through massive challenges before and that we will get through this one, too.  It is sobering that around 61,000 lost their lives in this country to German bombing throughout the war, and that excess deaths this year so far are running at 53,148 (51,264 of them with COVID-19 on the death certificate as either the main or a contributory cause of death)[1].  On 15th August the nation will mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War on VJ Day.  Do listen out at 11am as the church bell/s will ring out from both our churches in commemoration.  Unlike in 1945, we are far from the end of our encounter with covid-19, but we must pray that we have the courage to build a better future as our parents and grandparents did emerging from the war.

A little word about money.  Both PCCs are very grateful to those who have continued to support our churches financially during this time.  Obviously, church income has dropped considerably with no collections in church and no weddings or funerals having taken place either.  If you’ve not been able to give during these months you might like to make a catch-up, via cheque or bank transfer.  Just ask if you could do with the bank details.  For those from All Saints’ who give via weekly envelopes, as and when you come back to church you will find your box of envelopes waiting for you.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to move to giving by standing order – again just ask.  Standing order allows you to work out what is the right amount for you to give and to give that bank regardless of whether or not you’re in church or have the right amount of money in your wallet.  And you are entirely in control – you can change the amount or stop the order entirely whenever you wish.

Also, a word on buildings.  You may remember all the water damage at All Saints’ early in the year.  Well, the new boiler was installed just before the lockdown, and plans are in place and permission granted for gale breaker material to be fitted in the tall lancet openings to the tower, so that driving winds don’t blow lots of rain into the tower.  Fencing is going up along the boundary between school and church, and the shade of green chosen means that it shouldn’t be too obtrusive, whilst deterring those who have been breaking-in recently, and anyone else seeking to gain unauthorised access.  At Altham the south aisle roof is being refurbished (following work on the nave and the chancel in previous summers) and some stunningly effective and efficient LED lighting has been installed.  At Altham School a beautiful new modular unit has been opened to house reception.

I hope that the remaining part of summer will give everyone some opportunities to recharge their batteries.  Not everyone will be able to get away on holiday, but if you can find opportunities that are safe for you do try to get a little bit of a change and some refreshment before autumn and winter, with the extra challenges that will bring.

Those of you who have been attending or following the Sunday services online will know that I’ve been focusing on the readings from Romans over these last weeks.  I hope they’ve

 

given us all plenty to think about, and to affirm us in our faith.  This Sunday’s reading reminds us that the bible is honest and realistic about the condition of the world and the suffering and death that occurs.  At times there is nothing to do but to groan with a groaning creation, as we lament lives cut short, livelihoods lost, life disrupted in all sorts of ways.  We are called to our knees and to the cry Lord, have mercy.  From that position of grieving with those who grieve we are called to practical action to help others, action which points to the love and justice of God’s kingdom.  And we are called to live as people of hope, who have the conviction that the future ultimately lies in God’s hands, that he is a good, good God, and that one day the present labour pains will give way to the full life, joy and peace of his new creation.

Yours in faith, hope and love, Revd Toby

 

 

 

[1][1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending17july2020

Online midweek services will resume next week, beginning again on Tuesday 18th August with evening prayer.

 

 

Opportunities for All Saints’ Families to join together for worship  via Facebook Live.

Monday – Night Prayer at 9:30

Tuesday – Night Prayer at 9:30.

Wednesday: Morning Prayer and Litany at 10:00am and Night Prayer at 9:30pm.

Thursday  – Night Prayer at 9:30pm

Friday – Morning Prayer and Litany at 10:00am and Friday Praise at 6:30pm.

Saturday – Night Prayer at 9:30pm.

 

 

My Hope and Refuge

Ah, Lord God, Holy Lover of my soul, when you come into my soul, all that is within me will rejoice. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart. You are my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble. Set me free from all evil passions, and heal my heart of all inordinate affections, cure and cleanse me within, that I may be made fit to love, courageous to suffer, steady to persevere. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing more courageous, nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth; because love is born of God, and cannot rest but in God, above all created things. Let me love you more than myself, and love myself except for you, and in you all that truly love you, as the law of love commands, shining out from yourself.

