Thursday, 19 May 2022

Today (19 May) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Dunstan.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury around 910 into a noble family. He received a good education and spent time at the court of the King of Wessex. 

A saintly uncle urged him to enter the monastic life; he delayed, but followed the advice in time, on recovering from an illness. 

Returning to Glastonbury, Dunstan lived as a monk, devoting his work time to creative pursuits: illuminating, music, and metalwork. 

In 943 the new king made him abbot, and this launched a great revival of monastic life in England. Starting with Glastonbury, Dunstan restored discipline to several monasteries and promoted study and teaching.

Under two later kings, he rose to political and ecclesiastical eminence, being chief minister and Archbishop of Canterbury under King Edgar. This enabled him and his followers to extend his reforms to the whole English Church. 

In 970 he fell from political favour but continued as archbishop, preaching and teaching. 

He died in 988.



Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 18 May, 2022

Lord God, author of all and creator of all that is good,
as we go to our beds may we reflect on your grace, love and mercy
and heading for our beds, resolve to serve, love and bless all we meet in the new day. Amen.


Monday, 16 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 16 May 2022

Day ends - night falls, and all is laid to rest. Lord this night, grant us a quiet night (and should we not wake) a perfect end. Amen.

Today (May 16) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Caroline Chisholm

Caroline Jones was born in 1808. On her marriage to Archibald Chisholm, she took her husband’s Roman Catholic faith. They emigrated to Madras in 1831 where she set up a school for soldiers’ daughters. In 1838, the family moved to Australia and, almost immediately, Caroline began to work for the vulnerable immigrants arriving at Sydney.

She was especially concerned for the women, who were often lured and bullied into brothels.

She set up a free Registry Office to help them obtain legitimate work and a shelter and she campaigned for improved conditions.

She returned to Britain in 1846 to press for emigration reform and founded the Family Colonisation Loan Society.

Her Christian ministry and action led to the ending of what had virtually been the institutionalisation of the abuse of poor women.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 15 May 2022

The gentle caress, the comforting hand, soothes us as a parent soothes their child.
Under Your care, O Lord, we rejoice and go to our rest secure in You.
May we wake tomorrow to be Your Church, and if not, rejoice in Your glory. Amen.


Saturday, 14 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 14 May 2022

Whilst people seek more power and wealth,
we pray for more humility and a poverty of the spirit that makes us like the Christ.
Not weak, not oppressed, but childlike in faith. Amen.


Today (14 May) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Matthias, one of the Apostles.

After the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, the apostles brought their number back to twelve by choosing Matthias to replace him. He was chosen by lot from amongst the disciples.

The author of the Acts of the Apostles sees apostleship differently from Paul’s interpretation of the rôle and seems to reflect the understanding of the gospel of Luke.

The number had to be restored so that they might ‘sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel’.

It was conditional that they had to have been with Jesus during his earthly ministry and witnesses to the resurrection.

The point of being chosen by lot, rather than by some democratic method, indicated the election or choosing by God, rather than by mortals.


Friday, 13 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 13 May 2022

Day ends and night is before us. May we sleep and wake refreshed to rise to a new day in which we might serve you in all Your fullness and love. Amen.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 12 May 2022

Father, we thank You for all that is this night and, as we go to our beds, may we be refreshed.
And tomorrow be filled with Your joy that we may serve with a smile on our face and spring in our step. Amen.


Today (12 May) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Dom Gregory Dix

George Dix was born in 1901 and was educated at Westminster School and Merton College, Oxford.

After ordination to a Fellowship at Keble College, Oxford, he taught history before entering the novitiate of the Benedictine community at Pershore, taking the name Gregory. Shortly afterwards the community moved to Nashdom in Buckinghamshire, where Dix eventually made his life profession and was appointed Prior.

Dix was one of the most influential figures of a generation of Anglo-Catholics who worked enthusiastically towards reunion with Rome.

A gifted and popular preacher and spiritual director, Dix is best remembered as a liturgical scholar whose monumental work, The Shape of the Liturgy, has had an unparalleled influence over liturgical study and revision since it was first published in 1945.

He died on this day in 1952.



Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The day is done and we reflect on the joy, the pain and the challenges of the day with gratitude for God's presence with us.

Lord, today we might have forgotten You - but thankfully You did not forget us. Alleluia!

