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Last updated 21st February 2024

Our Lent and Easter 2024 resources page, including Bishop Philip's Lent Course

Journey to Freedom: Bishop Philip's five week Lent course 

The Diocesan Lent Course, 'Journey to Freedom' - led by Bishop Philip - is now available on multiple channels. 

There are two parts to the Lent Course:

  • The guidance notes. These can be accessed below. 
  • The videos. There are five of these, each 15-20 minutes long. 

The videos and guidance notes are also available on new discipleship app, 'Fruitful' which is now launched. They can also be accessed via our Diocesan YouTube channel here (with a trailer video embedded below).  

The ‘Journey to Freedom’ course has five sessions and the themes will be:

  • Slavery (The plight of the Israelites)
  • Call (Moses and the Burning Bush)
  • Rescue (The crossing of the Red Sea)
  • Hunger (Bread in the wilderness)
  • Mountain (Mount Sinai)

Whilst beginning with the Exodus narrative, we will explore what these themes mean in terms of how we live the Christian life today. For each session there will be:

  • Opening time of prayer
  • Listening to the Scriptures
  • Video talk
  • Discussion
  • Application
  • Closing prayer (the order of Compline is provided for those who wish to use it)

The course is designed to be reasonably simple for those who are leading it. It should require minimal preparation and can easily be led by a lay person. It could last anything between an hour and ninety minutes, depending on how long you wish the discussion to flow.

If you wish to know more about the technical side of accessing the Lent Course, please contact Sarah Marston (sarah.marston@blackburn.anglican.org). For more about the content of the course, please drop a line to Sam Cheesman (chaplain@bishopofblackburn.org.uk).

Guidance notes for Bishop Philip's Lent course

  • Lent Course guidance notes 1, Slavery; Word and PDF
  • Lent Course guidance notes 2, Call; Word and PDF
  • Lent Course guidance notes 3, RescueWord and PDF
  • Lent Course guidance notes 4, HungerWord and PDF
  • Lent Course guidance notes 5, MountainWord and PDF

Video introduction to Bishop Philip's Lent course

All the Lent Course videos are now available on the Diocesan YouTube channel and watch a trailer below for a taste of what you can expect - direct from Bishop Philip himself. You can download the videos to view offline from our new discipleship App (see below) and linked website, fruiful.faith.  


Bishop's Easter message

There will be an Easter message as usual this year and it will be released at the beginning of Easter Week. 

A link to the message will be available here or alternatively via a page on the Diocesan website news section, where you will also be able to download a text version. 


Visiting a church this Lent/Easter? There's 'A Church Near You'! 

You may feel like visiting a church in person, or participating in an online service after watching our diocesan service on Easter Day.

If so, you can find the nearest one to where you live by visiting The Church of England's 'A Church Near You' website and putting in the details of where you live. 


Journey to Freedom; Our Lent 2024 Devotional 

This year, our Lent Devotional booklets, also titled  ‘Journey to Freedom’ to match with Bishop Philip's Lent Course, will walk us through Exodus.

Bishop Philip writes in the preface: 

“Has a greater story ever been told? Exodus has all the ingredients. A flawed hero in Moses. An arch-baddie in Pharaoh. The appalling injustice of slavery. The vivid horrors of the plagues. The jeopardy of a last minute escape. The hyper-real psycho-drama of the wilderness. The promise of a glorious freedom. What more could you want? Well there’s much more! 

A4 and A5 copies of the devotional booklets - featuring a different entry each day written by clergy and laity from across the Diocese are currently being distributed to all our parishes. 

Click here to view or download a digital copy of ‘Journey to Freedom’.

The daily devotionals, along with Bishop Philip's five-week video based Lent course (see above) is also be featured on our new Discipleship App; Fruitful: The Diocese of BlackburnDownload the App nowIf you have any questions, please get in touch at makingdisciples@blackburn.anglican.org


Church of England national Lent campaign; 'Watch and Pray'

Another option this year may be to engage with the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 'Tarry Awhile' by Selina Stone, which focuses on Black Spirituality and what the church can learn from it during Lent. 

Accompanying the book is a daily reflections booklet by Carlton Turner for adults and a daily challenge book for children and families. 

The Archbishop's Lent book has also inspired the whole of this year's national church Lent campaign 'Watch and Pray'.

Find out more about all of this, including 'Watch and Pray' here on the national website


WaterAid Jars of Change appeal

WaterAid is inviting churches to join the Jars of Change Lent appeal. By giving up something over Lent and donating the money saved, congregations can help bring clean water to communities for the very first time.

WaterAid is an international development charity working in partnership with local organisations in over 30 countries worldwide, to provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to everyone. The support of churches across the UK in the previous years has helped to reach thousands of people with clean water, changing lives for good.

WaterAid has created a free Lent resource pack for churches to order, with a poster, Sunday School activities, all-age talk and fundraising ideas.

Using the resources, congregations will be able to learn about the water crisis and life for children around the world. For more information about the appeal and to sign up for a free resource pack, visit www.wateraid.org/uk/lent


Resources from our Board of Education for children/young people

The Diocesan Board of Education has provided a whole range of Easter activities for children and young people.

  • There are Easter Activity Sheets, two brilliant activity sheets for families to complete outside.
  • There is also another resource: ‘Easter Explorers’. Easter Explorers is a guide taking you through the key dates of Holy Week with sessions created for use outdoors.
  • Sensory stories are short stories broken up into seven to ten parts designed to engage the senses. Each section is matched with a sensory input to animate it.
  • There is a Lent Cross Challenge ... a devotional following Jesus’ journey to the Cross, alongside cross themed prayer activities to download.

All these resources and more are available here now. 

40 ideas for children during Lent 

This lovely image with some wonderful ideas to share with and do with children.

It came from the United Benefice of Balderstone, Mellor and Samlesbury. 


Football-themed resources to share the Gospel at Easter 

Ambassadors Football has produced a free resource for any church to use this Easter.

Either in person or virtually you can send video links for a football coaching session, Bible time and drama all linked to the theme of Jesus’s Friends.

Click here to find more information about the camp resource.


New hymns for the season

Blackburn Diocese has something of a hymn writing tradition - for example, Edward Burns’ ‘We Have A Gospel To Proclaim’ and Stewart Cross’ ‘Father, Lord Of All Creation’. 

‘Journey To Resurrection’ is a new collection of hymns for Holy Week and Easter includes a new text by Geoff Lyon, a musician at St Mary the Virgin, Rufford with Holmeswood.

Lyon's ‘Jesus Is Risen! Alleluia!’ is set to a new tune by Roger Peach.

The new collection, together with Geoff’s other published hymn texts including ‘Send Us, O Lord, To Live Lives To Your Glory’, which was heard at our last Diocesan Conference, can be found on the Jubilate Hymns website


Sailors' Society and Lent Devotions

Christian maritime welfare charity Sailors' Society is marking the Season of Lent with a series of special Lent Devotions, each one offered by one of its chaplains and staff around the world. 

And through social media, the charity is inviting churches and individuals to share these with family, friends and colleagues. 

The devotions will be available on Sailors’ Society’s Facebook and Twitter feeds (@SailorsSociety) and further information is available here. 


A round up of some other great resources for all ages

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Semley, January 2024 and ongoing