Source: Thomas à KempisPrayer for hope

Hope in God’s Promise

O Father in heaven, look upon all your people who struggle with anger, anxiety, doubt, frustration, guilt, hopelessness, loss, memories, lack of patience, pain, regret, sadness, selfishness, temptation and weakness. Your Holy Word tells us “All things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” And that means that you make all these things work for your good purpose in our lives, even when we do not understand. Remind us of your invitation, “Cast all your cares upon me,” and of your assurance that goes with it, “because I care for you.” …through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2017

Prayer for Hope

Heavenly Father, I am your humble servant, I come before you today in need of hope. There are times when I fell helpless, There are times when I feel weak. I pray for hope. I need hope for a better future. I need hope for a better life. I need hope for love and kindness. Some say that the sky is at it’s darkest just before the light. I pray that this is true, for all seems dark. I need your light, Lord, in every way. I pray to be filled with your light from head to toe. To bask in your glory. To know that all is right in the world, as you have planned, and as you want it to be. Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and glory. In your name, I pray, Amen.

Source: Christianity.com

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Vicar: Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church St, Clayton-le-Moors
(01254) 384321   tobywebber@btinternet.co

                                                                                                                                                         June 2020

 

 (NB – Face masks now have to be worn in church)  

Dear friends

I hope that you are keeping well.  Over the six weeks or so since my last letter I have continued to see people out and about – including people I hadn’t previously seen since lockdown and I’ve continued to see familiar names commenting on screen through the Facebook services.  So a special hello to those I haven’t yet seen.

These last weeks have, of course, seen a gradual easing of the lockdown, and more life has returned to our streets and parks.  Even non-essential shops are open again.  And from 4th July many of the restrictions will cease.  We will be even more dependent on people exercising common sense and self-control, for the sake of the common good.

One element of the change is that – for the first time since 15 March – we can have Sunday worship in church.

Both our churches will, God willing, open for worship from Sunday 5th July.  There will initially be only one service in each church per week – Altham at 9:30pm and All Saints’ at 11am.  As you have probably heard, there will be no singing permitted.  There will be Holy Communion, which will be received standing and in one kind (only the consecrated bread will be received).

The fact that church is open for worship should not make anyone feel obliged to come at this stage.  Those who are shielding should NOT attend worship before the start of August at the very earliest.  Others who are or live with those at increased risk should they contract COVID-19 should think carefully about whether or not it is right for them to come at this stage.

We are taking the steps necessary to make it as safe as practical for people who attend.  Please do your bit by using the hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the building, by keeping your distance from others and by following the instructions of the wardens/sidespeople.  Pews which are not to be used are clearly marked.

We will need to record the name and contact information of those who attend in case this needs to be supplied to contact tracers.  This will be kept securely and destroyed after three weeks.

If you bring children with you, they will need to remain in the pew with you.  Do bring your own quiet toys/books/colouring as the bags, toys, etc have all been tidied away.

A collection will not be taken during the service, but there will be a plate available if you wish to place anything on it as you enter or leave church.  For All Saints’ weekly envelope givers the new boxes of envelopes will be available for you to collect.  However, the simplest and safest method of giving is to do so direct from your bank.  If you haven’t done so yet, perhaps now is the time to switch to giving by standing order?  We can easily let you have the details.

Churches will open from 15 minutes before the advertised service time.  Once the service is over you will be asked to leave – starting with those nearest the exit.  There will be no refreshments or fellowship time after the service.  People must not congregate in groups for conversation, particularly indoors.

I anticipate that there will be sufficient space for those who wish to attend to do so safely.  Should there be a situation where the church has no more safe seating please don’t be offended if you are told that unfortunately you can’t come in on this occasion.  We’ll make sure you get priority seating next time!