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Bed beckons, but what of those who have no bed?
Those who have no shelter, or place of safety?
Help us to never lose sight of the many blessings we have;
help us to serve the poor, marginalised and broken, we pray. Amen.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 9 May 2022

Lord give us the sense to discern all that this should have been,
the wisdom to understand the paths (and opportunities) missed
and discernment to make tomorrow different. Amen.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 8 May 2022

As we consider the day and all that it has contained,
help us in our weak faith and strengthen our steps
that we might run the race and proclaim Your glory in us. Amen.


Saturday, 7 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 7 May 2022

Taking comfort in the blessings the God pours out on us,
and rejoicing in the hope of things yet to come,
we lift to God those who need to know his presence and power tonight.


Friday, 6 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) Friday, 6 May 2022

Fragments, like a broken mirror, reflect the end of day.
We think of victories won, foolishness done and the wounds this day contained.
Asking for healing and forgiveness, we lay down to sleep.
Be with us this night we pray. Amen.


Thursday, 5 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 5 May 2022

Reflecting, repenting and rejoicing on all that this day has held,
we entrust ourselves into the care and mercy of God and head for bed,
looking to a new day in which we might serve better. Amen


Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Reflecting on the example of the martyrs of the reformation, we thank god for his abiding Spirit to reassure, comfort and strengthen us in times of fear or doubt.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Laying all that has been and heading for our beds, we pray that the peace of God may give us rest this night and tomorrow enable us to make Him known in all our works. Amen.

Monday, 2 May 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 2 May 2022,

Almighty Father, whom truly to know is eternal life:
teach us to know your Son Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life;
that we may follow the steps of your holy apostles Philip and James,
and walk steadfastly in the way that leads to your glory. Amen.


Saturday, 30 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) Saturday, 30 April 2022

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth. Amen.

Today (30 April), the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Pandita Mary Ramabai.

Mary Ramabai was born in 1858, the daughter of a Sanscrit scholar who believed in educating women.

Converting to Christianity, she nevertheless remained loyal to many aspects of her Hindu background, pioneering an Indian vision of the faith.

She became well known as a lecturer on social questions, and was the first woman to be awarded the title ‘Pandita’ (which means scholar or master of the five sciences; the feminine version of the word Pundit).

She spent many years working for the education of women and orphans, founding schools and homes. Personally, she lived in great simplicity and was a prominent opponent of the caste system and child marriage.

She died on this day in 1922.




Friday, 29 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 29 April 2022

God of compassion, who gave your servant Catherine of Siena a wondrous love of the passion of Christ: grant that your people may be united to him in his majesty and rejoice for ever in the revelation of his glory. Amen.

Today (29 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Catherine of Siena.

Catherine Benincasa was born in 1347, the second youngest of twenty-five children.

Pious from her earliest years, she overcame family opposition to her vocation and became a Dominican tertiary at the age of eighteen. Nourished by a life of contemplative prayer and mystical experience, she devoted herself to active care for the poor and sick.

She became increasingly sought out as an adviser on political as well as religious matters and, in 1376, she journeyed to Avignon as an ambassador to the pope and influenced his decision to return to Rome.

She wrote a Dialogue on the spiritual life as well as numerous letters of counsel and direction, which stressed her devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus.

She suffered a stroke on 21 April and died eight days later, on this day in the year 1380.



Thursday, 28 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 28 April 2022

Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father. Amen.

Today (28 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Peter Chanel.

Peter was born at Cras in France in 1803 and, after ordination, joined the Marist missionary congregation in 1831.

In 1836 he was sent to the islands of the South Pacific to preach the faith. Peter and his companions brought healing medicines as well as the gospel and were much loved and respected.

On the island of Futuna in the Fiji group, where Peter was living, the chief’s son asked for baptism, which so infuriated his father that he dispatched a group of warriors with explicit orders to murder Peter. They attacked him with clubs, axes and knives and he died on this day in the year 1841.

Within a year, the whole island was Christian and Peter became revered throughout the Pacific Islands and Australasia as its protomartyr.



Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 27 April 2022

I take my heart in my hand--I shall not die, but live--Before Thy face I stand;

I, for Thou callest such: All that I have I bring, all that I am I give, smile Thou and I shall sing, but shall not question much.


Today (27 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry (through her poetry) of Christina Rossetti.

Christina Rossetti was born in 1830 and was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which her older brother, Dante, was a prominent member.

