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Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) - - - - - - 01392 206229 - - - 07941 880768

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We are a community of faith seeking to discover the face of Jesus Christ in our Church, in our Community and in our Commitment.

Tuesday 31 January 2023

Pondering Proverbs

Proverbs 17:17 “Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” (The Message)

I heard of a father who spoke of how his daughter switched schools in the middle of year four. She left behind a lot of good friends that she had known for years. Though she was sad to leave those friends, she was also excited to meet new people and make new friends. She has made some great friends at her new school, at church, and at the stables where she rides horses. But she also stays in contact with some of her friends from her previous school as well.

Friendships aren’t always easy. Friends go through seasons of trial, arguments, differences of opinion, and busy schedules. Along the way, new friends are made, and old friendships sometimes fade. Friends can influence us for good and for bad. Friendships can be a lot of work. But when they are at their best, friendships are also very rewarding. Real friends support us and also challenge us. They see us for who God intended us to be, and they help us grow in the grace and love of Christ.

The Bible contains stories of deep friendships. David and Jonathan’s friendship is a great example of one that lasted through deep difficulties (1 Samuel 19-20). Friendships that endure are filled with love all the time.

Who are our friends? How are we supporting them and encouraging them? How are they supporting and encouraging us? Are our friendships filled with love at all times? 

Father, help us in our friendships to love each other as you have called us to love. In Jesus, Amen.

Monday 30 January 2023

Pondering Proverbs

What is a Proverb?

Today we start a new series; the power of wise proverbs.

A proverb (Hebrew masal) is a poetic, terse, vivid, thought-provoking saying that conveys a world of truth in a few words. Modern people do not have a category for proverbs. They are neither absolute commands nor promises, and often they are partial. That is, they need to be put beside other proverbs on the same subject to get the full picture. They are observations about how life works. The point of a proverb, then, is to get rightly related to reality through hard thinking and sustained reflection. A proverb is like hard candy: If you just bite down on it, you get little out of it and may even get a broken tooth. Instead you must meditate on it until the sweetness of insight comes.

Wisdom is not only for “deep thinkers.” It is how you get through daily life. It helps you know what to do when your child comes home from school with a black eye, or when you suddenly come into unexpected money, or when you lose your job. What do you do that won’t make things worse? Our wisdom will guide us as we grow in the knowledge and image of his Son, Jesus, who is Wisdom itself. 

In what area of life do we most need to grow in wisdom? 

In a real sense we can’t know wisdom without knowing Jesus. Colossians 2:3 says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Wisdom is knowing what God is doing in our time.

Prayer: Lord, I’d prefer if you would simply tell me what to do through some inner voice or some book of specific rules for every situation. Instead I hear you calling me to grow into a wise person who discerns what to do. Help me to answer that call, and give me understanding. Amen.

Saturday 28 January 2023

Prayers through the centuries

George Basil Hume  (2 March 1923 – 17 June 1999) was an English Catholic bishop. Previously he was a monk and priest of the English Benedictine monastery of Ampleforth Abbey and its abbot for 13 years until his appointment as Archbishop of Westminster in 1976. His elevation to cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church followed during the same year. From 1979, Hume served also as president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. He held these appointments until his death from cancer in 1999. His final resting place is at Westminster Cathedral in the Chapel of St Gregory and St Augustine.

During his lifetime, he received wide respect from the general public which went beyond the Catholic community. When as Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, he was told that he had cancer, "and not in the early stages," his first reaction was to go to the hospital chapel and pray for half an hour before the crucifix.

A few days later he wrote to his priests to tell them the news, adding, "I have received two wonderful graces. First, I have been given time to prepare for a new future. Secondly, I find myself—uncharacteristically—calm and at peace."

On various occasions, Cardinal Hume had given reflections on Christ’s "seven last words" from the cross. These verses, drawn from the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John, brought him "a message of hope," he said—possibly never more so than in his final months. 