We will stream the 11am service from All Saints’ Church for people not attending to watch at home, either live or on catch up.  Other times of worship will continue as at present to be offered via Facebook – 10:45am short family worship on Sunday mornings, 10am Morning Prayer on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 6:30pm Friday Praise and 9:30pm Night Prayer (except Friday).  The pattern of worship will be reviewed when we reach the school summer holidays.

Before too long I hope that it will be possible to begin services on Wednesday mornings at All Saints.  Funerals are possible in church and we are planning on baptisms from September, all with restrictions and social distancing.  Weddings are also possible and we will have one in August which will be lovely.

For those of us who can, returning to the church building will be a privilege.  It will in particular be a joy to celebrate Holy Communion together again and I pray that we will all approach that gift with eager expectation after so long a fast from the Eucharist. Those in church will hold in their thoughts those who are worshipping at home.  May the spiritual unity which has helped us keep together through these lockdown months persist as we go forward.

Can I include a reminder for those who aren’t on-line that anyone can access a free Church of England resource called ’Daily Hope’ by ringing 0800 804 8044?  There is a choice of listening, from hymns to a full service and the Mothers’ Union midday prayer.

 

With my love, prayers and best wishes,

Toby

 

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Vicar: Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church St, Clayton-le-Moors
(01254) 384321   tobywebber@btinternet.com

                                                                                                                                                                June 2020

Dear friends

I hope that you are keeping well.  Over the six weeks or so since my last letter I have continued to see people out and about – including people I hadn’t previously seen since lockdown and I’ve continued to see familiar names commenting on screen through the Facebook services.  So a special hello to those I haven’t yet seen.

These last weeks have, of course, seen a gradual easing of the lockdown, and more life has returned to our streets and parks.  Even non-essential shops are open again.  And from 4th July many of the restrictions will cease.  We will be even more dependent on people exercising common sense and self-control, for the sake of the common good.

One element of the change is that – for the first time since 15 March – we can have Sunday worship in church.

Both our churches will, God willing, open for worship from Sunday 5th July.  There will initially be only one service in each church per week – Altham at 9:30pm and All Saints’ at 11am.  As you have probably heard, there will be no singing permitted.  There will be Holy Communion, which will be received standing and in one kind (only the consecrated bread will be received).

The fact that church is open for worship should not make anyone feel obliged to come at this stage.  Those who are shielding should NOT attend worship before the start of August at the very earliest.  Others who are or live with those at increased risk should they contract COVID-19 should think carefully about whether or not it is right for them to come at this stage.

We are taking the steps necessary to make it as safe as practical for people who attend.  Please do your bit by using the hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the building, by keeping your distance from others and by following the instructions of the wardens/sidespeople.  Pews which are not to be used are clearly marked.

We will need to record the name and contact information of those who attend in case this needs to be supplied to contact tracers.  This will be kept securely and destroyed after three weeks.

If you bring children with you, they will need to remain in the pew with you.  Do bring your own quiet toys/books/colouring as the bags, toys, etc have all been tidied away.

A collection will not be taken during the service, but there will be a plate available if you wish to place anything on it as you enter or leave church.  For All Saints’ weekly envelope givers the new boxes of envelopes will be available for you to collect.  However, the simplest and safest method of giving is to do so direct from your bank.  If you haven’t done so yet, perhaps now is the time to switch to giving by standing order?  We can easily let you have the details.

Churches will open from 15 minutes before the advertised service time.  Once the service is over you will be asked to leave – starting with those nearest the exit.  There will be no refreshments or fellowship time after the service.  People must not congregate in groups for conversation, particularly indoors.

I anticipate that there will be sufficient space for those who wish to attend to do so safely.  Should there be a situation where the church has no more safe seating please don’t be offended if you are told that unfortunately you can’t come in on this occasion.  We’ll make sure you get priority seating next time!