Her elder sister became an Anglican Religious. Christina’s own fame rests upon her poetry, which dealt mainly with religious subjects but also the sadness of unrequited or disappointed love. Her first recorded verses, addressed to her mother on the latter’s birthday, were written on 27 April 1842.

She was the author of the Christmas carol In the bleak mid-winter.

She died on 29 December 1894.



Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Today (26 April) the Church celebrates the life and martyrdom of George, c.304

The 'official line' is that George was probably a soldier living in Palestine at the beginning of the fourth century. He was martyred at Lydda in about the year 304, the beginning of the persecutions of Diocletian, and became known throughout the East as ‘The Great Martyr’.

There were churches in England dedicated to him before the Norman conquest.

The story of his slaying the dragon may be due to his being mistaken in iconography for St Michael, himself usually depicted wearing armour; or it may be a mistaken identification with Perseus’s slaying of the sea monster, a myth also associated with Lydda.

George replaced Edward the Confessor as patron saint of England following the Crusades, when returning soldiers brought back a renewed interest in his cult.

King Edward III made George patron of the Order of the Garter, which seems finally to have confirmed his position as England’s patron saint.

During the Middle Ages, people believed that St George was one of the 'Fourteen Holy Helpers' – a group of saints who could help during epidemic diseases. St George's protection was invoked against several nasty diseases, many fatal and with infectious causes, including the Plague and leprosy.

Below are depictions of George and the fourteen holy helpers Quattuordecim auxiliatores)



The Vicar's not pulling his weight!

Apparently this advert' appeared in the Illustrated Magazine on 23 February 1952

Could this be an end to clergy being the 'limiting factor'?






Monday, 25 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 22 April 2022

Reflecting on the weakness of the Saints and the enabling of God's presence May the risen Lord Jesus bless us.

May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.

May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.


Today (25 April) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Mark the Evangelist.

John Mark was a Jew and, according to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, cousin to Barnabas. He accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey. Afterwards, he went to Cyprus with Barnabas and to Rome with first Paul and then Peter.

Mark’s gospel is generally regarded as the earliest and was most likely written whilst he was in Rome. It was probably based as much on Peter’s preaching of the good news as on Mark’s own memory.

Mark’s gospel has a sharpness and an immediacy about it and he does not spare the apostles in noting their weaknesses and lack of understanding that Jesus the Christ would suffer for the world’s redemption.

Sharing in the glory of the resurrection means sharing in the giving of self, both in body and spirit, even to death; sharing the gospel was, for all, in essence both excessively generous and ultimately sacrificial.



Sunday, 24 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 24 April 2022

As the day ends and our beds beckon, may the risen Lord Jesus bless us.
May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.
May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.


Sunday, 17 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Easter Sunday 2022

May the risen Lord Jesus bless us.
May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation.
May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen.


Way of Light, Easter Sunday

A reflective service meditating on the stations of the resurrection.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Easter Eve 2022

Tonight we are joined by John Donne's 'Resurrection', George Herbert's 'The Dawning' and John Chrysostom's 'Paschal homily' as we head for bed on this Easter Eve.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Blessings have been ours this day, may we have shared them with others and brought healing to all we have encountered as we take the final faltering steps to the cross. Amen.

Monday, 11 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 11 April 2022

As the darkness surrounds, we give thanks for the light that dawns each day and for the certain hope of resurrection to keep us and sustain us through the night.

The Way of the Cross

A simple, gentle 'Stations of the Cross' service using images by Nicholas Markell and material prepared by the Church of England.

The perfect start to holy week"


Sunday, 10 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 10 April 2022

True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen.


Saturday, 9 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 9 April 2022

Gathering up the fragments of the day we pray for blessing given and received, repent for wounds and sins dealt and forgiveness for those who have wounded or sinned against us. Bring Your healing to this broken world. Amen.

Today (9 April) the Church celebrates the life, ministry and martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 into an academic family. Ordained in the Lutheran Church, his theology was influenced by Karl Barth and he became a lecturer: in Spain, the USA and, in 1931, back in Berlin.

Opposed to the philosophy of Nazism, he was one of the leaders of the Confessing Church, a movement which broke away from the Nazi-dominated Lutherans in 1934.

Banned from teaching, and harassed by Hitler’s regime, he bravely returned to Germany at the outbreak of war in 1939, His defiant opposition to the Nazis led to his arrest in 1943.

