Last updated 13th January 2021
CALL TO PRAY AND GIVE UPDATE ON DECEMBER 23
From the Coronavirus Task Group briefing: Despite the pandemic playing havoc with our plans, the response to the Call to Pray and Give initiative has been powerfully encouraging. With responses still coming in, so far we know that £212,000 has been donated in one off gifts to Parishes across the Diocese. This is a very precious sign of the how much people value the ministry of the local church. If you were unable to share in the initiative in November and December there is nothing to stop individual parishes doing something similar in the New Year. Most of the Call and Give resources on this page are useable at any time and they will remain available on this page to support parishes.
From November 12 every parish was invited by Bishop Julian to participate in our ‘Call to Pray and Give’ - a Diocesan-led initiative to boost parish funds at the end of this very challenging year; to enable current levels of stipendiary mission and ministry to continue.
This page contains a wide range of resources and other materials to help parishes to engage with the Call to Pray and Give. Use the headings in the box above to move straight to the resources you need. We are leaving this page live for now as the many wonderful resources created for the event itself are still useable at any time when seeking to encourage faithful giving.
Before lockdown the hope originally was that at the culmination of 17 days of prayer (including times of fasting) on Advent Sunday, November 29, each parish in the Diocese would allow an opportunity for gifts to be presented.
Instead the event continued until that day but, as we couldn't meet on that Sunday due to lockdown, parishes were asked to encourage people to set aside their gift in a specially prepared envelope.
When lockdown concluded everyone was then be encouraged to bring their gift on the first Sunday after the restrictions were lifted, which was December 6.
Keep sending your answers to prayer to us as well; we hope to share these in due course on a special new page of the website. See here for details on how to share.
Bishop Julian wrote a letter to parishes immediately prior to launch of the Call to Pray and Give initiative.
In the letter he says: "I pray that these two weeks of prayer will be a real blessing to your congregations and your local communities, as we see answers to our prayer and as we listen to hear God’s voice, giving us the gift of giving, releasing funds for His work in our parishes and giving Him the glory He deserves throughout the Diocese of Blackburn."
Meanwhile you can also watch this message from Bishop Julian in which he talks more about the Call to Pray and Give as well as offering words of encouragement to parishes during the latest lockdown.
As part of the initiative 'Call to Pray and Give' we want to hear your answers to prayer! We would love to hear how God moves across the Diocese during this time.
If you are happy for your name, church and story of answered prayer to be shared with the whole Diocese send it to email@example.com
Try to keep the prayer story to 100 words max as we hope to gather lots of them together on an uplifting new area on the website as an encouragement.
And don't keep your prayer stories for the month of November either! Keep sending your stories of answered prayer into the future to the above email address.
A series of devotions for each day of the Call to Pray and Give; with opportunities to daily 'pause'; 'rejoice', 'reflect' and 'ask'.
Sarah Earnshaw, Children's Work Adviser in the Diocesan Board of Education, has produced resources (two video sessions with a downloadable support document) to help children and young people engage with the topics of prayer and giving.
They can be used at home or with an online youth group. They can be used for class worship in our schools also.
Video resources will also be posted to this page shortly to accompany these files ...
Call to Pray and Give, Kids session 1 (written support resource) ... plus video ...
Call to pray and Give, Kids session 2 (written support resource) ... plus video ...
In addition to the above video-based resources, there is also a special new 'Generosity Edition' of the Board of Education's 'Bible Podlets' series now available for the Call to Pray and Give initiative.
If you like this, then for more 'Bible Podlets just click here.
Rev. Alex Frost and Rev. Kat Gregory-Witham present a video for, and with contributions from, the youth of our parishes.
The video helps you to look enquiringly into the reasons why we give and covers topics like 'what are we grateful for' and positive experiences of giving.
Check it out below and share your answers to prayer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the Call to Pray and Give initiative, we offer some reflections on giving (with accompanying videos and downloadable Word and pdf versions).
As part of our preparation for, and participation in, the ‘Call to Pray and Give’ we have also included some specific additional prayer points for this month only in our regular 'Blackburn Prayers' circulated round the Diocese.
If you don't receive them you can also find them on the diocesan website here.
Blackburn Prayers is also available as a convenient daily email, direct to your inbox. To subscribe to the daily email, please click the link here to receive the prayer topics for the day direct to your inbox each morning.
Get subscribing and you will then continue receive the daily email after the prayer initative is over, to help you in your onward prayer journey.
On Wednesday 4 November, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and Bishop of London called the Church of England to prayer for the nation throughout the month of November at 6pm every evening .
As Christians of all denominations are being invited to join in prayer for our nation we want to promote this event and the related resources alongside our own local resources for A Call to Pray and Give.
There is a wide range of national resources here. In addition, please find here a direct link to a simple printable prayer booklet which is intended to be shared with all members of your congregation Prayer Booklet.
Ronnie Semley, November 2020