Following the earth Diana he gave a homily that included these words….

Farewell, then, Diana.

The agonies of the heart and

The anguish of the mind

Were often your companions in life.

They were your teachers, too,

For from them you learned understanding, 

Compassion and kindness.

These are you finest legacy to us.

Thank you for all the good you did.

Thank you for the joy you gave to many. 

Thank you for being like the rest of us”.

Basil Hume embodied the human spirit and was able to pray; We praise and worship you, God our creator. You have created us in your image, though we are unworthy. You have given us your Son, who continues to nourish us through the gift of his body and blood. May we never be separated from you, and may our worship be worthy of you, God our life-giver. Amen

Friday 27 January 2023

Prayers across the centuries

Mother Theresa of Calcutta, (1910-1997), was an Indian-Albanian Catholic nun who, in 1950, founded the Missionaries of Charity. She was was born in Skopje—at the time, part of the Ottoman Empire. After eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived most of her life. 

Her religious congregation, grew to have over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries as of 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. The congregation also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and also profess a fourth vow: to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor."

Hence her life and her prays reflected the words of Jesus, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:45

And so  she prays…..

Help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen

Thursday 26 January 2023

Prayers across the centuries

We continue our series on Prayers across the centuries with Dag Hammerskjöld 1905-61 was a Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. As of 2022, he remains the youngest person to have held the post, having been only 47 years old when he was appointed.

Hammarskjöld's tenure was characterised by efforts to strengthen the newly formed UN both internally and externally. He led initiatives to improve morale and organisational efficiency while seeking to make the UN more responsive to global issues. 

Hammarskjöld admonished himself with the words, “Pray that your loneliness will spur you into something to live for, great enough to die for.” Still, other entries are short and beautiful, such as, “A landscape can sing about God, a body about spirit.” Hammarskjöld  lived his faith. One can sense that his book Markings is both for himself, and in the entries towards the end of his life, for posterity. Hammarskjöld does not fit the profile of the modern, well-connected public scholar who is known for more than just their academic work. Yet, he allowed his faith to inform his secular public work. He served as a conscience for the United Nations, and thus is a forerunner of the modern public scholar.

His prayers mirrors that of Psalm 63 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”

Hence he prays;

Thou who art over us,

Thou who art one of us,

Thou who art—

Also within us,

May all see thee—in me also,

May I prepare the way for thee,

May I thank thee for all that shall fall to my lot,

May I also not forget the needs of others,

Keep me in thy love

As thou wouldest that all should be kept in mine

May everything in this my being be directed to thy glory

And may I never despair.

For I am under thy hand,

And in thee is all power and goodness.

Give me a pure heart—that I may see thee,

A humble heart—that I may hear thee,

A heart of love——that I may serve thee,

A heart of faith—that I may abide in thee.

To love life and men as God loves them——for the sake of their infinite


to wait like him

to judge like him

without passing judgment,

to obey the order when it is given

and never look back—

then he can use you——then, perhaps, he will use you.

And if he doesn’t use you—what matter. In his hand,

every moment has its meaning, its greatness, its glory,

its peace, its co-inherence. Amen

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity

Restoring hope through the work of justice



In facing up to the harm caused by racial injustice, we hold before us the promise of God’s love and the healing of relationships. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of God gathering and comforting all people who have been lost and have experienced suffering. In the Magnificat, Mary reminds us that God never abandons us and that God’s promise to us is fulfilled in justice.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Stephen was a young man growing up in south-east London with big dreams for his future. His life was tragically cut short when, on 22 April 1993, he was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack. The pain of his family and the wider community was compounded by serious failings in the investigation of this crime, which were later exposed in the Macpherson Report. In his memory a foundation has been established to support and inspire young people to have a bright future. Stephen’s mother, (Baroness) Doreen Lawrence, says of this work:

“Justice for Stephen is about all of us, every one of us, in society having justice. There are still too many young people who do not have a sense of hope, who just don’t get the chance to live their dreams. I want all our children and young people to feel inspired, be confident and have hope in their own future. We are building hope, but there is more to do.”