His experiences led him to propose a more radical theology in his later works, which have been influential among post-war theologians.

He was executed by the Nazi police in Flossenburg concentration camp on this day in 1945.




Friday, 8 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 8 April 2022

What does the LORD require of us?
Humility, justice and mercy.

Lord, help us to serve You and all creation as you command. Amen.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 7 April 2022

As the God is three distinct characters in relation, in unity, with one another - we pray that we would be the same with others around us through the uniting love of God made real in us. Amen.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

We place ourselves and those we love and have concern for into the loving hand of God, confident that there is no safer place.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Help us Lord to see past the dark.
to hear Your voice about the noise of the day
and to reside in Your peace throughout trials and tribulations within and without. Amen.


Monday, 4 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 4 April 2022

The day ends, tear, joys, failing and flaws are laid down and we go to our beds.
Tomorrow may we wake to a day of blessing given and received and joys shared. Amen.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 23 April 2022

As night marks the end of day - so death marks the end of life.
Tomorrow we wake to a new day.
And then, when life is done, we will rise in the resurrection to eternal life through Christ. Amen.


Saturday, 2 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 2 April 2022

As we reflect on the love of the Father, the humanity of Jesus, the Christ and the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit, forgive, heal, bless, enable and bring rest to all humanity this night. Amen.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 1 April 2022

Closing the day and heading for bed we entrust ourselves and all creation into the Lord's most generous and loving care. Amen.

Today (1 April)the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Frederick Denison Maurice.

Frederick was born into a Unitarian family in 1805, Frederick Maurice became an Anglican in his twenties and was then ordained.

He was one of the founders of the Christian Socialist Movement, in which his particular concern was providing education for working men.

As a theologian, Maurice’s ideas on Anglican comprehensiveness have remained influential. His best-remembered book, The Kingdom of Christ, demonstrated his philosophical approach to theology. His radicalism was revealed in his attack on traditional concepts of hell in Theological Essays, which cost him his Professorship at King’s College, London, in 1853.

In 1866, however, he was given a Chair at Cambridge, which he held until his death on this day in 1872.


Thursday, 31 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 31 March 2022

Courage is not the absence of fear but the actions of one for whom love has cast fear aside that we might live courageously.

Today (31 March) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of John Donne

Today John Donne was born in about the year 1571 and brought up as a Roman Catholic.

He was a great-great nephew of Thomas More, although this seems to have had little influence on him because, as a youth, he was sceptical about all religion. He went up to Oxford when he was fourteen, studied further at Cambridge and perhaps on the Continent, and eventually discovered his Christian faith in the Church of England.

After much heart-searching, he accepted ordination and later the post of Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral. Much of his cynicism dissolved and he became a strong advocate for the discernment of Christian vocation, and in particular affirming his own vocation as a priest, loving and loved by the crucified Christ.

The people of London flocked to his sermons.

His love-poetry – addressed mainly to his wife – and religious poems took on a renewed life in the twentieth century and his place both as a patristic scholar and as a moral theologian are confirmed by his prolific writings and the publication of his sermons.

He died on this day in the year 1631.


Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Closing the day we pray for God's inner stillness and peace as we go to our beds and ask that we might practice the presence of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tomorrow, should we wake. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 29 March 2022

The world tells us prayer is misplaced folly.
Our Bible tells us that world is self-serving, selfish and self-absorbed.
Our experience tells that in serving and loving the Lord we sleep assured and safe!


Monday, 28 March 2022

Compline, night prayer, Monday, 28 March 2022.

The day ends and we rejoice at all that God is in, and for, and with us as we find truth in the words: "Wait for the Lord; be strong and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord." Amen.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 27 March 2022

Rejoicing in the places where we were baptised, the reality of Church being comprised of living stones that are believers, we pray for those needs we know and await the Christ's return. Amen.

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Compline, (night prayer) - Saturday 26 March 2022

Tomorrow (Mothering Sunday) we reflect on our Christian initiation, the humanity that united make the family that is Church, and pray for family needs.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) Thursday, 24 March 2022

The darkness of night falls and in doing so, the light and love of God shine brighter still.

Keep us safe and bring us rest we pray. Amen.


Today (24 March) the Church celebrates the lives and ministries of:

Walter Hilton, who was born in 1343, and studied Canon Law at Cambridge but after a period as a hermit, he joined the community of Augustinian Canons at Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire in about 1386.

