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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Prayer for mission and unity

Following the recent vote in General Synod on ‘Women Bishops’ in November the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt. Revd Stephen Cottrell is calling the Diocese of Chelmsford together for a Day of Prayer on Thursday 10 January 2013 for the Mission and Unity of God’s Church.

Bishop Stephen says, “There are important lessons to learn from what has happened and the first of these is trust. We must trust God; he loves his church and will lead us to find the right way forward. And we must trust each other, looking for ways to live together with our disagreement. Jesus prayed for unity so that the world may believe”.

Bishop Stephen invites the whole diocese to join together for this Day of Prayer; whether it is praying in the Cathedral, in our parishes, or at our places of work, the invitation is to stand together in prayerful solidarity.

Bishop Stephen says, “I hope many people will come to the Cathedral to pray, but of course many won’t be able to, and so I am also issuing a prayer, and asking everyone in the diocese to say it at least once on the day wherever they are”.

O Holy Trinity,
three persons but One God,
open our minds to know your will;
open our hearts to receive your peace;
open our hands to do your work;
give your church the unity which was Christ’s prayer;
help us live with conscientious difference;
forgive us when we gain the world and put our souls in danger.
You know what is good for us:
come by your Spirit and change us,
let your church reflect the beauty, diversity and
hospitality that we see in you,
lead us to a place of graceful concord:
a self-forgetful love,
a turning back to Christ:
for with your grace to help we can be one,
and in your strength can strive to serve and bless,
and by your will can see your kingdom come.
Use us to the full;
and when we are empty, fill us afresh.
We know you love your church,
help us to love each other.
Unite us in the effervescent joy of your declaring,
but not just us – we ask it so the world may believe.
And in these days of uncertainty, we ask it in the name of him
who is our foundation, our salvation and our end,
even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At St John's Seven Kings we will be having two hours of prayer from 12 noon to 2.00pm. We will organise this time in half hour blocks with a variety of prayer styles and opportunities so people can come and go for as short or long a time as they can manage. We also intend going to the Eucharist that Bishop Stephen will celebrate at 7.30pm in St Margaret's Barking.

Other Deanery Eucharists and Prayer Gatherings in the Barking Episcopal Area include:

Mark Heard - Rise From The Ruins.

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