It is easy to feel hopeless as we are time and again reminded that we live in a fractured society that does not fully recognise, honour, and protect the human dignity and freedom of all human beings. An alignment of love of God, love of all our human family and love of justice are deeply needed for hope and healing. God calls us to continually live into hope, trusting that God will be with us in the midst of our individual and communal liminal space – on the threshold of what has been and what is, while yearning for what is yet to be.


Fr Bryan Massingale, one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars in racial justice, reminds us of his hope and challenge:

“Social life is made by human beings. 

The society we live in is the result of human choices and decisions.

This means that human beings can change things.

What humans break, divide and separate,

we can with God’s help,

also heal, unite and restore.

What is now does not have to be.

Therein lies the hope and the challenge.”


Creator God, 

please teach us to go inward 

to be grounded in your loving spirit 

so we can go outward in wisdom and courage 

to always choose the path of love and justice.


  • Many of the global protests that took place after George Floyd’s killing were led by young people, some of whom were connected to the Church. How can we use their ardour for racial justice to bring about change in the Church?
  • What substantive actions should have taken place after Stephen Lawrence’s killing? Why do you think they did not occur?
  • How did you respond to the killings of Stephen Lawrence and/or George Floyd? How have these tragedies encouraged you to take a greater interest in racial justice?

Go and Do


  • Racial justice will only take root in churches if they take the issue seriously. What tangible changes could your church make to connect to the global movement for racial justice?
  • Racial Justice Sunday is marked annually on the second Sunday in February. Encourage your church to celebrate this day, which is committed to fighting for justice, equality and dignity in church and society.
  • Stephen Lawrence wanted to become an architect. Why not mentor or support a teenager like Stephen, so that she or he will be able to realise their dreams.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity




Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes begins with Jesus seeing the crowds. In that crowd he must have seen those who were peacemakers, the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, men and women who mourned, and those who hungered for justice. In the Beatitudes Jesus not only names people’s struggles, he names what they will be: the children of God and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Howard Thurman, African American theologian and spiritual advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believed, “the religion that Jesus lived produced the kind of life for Him that identifies with the downtrodden, outcast, broken, and disinherited of the world.” Yet, Thurman also believed that, “It cannot be denied that too often the weight of the Christian movement has been on the side of the strong and the powerful and against the weak and oppressed – this, despite the gospel.”

If we listen hard enough, we will hear a diversity of voices crying out under the weight of oppression. Action is needed today to bring love, hope, justice and liberation for us and others in the future. Oppression of any kind demands that each of us chooses to engage in order to eradicate the injustice(s) that break our hearts open.

In prayer we align our hearts with the heart of God, to love what God loves and to love as God loves. Prayer with integrity therefore aligns and unites us – beyond our divisions – to love what, whom and how God loves, and to express this love in our actions.  

Let us all work together with God in our hope and commitment to shut injustice’s mouth and eradicate oppression in all areas of our society.


I see you there,

You – blessed ones,

You – poor in spirit, 

You – mourners, meek ones and merciful ones.

I hear your stomachs rumble with hunger.

Is righteousness enough to satiate your thirst,

like rain upon the earth?

You have had your fill of the schemes of crafty ones,

been force fed so-called wisdom by the wily.

With pure and undivided hearts

you train your eyes upon God’s cause – to lift high the perceived lowly,

to bring to safety any who are in danger of being trampled

by pride-filled footsteps of trespassers,

or stabbed by weaponised words hell-bent on cutting down and dehumanising.

Shut the mouth of injustice, God,

tear down the strongholds of the power-hungry

and give us the desire and the strength 

to rebuild a realm 

where all who are wounded are brought comfort,

where the inheritance is shared by all,

where swords and shields are beaten 

into tools for sowing peace and reconciliation,

where healing abounds

and mouths open to sing stories of shared blessing and hope.