Highly regarded in his lifetime as a spiritual guide, he wrote in both Latin and English and translated several Latin devotional works.

Controversy with ‘enthusiasts’ and with the Lollard movement gave a sharper definition to his exposition of the aims, methods and disciplines of traditional spirituality. Amongst his major works, Ladder of Perfection (Book Two) declares that contemplation, understood in a profoundly Trinitarian context as awareness of grace and sensitivity to the Spirit, may and should be sought by all serious Christians.

He died on this day in the year 1396.


AND

Paul Couturier, who was born in 1881 in Lyons, France, Paul Couturier was destined from early years for the priesthood. His concern for Christian Unity began as a result of his work with Russian refugees in Lyons, and was fostered through his profession at the Benedictine priory at Amay in Belgium, a community devoted to the growth of understanding between the Eastern and Western Churches.

He commended the observance of a Week of Prayer for Unity and, in the 1930s, widened his contacts to incorporate people of the Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed traditions. Celebrating the eucharist each day brought into focus his whole life of work and prayer for unity within the Church. The growing circle of friends and followers became an ‘invisible monastery’, praying for ‘the visible unity of the Kingdom of God, such as Christ willed and by the means which he wills’.

He died in 1953.


AND

Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez was born in a small village in El Salvador in 1917. Ordained priest, he was known as a quiet and unassuming pastor.

By 1977, amidst the political and social turmoil suffered by his country, he was therefore seen as a neutral choice to be its Archbishop. Courageously, however, he began to speak out against violence, and his homilies supported the demands of the poor for economic and social justice.

He refused to be silenced and continued to preach even under threat of assassination. On this day in 1980, whilst presiding at Mass, Archbishop Romero was assassinated by a gunman. He has since been widely regarded as a martyr for the faith.





Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Acknowledging our weakness, failings, vulnerabilities and needs,
we come this night asking that we might be open to healing and wholeness in You.
Give us, and all people, Your peace we pray. Amen.


Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Going to our beds and reflecting on the battles lost, we rejoice that in the Cross of Christ the war is won.
Waking, aid us to be the people who overcome sin and make the love of God real. Amen.


Monday, 21 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 21 March 2022

The toil of day is ended and to bed we slowly trudge,
rejoicing in the wonder of You, our God of love.
Guard and guide all through this night we pray. Amen.


Today (21 March) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Thomas Cranmer

Today the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Thomas Cranmer who was born in Aslockton in Nottinghamshire in 1489.

Following an unspectacular Cambridge academic career, Cranmer was recruited for diplomatic service in 1527. Two years later he joined the team working to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

He was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533 and duly pronounced the Aragon marriage annulled. By now a convinced Church reformer, he married in 1532 while clerical marriage was still illegal in England.

He worked closely with Thomas Cromwell to further reformation, but survived Henry’s final, unpredictable years to become a chief architect of Edwardian religious change, constructing two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, in 1549 and 1552, the Ordinal in 1550 and the original version of the later Thirty-Nine Articles.

Cranmer acquiesced in the unsuccessful attempt to make Lady Jane Grey Queen of England. Queen Mary’s regime convicted him of treason in 1553 and of heresy in 1554. Demoralised by imprisonment, he signed six recantations, but was still condemned to the stake at Oxford. Struggling with his conscience, he made a final, bold statement of Protestant faith. Perhaps too fair-minded and cautious to be a ready-made hero in Reformation disputes, he was an impressively learned scholar, and his genius for formal prose has left a lasting mark on Anglican liturgy.

He was burnt at the stake on this day in the year 1556.

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 19 March 2022

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace. Amen.


Friday, 18 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 18 March 2022

At the close of the day, Psalm 139 brings the thought that God 'binge watches us' as thought with us, being outside of time, sees our lives as we watch TV series. [a 'wow' moment methinks]

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 17 March 2022

As we head for bed we thank God for all (good, sad, bad and ugly) that the day has held. Whatever the day has held, God's love never faltered and his presence never failed. Amen.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 16 March 2022

All that has been is no more, that which we have is Yours Lord, and that which is to come we pray we be consecrated to You. Bring us rest and sleep this night we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 15 March 2022

As Christ rose from the dead, so to do we rise as if from sleep to make God's love real in the lives of all we encounter each day. Make us witnesses to God's love made flesh for us we pray. Amen.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 14 March 2022

What does the LORD require of us? Justice, mercy and humility.

