Our Call to Pray and Give event is underway and continues until November 29, with giving services encouraged for the first Sunday immediately after the current lockdown period is over.
Every parish has been invited by Bishop Julian to participate from November 12.
This is a Diocesan-led initiative to boost parish funds at the end of this very challenging year.
It includes a live Daily Prayer event on Zoom each evening led by a different member of the Bishops' Leadership Team on each occasion.
We have a special area on this website here which contains a wide range of resources to support parishes with Call to Pray and Give, including how to get involved in the live Zoom prayer events; video reflections and resources for children and young people. Once on the page, use the headings in the grey panel at top to go straight to the resources you need.
On the same page there are resources for the Archbishops' 'A Call to Prayer for the Nation'; which is also taking place throughout November. More details about that initiative are also at the end of this story, or click here to go straight to it.
Before lockdown, the hope originally was that in our diocese, and 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.
Lockdown has prevented this so, instead, the event will now continue until that day but, as we can't meet on that Sunday due to the current lockdown restrictions, parishes are being asked to encourage people to set aside their gift in a specially prepared envelope.
The envelopes, along with 'Call to Pray and Give' prayer cards (both pictured) have been delivered to all Area Deans who have made arrangements to circulate them locally to parishes.
When lockdown concludes everyone will then be encouraged to bring their gift on the first Sunday after the restrictions are lifted.
Bishop Julian wrote a letter to parishes immediately prior to launch of the Call to Pray and Give initiative.
In his letter he said: "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."
As part of 'Call to Pray and Give' (and ongoing afterwards too) we want to hear your answers to prayer! We would love to hear how God moves across the Diocese during this time.
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.
As part of the Archbishops' initiative there are daily prayer themes; prepared weekly prayers and other prayers; school prayers; service videos and more. Meanwhile, on November 16 at 6pm, The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead live prayer on Facebook.
In addition there is a simple printable prayer booklet which is intended to be shared with all members of your congregation which is here: Prayer Booklet.
Ronnie Semley, November 2020