God of justice,

Empower us to be agents of your grace and mercy.

Bless us with the courage to relinquish our power. 

Bless us with the humility to stand with the oppressed.

Bless us with the integrity to love our neighbours as we ourselves would seek to be loved. 


  • Can you think of a time when you felt powerless? How would you have liked others to respond?
  • Think about the ways you might have influence in your local community? How might you use that influence to help those who feel powerless?
  • Around the world whole communities find themselves powerless as a result of corruption and exploitation. How might the choices we make in our daily lives impact these situations?

Go and Do


  • Try volunteering for a local community organisation.
  • Where do you see people being denied agency in your local community? Explore ways to take action that raises awareness.
  • In the work of international development there is increasing recognition of the need to address the legacy of injustice and exploitation and restore to marginalised communities the power to make decisions about their own future. Explore ways to help further this work through your giving and advocacy.

Monday 23 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity

Walking humbly in the way



Scripture reminds us that we cannot separate our love for God from our love for others. We love God when we feed the hungry, give the thirsty something to drink, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoner. When we care for and serve “one of the least of these,” we are caring for and serving Christ himself.

But we are called to go beyond giving or serving from a position of power, where we maintain our status above the person to whom we are ministering. How are we to emulate Jesus who, though he was Lord of all, became truly the servant of all? What is power, and how are we to use it and to share it in the work of God?

God calls us to honour the sacredness and dignity of each member of God’s family. Caring for, serving and loving others reveals not who they are, but who we are. As Christians, we must be unified in our responsibility to love and care for others, as we are cared for and loved by God. In so doing, we live out our shared faith through our actions in service to the world and we find our true calling as servants of the Servant King.


Yours are the power and the glory.

Yet we see your greatest greatness 

when you stoop to serve.

Creator, give us the power

to be powerless

and bestow on us the dignity 

of the servant rich in love.


Lord of the power and the glory, 

you became for us the servant of all. 

Show us the power and the glory of servanthood 

and enable us to minister to your world 

according to its needs and our abilities.


  • Where in your personal life could you bring blessing by yielding power?
  • How could the churches in your community share power to become more effective in service?
  • Find out about a country which has little political power, but which has much to teach you.

Go and Do


  • What power do you have? Put that power to use for the service of others.
  • Find three ways in which the churches in your area could serve your community. And act on those things!
  • Agree as a group of churches on a project that empowers people locally, nationally or internationally, and form an action plan to put that into practice.

Sunday 22 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity

Holy rage



In the passages today, both David and Jesus demonstrate holy rage through a strong resistance and anger towards the situation in front of them. Throughout Scripture we are reminded that injustice can provoke strong emotions, anger and even violent responses. These can be heightened when people have been deliberately silenced.

Throughout history we have seen a demand that comes from the oppressor to marginalised people to smile and make merry, to sing the songs of a happy past. Whether it was in minstrel shows, or Geisha dances, or Wild West cowboy and Indian shows, the oppressors have demanded that the oppressed perform happily to ensure their own survival. Their message is as simple as it is cruel; your songs, your ceremonies, your cultural identity, that which makes you sacredly unique, is only allowable so long as it serves us.

Even when the victims of oppression are encouraged to tell their stories they often find that people are only willing to listen to their pain and sadness, but draw back when they articulate angry demands for change.

Martin Luther King Jr said: “ the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.... our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay [on justice]” He understood that the path to true peace lies in the healing of relationships through the work of justice, addressing the barriers that keep people from feeling included as full members of the community.

Are we truly ready to listen to the experiences of those who have been oppressed? Are we open to their tears but defensive against their anger? How might God be calling us to act to address the suffering that prompts this rage?