Lord as we go to our beds, may Your gift of love surround, uphold and heal this night. Amen.


Sunday, 13 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 13 March 2022

Gathering the fragments of the day, the needs of people and places we ask that You would be God in all that means for our broken world this night. Amen.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 12 March 2022

Laying aside the noise and busyness of the day, we embrace Your love, confess our sins and pray that the peace of God might resonate in the lives of all creation. Amen.

Friday, 11 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 11 March 2022

In the confusions and clamour of the day we find, as we prepare for bed, the peace the world neither owns or understands. Lord hear our prayer and give us understanding. Amen.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 10 March 2020

When all around is conflict and sin and the world asks, "What has God done about it?" 
we look to the cross and reply, "Everything!"

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Continuing our Lenten journey, we pray that we may be rooted in Christ so that we can withstand the challenges and temptations of this life.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 8 March 2022

The image of three men, lives spanning over 1,300 years. Different cultures, challenges and needs all met in the one same God through the incarnate Christ and the enabling of the Spirit.

May we too rise triumphant tomorrow. Amen


Today (8 March) the Church celebrates the lives and ministries of Edward King and Felix

Edward King, who was born in London in 1829 and was. revered as a priest and then as a bishop, for the holiness of his life and the wisdom of his counsel.

He was chaplain, then principal, of Cuddesdon Theological College, followed by a dozen years as a professor of theology in Oxford, during which time he exercised a great influence on a generation of ordinands.

In 1885, he was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln, a position he held until his death in 1910. His advocacy of Catholic principles in ritual as well as theology involved him in controversy, but his significant gift to the Church was his example as a pastoral and caring bishop to clergy and laity alike.



And Felix, a man who was born in Burgundy at the beginning of the seventh century, and is reputedly to have converted the exiled King Sigebert of the East Angles and, after the King’s return to Britain, was consecrated bishop and then persuaded by the King to follow him to effect the conversion of his subjects.

He was commissioned by Honorius, Archbishop of Canterbury, to this work and made Dunwich the centre of his new See. He established schools and monasteries and ministered in his diocese for seventeen years. He died in the year 647.




Today (8 March) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy ('Woodbine Willie').

Born in 1883, Studdert Kennedy was a young vicar in Worcester who became an army chaplain during the First World War.

His warm personality soon earned the respect of soldiers, who nicknamed him ‘Woodbine Willie’ after the brand of cigarettes he shared with them.

After the First World War, he became a writer and regular preacher, drawing large crowds, who were attracted by his combination of traditional sacramental theology with more unconventional theological views.

He worked tirelessly for the Christian Industrial Fellowship, but his frail health gave way and he died (still a young man) on this day in 1929.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 7 March 2022

Reflecting on those who have given up their lives for the love of Christ, may we who are not tested so sorely give all we have to build the Church and make real Your love. Amen.

Today (7 March) the Church celebrates the lives and ministries of Perpetua, Felicity and Companions.

The moving, contemporary account of these early third-century African martyrs proved to be of great significance in the life of the early Church.

Vibia Perpetua was a young, married noblewoman of Carthage and Felicity was her personal slave.

Saturus was possibly a priest and there were two other men, Saturninus and Revocatus, the latter also a slave.

Felicity was pregnant. It seems most of them were catechumens when arrested and only baptised later in prison, where Perpetua had a vision in which she climbed a great ladder into paradise.

They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and dispatched to the public arena, there to be mauled by wild animals.

They all survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Before this, they exchanged the Kiss of Peace and affirmed their faith in Christ, the Son of God.

The account of their martyrdom was widely circulated in secret throughout the Christian congregations and proved both to give renown to their courage and to give encouragement to their fellow Christians in the face of adversity.

They were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203.


Sunday, 6 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 6 March 2022

Pondering the things of this day we pray that the God of truth, whom we follow, would bring us (and all creation) into that truth which challenges, enables, restores and blesses. Amen.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 5 March 2022

As the day ends and we remember, reflect and lay all it has been at the foot of the cross, bring us rest and tomorrow lead us into joy as we rejoice at the love of God made flesh risen from the dead.

