Diocese of London
Changing the narrative on racism: a long, but hope filled, way to go
As we emerge from Easter, the Christian festival right at the heart of our faith, we continue to reflect on Jesus Christ’s triumph over death. In the light of the resurrection, we are reminded of how the narrative of our lives has been changed for eternity by the events of Good Friday and Easter Day. Click here to read on
Support for Parents
The Diocese of London's children and youth team have begun a series of online sessions for parents, to support them through the Covid 19 lockdown. You can see the first one here featuring Bishop Rob Wickham.
Register HERE for the Tuesday hangout sessions. The next one is Amy Silvester and Ven Richard Frank.
Praying with Children and other Resources
Each week, their children and youth support team will share some simple ideas to help sustain your faith and that of your children. Each activity will take no more than ten minutes to complete.
Alex Taylor is part of the children's and youth team at the Diocese of London. He shares some ideas for praying with children and young people that anyone can try HERE.
A letter to CHILDREN from the Bishop of London can be read HERE
Members of the Diocesan Racial Justice Priority Group have written in response to the Report of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce: From Lament To Action, which includes the following below:
To all Diocese of London Clergy, lay staff, Churchwardens, PCC secretaries, Deanery Synod Lay Chairs, members of the Diocesan Synod and members of the Bishop’s Council
Dear friends and colleagues,
We write in response to the Report of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce: From Lament To Action. We are clergy (area deans of cultural diversity) and diocesan employees in the Diocese of London who, for the last nine months, have been meeting as part of the Racial Justice Priority Group to study and reflect together, to discern ways forward for the Diocese’s racial justice work, and to advise senior colleagues how best to respond to some of the challenges we currently face.
We know racism exists within our Church, just as it exists in our society more widely. Ephesians 3.17-18 offers a prayer that we “being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Our inability or refusal to reflect the love that God has for each of us, and to treat all of God’s holy people in a just, loving, and respectful way, is a cause of sorrow and repentance.
We thank the members of the Anti-Racism Taskforce for the costly work that they have undertaken, in both summarizing the commitments and inactions of the past, and in setting out, with clear timescales, some specific actions that need to be implemented now. We welcome the challenge the Anti-Racism Taskforce has set us, and we call on the Diocese of London to repent of the sin of racial injustice: to turn away from racism and be reconciled, so that we may all experience the love of God. As the title of the Taskforce’s report suggests, simply accepting that racial injustice is real is not good enough: we want to work together for a more racially just church and society. In the words of James 2.17, “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” Without actions to right our wrongs, words alone will only entrench the discrimination and division that the Anti-Racism Taskforce so starkly outlines.
The Diocese has made racial justice a key priority within its 2030 Vision. In the coming weeks, months, and years we must work together to bring about culture change. We will pay close attention to the work of the new Racial Justice Commission, whose work will be crucial in guiding both the national response and our own response in London. We particularly welcome the clarity with which the Report sets out actions and intentions which we too have identified as vital to our racial justice work in London. These include, but are not limited to:
We lament the fact that the diocese has not taken the opportunity of addressing the issues of racial inclusion in our senior posts in the past and see the upcoming vacancy in the see of Willesden as an opportunity to bring UKME representation to the London College of Bishops; we are glad to be part of the consultation process about the future shape of that post. We are clear that the current lack of racial diversity among our senior leaders hinders mission in London, and that this lack needs proactively to be addressed through a culturally sensitive discernment and recruitment process.
We are blessed to live and serve within one of the most richly diverse cities in the world. We long for every Londoner to know the love of God in Jesus Christ. However, we cannot truly say at the moment that in our Diocesan structures, in our churches, and amongst our people, we properly reflect, understand, and represent all Londoners. We must and will do better to ensure the Diocese is fully equipped for mission, with the full gifts of all Londoners being present in our leadership and governance, and all levels of our life together.
We invite you to join with us in this work, repenting of the injustice to which we have contributed, yet holding onto the hope that, together with all the Lord’s holy people, we can fully live out the love of God in Christ in this city.
Members of the Diocesan Racial Justice Priority Group: Stephanie Ajayi, Monica Bolley, Amatu Christian-Iwuagwu, Wilson Gill, Sprinkle Harrison, John Hawkins, Sandra McCalla, Taemin Oh, Jason Roach (co-chair), Arani Sen, Richard Springer, Joanne Woolway Grenfell (co-chair)
The Church of England
Prayer - where to start and how to keep going
Sign up to get regular emails HERE
A service of Daily Prayer
Services of Daily Prayer which are available in both contemporary and traditional forms and for all times of day.
Mental health reflections
The Church of England has published a series of reflections on how to cope with anxiety and loneliness in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The above link gives access to the resources. They have also provided five tips for tackling loneliness and isolation:
Tackling loneliness and isolation
Pray. Light a candle, if safe, and pray for hope, faith and strength to keep loving and caring for each other during this time of struggle.
Talk about how you feel. This may be difficult if you are self-isolating, but do use the telephone, internet, and social media. If you need to contact a counsellor this can be arranged by your GP, or via local agencies, or privately. Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, every day, and it’s free to call them on 116 123.
Focus on the things that you can change, not on the things you can’t.
Look after yourself - physically, emotionally, spiritually. Plan in things that you enjoy at regular intervals during the day – a TV programme, a phone call, a book, a favourite dish, a game.
Look after others. Even if only in small ways, but do what you can: a smile, a kind word, writing a letter or an email.
St Paul's Cathedral
During the weeks St Paul's is closed, they will be sending specially-commissioned short reflections from leading Christian writers. Use the link below to sign up.
Family faith learning
For a wide range of activities for families to do during Holy Week click the link below
Being Good News to those Struggling with Money: a new Video Resource
For many people, the Coronavirus crisis & subsequent lockdown have plunged them into “financial shock” leaving them worrying about their money and struggling to pay bills.
Where can church leaders and volunteers start if somoene they know is struggling financially? In this new video resource, Bishop Joanne Woolway Grenfell, Bishop of the Stepney Area in the Diocese of London, chats with Alison Tsang, Capital Mass’s financial capability expert.
What government help is available; where to go if you are struggling to pay bills; how to get support applying for Universal Credit; putting together an emergency budget; tackling the very real issue of worry and stress that many people have at this time around their finances.
This video is available for anyone to use and share, and there is an accompanying PDF resource which adds more information and where to signpost people: it can be downloaded here.