You ate their meagre fare

you drank from their cup

and then you showed no remorse

As surely as the Lord lives

no justice, no peace

We chew up their stories  

we pollute their wells  

and then we show no remorse

As surely as the Lord lives

no justice, no peace

Turn our tables

set a place for everyone

disrupt our comfortable seats

drive us out

hungry for justice

thirsting for peace

As surely as the Lord lives  

no justice, no peace


God of the oppressed, open our eyes to the harm that continues to be inflicted on our siblings in Christ. Give us the courage to stand up and advocate for all who are silenced, even if it means releasing some of our own privilege to do justice.


  • Think of a situation in history where a community was able to channel its rage at injustice into meaningful positive change. What can we learn from this story?
  • Who might be most marginalised and at risk of being ignored in your local community? How can the Church help amplify their voice?
  • How could you help raise awareness today about a situation of injustice in the world?

Go and Do


  • Research opportunities to participate virtually in global gatherings to raise awareness of situations of injustice, connecting with people across borders and cultures.
  • Identify a group in your local area that is working to address the exclusion or stigma that can leave people feeling unheard or unseen, and support one of their events or initiatives.
  • Consider using social media, or other personal networks, to share examples from around the world of people who are courageously speaking out to challenge injustice.

Saturday 21 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity




Lament requires us, sometimes even demands us, to really look and see. A young woman looked and saw the tears of the oppressed. The video she shot on her phone of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 was seen all around the world and unleashed a holy rage as people witnessed, and finally acknowledged, what African Americans have experienced for centuries: subjugation by oppressive systems in the midst of privileged blind bystanders.

In the UK, black men between 18 and 25 years are five times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police and black women are four times more likely to die during childbirth. We have much to lament.

The two passages today speak of lament. Jesus, and David, the brutally honest psalmist, set this example for us of what to do when we’re in pain. 

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” is a pain-filled cry at the very beginning of Psalm 22 that is mirrored by Jesus himself on the cross in Matthew 27. 

The pain is not sanitised and polished for us.

It is raw and honest.

Lament is a hard practice to embrace. Our society wants us to rush towards positivity and victory. What does it mean to truly lament? To sit with the pain. Lament demands that we open ourselves, it demands from all of us, that we no longer ignore the pain.


“Lament is a protest so deep that it must become a prayer, for only God can provide needed hope that justice will prevail and that the future will be different.”

Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope, Kathleen D Bilman and Daniel L Migliore, The Pilgrim Press 1999


God of justice and of grace, 

remove the scales from my eyes so 

I can truly see the oppression around me, 

and give me courage not only to name it, 

but to fight it while providing authentic presence, 

witness, and compassion to the oppressed.


  • How have you been involved in the practice of lament?
  • In what ways are marginalised groups in your community experiencing pain?
  • How are you affected when you observe people’s grief in other parts of the world, for example in the aftermath of a violent attack or a natural disaster?

Go and Do


  • Sit and reflect, lament the pain you have noticed in your community (when it gets uncomfortable, stay for a while longer).
  • Who do you need to move closer to in order to hear their pain?
  • Connect with some people on the margins in your community to learn about their narrative of history and its consequences. What steps can you take to be a truth-teller of history?

Friday 20 January 2023

Week of prayer for Christian Unity




The identity of the Minnesota Working Group is immersed in the rich and haunting harmonies that tell the history of many peoples. 

“Our bodies can be in tune with the ancestral, while acknowledging all of the pain, joy, brilliance, fatigue, connection and more wrapped up in one. We centre ourselves in the stories of the place we call home. We are men, women, mothers, fathers, storytellers and healers.”

We can recognise the diversity within our communities if we take time to look. Even within our gatherings there is a beautiful tapestry of worship experience and spiritual expression, woven together from the indigenous population, from those who have immigrated, or those who are displaced and who now call this place home.

God has shown us what is good through our interconnectedness. We are blessed and we are to bless others. We are loved and we are to love others. We are to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, together. We. Not Me. Our kinship and God’s teachings guide us into community together as we learn and act as We. Not Me.

