Curate, Chris Minchin, recommends some prayer resources to use at home.
We have been called to radically rethink how to be a church in these times. But being stuck indoors can mean our routines become less structured, times of day can blur together, and sleep patterns go out of the window. This can easily lead to depression and a sense of disconnection from the world, our loved ones, and God.
Fortunately, we're not the first to think about this. Those in monastic life have intentionally been living lives of limited social contact and structuring everything around patterns of prayer and worship for centuries. Even those unintentionally living with limited social contact have found the importance of structuring their spiritual lives - researchers have found that developing rituals and routine behaviours help prisoners cope with the stress of incarceration.
So, taking some inspiration from those nuns and prisoners, what if this time of self-isolation and social-distancing is our chance to restructure our lives not around work, socialising or school, but around prayer? What if prayer became the framework which we hang our lives on, rather than the never-ending alternation between 'work' and 'rest'?
And, believe it or not, here are some actual practical recommendations to help do just that! There are lots of options out there of apps, books, websites and more that can help us pray regularly. Below are a few that I recommend at this time:
Daily Prayer App
A Simple form of Morning and Night Prayer
Pray As You Go
Newcastle Cathedral Live streaming
Sunday Radio service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Some resources for children and families.
The clergy try to pray Morning and Evening Prayer everyday, but it is for anyone to use. Despite the more modern format of an app, is it is based on an ancient pattern of prayers, psalms, and readings used for centuries. You can download the app here for £2.99 or follow for free on the website here.
(If you prefer an actual book you can also buy it here. Though it is the more expensive option!)
The Church of England have produced a short and simple form of prayer that you can use everyday at home. And it is free! Download here.
Pray As You Go is a fantastic little daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go. A new prayer session is produced every weekday and one session for the weekend. It is not a 'Thought for the Day', a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer based on Ignatian prayer techniques.
Our Cathedral here in Newcastle are streaming morning prayer live on Facebook every weekday (available to watch later) and recording services for their Youtube Channel.
Morning Prayer: Monday-Friday, 8:30am Please visit the Cathedral’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleCathedral/
YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5hi-CaPDpKqEE6c03N99LQ/
Justin Welby will be broadcasting the service including prayers, hymns and a short sermon, online by the Church of England and on 39 local BBC radio stations and BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship
The service will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship at 8.10am and all local radio stations in England at 8am and will premier online at 9am on Sunday.
Like the Church of England’s Facebook page to be notified about upcoming broadcasts.
6. Roots Children's resources
Roots publish resources and activity sheets to help children reflect on Bible readings at home. We'll also be emailing out their weekly activity sheets in the newsletter.