We will stream the 11am service from All Saints’ Church for people not attending to watch at home, either live or on catch up.  Other times of worship will continue as at present to be offered via Facebook – 10:45am short family worship on Sunday mornings, 10am Morning Prayer on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 6:30pm Friday Praise and 9:30pm Night Prayer (except Friday).  The pattern of worship will be reviewed when we reach the school summer holidays.

Before too long I hope that it will be possible to begin services on Wednesday mornings at All Saints.  Funerals are possible in church and we are planning on baptisms from September, all with restrictions and social distancing.  Weddings are also possible and we will have one in August which will be lovely.

For those of us who can, returning to the church building will be a privilege.  It will in particular be a joy to celebrate Holy Communion together again and I pray that we will all approach that gift with eager expectation after so long a fast from the Eucharist. Those in church will hold in their thoughts those who are worshipping at home.  May the spiritual unity which has helped us keep together through these lockdown months persist as we go forward.

Can I include a reminder for those who aren’t on-line that anyone can access a free Church of England resource called ’Daily Hope’ by ringing 0800 804 8044?  There is a choice of listening, from hymns to a full service and the Mothers’ Union midday prayer.

 

With my love, prayers and best wishes,

Toby

 

Prayer for Guidance in the Day Ahead

Good morning, Lord! Today’s a new day, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced. It’s a good day to be glad and give thanks, and I do, Lord. Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want me to be.

Today I want to start the day with you on my mind and in my heart. As I dress, let me wear the armor you’ve provided daily: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, and the sword of the spirit — with a prayer on my tongue: praise for you and petitions for those around me and those I meet.

Feed me today with your daily bread. As the Bread of Life, your food, like manna, will sustain me throughout any trials and hunger. Help me to set my thoughts on things above and to speak only what will help and encourage others. Keep me from putting my foot in my mouth, and help me guard the affections of my heart today, Lord. Make whatever work I do be marked with excellence rather than perfectionism, as I seek not to make a name, but to make a difference. Help me to treat each person I encounter as you would, with respect and love, forgiving others and asking for forgiveness myself when needed.

As I start this day, help me remember that I belong to you, and my desire is to act accordingly. Keep my feet from stumbling and my mind from wandering into distractions that could steal precious time and energy from the most important things you have designed for me. I’m proud to be your child, Lord. And I’m so grateful that you died for me—rising again on your own new morning—so that every day could be filled with the wonder of your love, the freedom of your Spirit, and the joy of knowing you.

I know earthly life is short and fleeting, Lord. But I want to live today as if it were the first or the last day of my life, giving thanks for every good and perfect gift you choose to give. Today, and every day, I want to live my life for you, Jesus. In your precious name, Amen. –

Rebecca Barlow Jordan

 

For those caught up in tragedy and disaster

O Lord our God,
source of all goodness and love,
accept the fervent prayers of your people;
in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion
upon all who turn to you for help;
for you are gracious, O lover of souls,
and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

For justice

Living God,
deliver us from a world without justice
and a future without mercy;
in your mercy, establish justice,
and in your justice, remember the mercy
revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For international unrest

Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

At a time of despair

Restless with grief and fear,
the abandoned turn to you:
in every hour of trial,
good Lord, deliver us,
O God most holy, God most strong,
whose wisdom is the cross of Christ.
Amen.

For peace and safety amid unrest

O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
let the design of thy great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to thy Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts:
through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

For the refugee crisis

Heavenly Father,
you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.
We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
who fled persecution at His birth
and at His last triumphed over death.
Amen.

For the cold and homeless

God of compassion,
your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus,
whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable
and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:
we hold before you those who are homeless and cold
especially in this bitter weather.
Draw near and comfort them in spirit
and bless those who work to provide them
with shelter, food and friendship.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

For union with creation

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!

Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

‘A Christian prayer for union with creation’ was published in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’.

From the Church of England website