Friday, 4 March 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 4 March 2022

God Almighty, may we, by the prayer and discipline of Lent,
enter into the mystery of Christ's sufferings; that following in the Way,
we may come to share in the glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Today ( 1 March) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of David (Patron Saint of Wales)

David, or Dewi, was a monk and a bishop in the sixth century. He was reputed to be an exemplar of the ascetic, spiritual life but was also highly regarded for his kindness and compassion to others, particularly the poor and the sick. He is believed to have founded the monastery at Menevia, now St Davids, and also at least a dozen other monasteries. He is said to have based his Rule for his monasteries on that of the Egyptian desert monks, with a strong emphasis on hard work, abstinence from alcohol and refraining from unnecessary speech. He died in about the year 601 and has been regarded as the patron saint of Wales since at least the twelfth century.

Monday, 28 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 28 February 2022

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest upon your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 26 February 2022

Jesus' glory is made visible on the mountain top. 
We pray that same glory will be present with the people of Ukraine to bring comfort, strength and hope.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 25 February 2022

Truly the Spirit of the LORD God is upon us: May this night the poor in spirit, captive, broken and in darkness know the indwelling and blessing of our God. Amen.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 24 February 2022

Reflecting on our journeying: The pleasant path, the stony and difficult way, the slippery, the hard climb and descents into despair - may we at the end of the day find rest in You and strength for tomorrow. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Give us the courage to be witnesses to the Love of God made flesh for us that the world might know God's power to save. Amen.

Today (23 Feb) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Polycarp and reflects upon his martyrdom

Polycarp (of Smyrna) is honoured as one of the first Christian martyrs. He had been Bishop of Smyrna on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor for over forty years when the persecution of Christians began. He was arrested and given the option to renounce his faith and so save his life.

His response was: ‘I have been Christ’s servant for eighty-six years and he has done me no harm. Can I now blaspheme my King and my Saviour?’ He was immediately burnt at the stake.

His remains were gathered together and buried outside the city; thus began the practice of celebrating the eucharist over his burial place on the anniversary of his death, a practice which also grew over the martyrs’ tombs in the Roman catacombs.

Polycarp died in the year 155.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Lord grant us the simplicity of heart and purity of nature to treasure those around us and, sensing Your heart's desire for all creation serve as Your people. Amen.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 21 February 2022

We pray for those we love, thankful that Jesus intercedes for us and with us to our loving Father who listens and responds.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 20 February 2022

The voice of creation, heard in the throne room of heaven is the voice that calms wind and waves for Jesus' disciples. May that voice calm the storms in the lives of all with needs this night. Amen.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Saturday, 19 February 2022

Peace beckons us into the rest that is only known through Christ, so we lay down the burdens of the day and receive from Him whose yoke is easy.

Friday, 18 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 18 February 2022

Night falls and we lay ourselves in our beds asking forgiveness for all those we have hurt, and those who have hurt us this day. Help us to lay down the burdens and reside in your rest this night we pray. Amen.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Thursday, 17 February 2022

Reflecting on Janani Luwum and all 'modern' martyrs, we pray for those who in losing their lives have made true their faith. Lord, be will all who are oppressed this night. Amen.

The image is that of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977,


Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 16 February 2022

As we celebrate the completion of another day, we head to our beds reflecting on all that has been and pray that tomorrow we would hear your voice and be Your people in all that tomorrow is. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 15 February 2022

When the storm comes, it's those things we cling to that bring us safely through - in Christ we have an anchor that will hold and see us safely through. Bring us peace this night we pray. Amen.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 14 February 2022

Lord as we go to our beds we pray that You give us the commitment and courage to stand for what is right in Your eyes, even when the world disagrees. Amen.

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 13 February 2022

God, who gives us the strength to cope with all things by the power of the cross and the resurrection which makes the hope of eternity real, give you rest this night. Amen.

Friday, 11 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 11 February 2022

Giving thanks for the closing day we reflect on all that has been and pray for the needs of those close and those far off; for those known and unknown and for all creation this night. Amen.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Though, through the busyness of the day we might forget God, we give thanks that God never forgets us and that regardless of what we've been, seen, done (or had done to us) - His love never leaves us. Amen.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

This night we see prayer as a something of relationship rather than as a mere transaction.
Making needs known is an act of sharing in which we speak and are listened to (and vv) and so receive the dignity of belonging. Alleluia!


Monday, 7 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Monday, 7 January 2022

We come this night not to tell You what You know, but to learn those things we don't and, as we head for bed, to ask You to be God in the lives of those on our hearts and minds. Amen.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Sunday, 6 February 2022

Praying for others. Rejoicing in our Queen and remembering her loss,
we think the same for those we know - and pray for all people (and ourselves) as lay ourselves down to sleep.


Saturday, 5 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) Saturday, 5 February 2022

Tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth II will have been the monarch for seventy years. Tonight as we go to our beds we reflect on all who serve their nation and pray for their protection and peace. Amen.

Friday, 4 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Friday, 4 February 2022

Tonight we prayed for ourselves, and others, and prayed that we, like Gilbert, would see past the confines and shackles of prejudice and seek to build faith and discover vocation in all we encounter. Amen.

Today (4 Feb) the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Gilbert of Sempringham, 1189

Gilbert  was born in 1083 (in Sempringham).

He was the son of the squire, Gilbert became the parish priest in 1131. He encouraged the vocation of seven women of the town and formed them into a company of lay sisters. A group of lay brothers also came into being and they all kept the Benedictine Rule.

Gilbert was unsuccessful in his bid to obtain pastoral guidance from Cîteaux for the incipient communities and they came under the ambit of Augustinian canons, Gilbert himself becoming the Master.

At Gilbert’s death in 1189, aged 106, there were nine double monasteries in England and four of male canons only. It was the only purely English monastic foundation before the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Compline (night prayer - Thursday 3 February 2022

As we reflect on the plans held and the directions changed to bring us into new encounters and blessing, we pray for those facing challenge and change that the love and light of God may lead them into blessings. Amen.

Today (3 Feb) the Church celebrates the ministry and life of Anskar

Today the Church celebrates the ministry and life of Anskar - a native of Picardy, he was a monk of Corbie near Amiens who, after the conversion of the King of Denmark to Christianity, went to Schleswig and attempted to start a Christian school there. He was expelled by the locals but went on to Sweden, where he is reputed to have built the first Christian church. In 832 he was consecrated Archbishop of Hamburg and sixteen years later became Archbishop of Bremen.

He returned to Denmark to convert the King of Jutland. He preached widely throughout Scandinavia and was much-loved for his work with the poor and in mitigating the slave trade.

He is the patron saint of Denmark and was popularly known as ‘The Apostle of the North’. 

He died in the year 865.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Lord we pray this night to unselfishly look at others with kindness and love that they might come to know the peace of Your presence through the actions of Your people. Heal and help us we pray. Amen.

Giving envelopes - what do you do with yours?

I wonder how many churches find themselves left with unused giving envelopes? 

I had a few left from last year (more people switching to Direct Debit / Standing Order) and as there were some who wanted to keep to using the envelopes I came up with a cunning plan.

I printed off the Sundays for the year:


Then I found a box of unused envelopes:


And, being part of the Blue Peter generation, I cut out the date and stuck it on the unused envelope:



Now this didn’t take too long but it means those who want envelopes are happy - and I have a little more money to go towards the Common Fund (and got to chill for a few minutes and drink tea as I did it: Win / Win or what?).

Think I read somewhere that the Boss likes good stewards and I'm turning bin fodder into an opportunity to save money and help others who want to give by envelope do so.

:-)


Today (Feb 2) the Church celebrates The Presentation.

Forty days ago today we celebrated Christmas Day - the birth of Jesus - today we look at this as the day when Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The requirement in Levitical law was for Mary to be ‘cleansed’, the completion of her purification following the birth of a male child. Until this act Mary could touch no holy thing nor enter the sanctuary. ('The Churching of women' a thanksgiving for the safe delivery of child and Mother) and a prayer of blessing on them).

As an aside: This was one of the most practical things there could be, for it meant the mother, separated from things for a bit, had time to recover and heal from the birth.

There are two additional characters in the Presentation story: Simeon, a man who was promised he would see the Messiah before he died. Who acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah - ‘the light to enlighten the nations’ in what we call the nunc dimittis (roughly; let us depart).

Anna, a prophetess who told the people around her who Jesus and praised and thanked God for the birth of Israel's redemption.

It is also called 'Candlemas' as Christ, being proclaimed as the Light gave the idea of it being the day when candles for use in the church and home were blessed.

The image of the Presentation dates back to the fourteenth century.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Compline (night prayer) - Tuesday, 1 February 2022

We come this night and gather up all the day has been (good, bad and ugly) and thanking God for our redemption pray that He would be God in the lives of all this night that His love and light might be seen. Amen.