So our gatherings, prayers, hymnody, art and culture should reflect this, and be infused with the beauty of difference, all the while reaching toward the unity of God’s divine justice.

A tapestry is a beautiful work of art, but if you look at the back, you see the messy edges, and frayed ends, the knots and snags – how do we celebrate the beauty of the tapestry while acknowledging the work that is necessary to maintain the beauty, not as a façade, but as a result of recognising and celebrating difference?


What is this noise?

These meaningless festivals of falsehood,

litanies of lip service and diatribes of doxologies,

that seek to drown out the reality of poisonous polity,

that hope to mask the clanging cymbals of fear and frailty.

We do not seem to understand 

that disharmony is our downfall.

But in the midst of our din,

God calls forth 

from each corner of this earth,

songs of justice that roll down like waters –

interwoven melody and haunting harmony 

deep enough to hold our dissonance 

and the unresolved tension 

of our journeys to this place.


Gracious and loving God,

expand our vision

that it may be wide enough

to recognise the beautiful complexity

of the tapestry you chose to weave

with each and every one of us.

Gather our frayed edges,

our loose ends

and bind us together for your glory.


  • How often do we think and act as ‘We. Not me’?
  • How do we recognise and celebrate difference in our communities?
  • How much of the necessary work are we doing to make a beautiful tapestry in our communities? What projects can you identify, or gaps in provision do you notice in your area/community?

Go and Do


  • Meet people from another community and share stories together.
  • Invite people from another community to help you to reflect on how you can act as ‘We. Not Me’.
  • Identify some different groups within your community and reflect on how you might pray and work ‘with’ them, rather than ‘for’ them.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity



Jesus prays that we will be “completely one”, praying for an authentic and selfless unity, one with no half measures, reflected in the person of God, in the unity of the Trinity. Such unity is challenging, it requires self-reflection, humility, a release of power and control, and an openness to change. Is this the unity that you are praying for this week?

Isaiah reminds us of the hypocrisy that can still exist in our churches, claiming a love for others, but really only extending a full welcome to those who are like us. Many have experienced pain, rejection, abuse, and exclusion within the Church. A Christian expression of unity must include everyone and offer healing and justice. This is rarely done in isolation, but more often together.

Instead of offering empty worship Isaiah calls us to “learn to do good; seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17). Learning to do good also requires an openness to change. This is the perfect season for Christians to reflect not just on unity but on the role we can all play together in promoting racial justice.

To seek justice is to create space for God’s just ordering and enduring wisdom in a world all too often unmoved by suffering. 

And yet, there is joy in doing what is right. There is joy in affirming that “Black Lives Matter” in the pursuit of justice for God’s oppressed, dominated, and exploited beloved. There is power in giving in to wisdom’s call for justice, and in doing it as a church together.


Trample my courts no more, says the Lord,

cease your offerings to me.

I cannot endure your worship,

it is too heavy to bear.

Put down your burden,  

release the load of others.

Rescue, defend, and plead as one,

in my name, seek justice together.


God of Unity, 

forgive us when we are self-serving 

and help us to grow in unity and understanding 

as we extend your love and justice to all.


  • Where can you speak out together with other Christians against racial injustice?
  • What burdens are people carrying in your area that the churches could support together?
  • Where do you need God’s help in recognising, understanding and overcoming your own prejudice?

Go and Do


  • Consider trying a devotional tool or app from another tradition. Pray that God will give you the humility and openness of heart to be open to receive something new from the tradition.
  • What social justice or local outreach projects are active in your area and led by those from a different tradition or background to you? Find out and get involved.
  • Join the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer Cycle praying with people from all around the world.

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Click on links for today’s bible readings


In the first book of the Bible, we are told that we are made in the image of God, not just individually but corporately. All of humanity, people of all ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions, together represent the image of the Creator. This means that to deny that image in any one race, indeed in any one person, is to reject God’s presence in the whole of humanity.

To be Christian means to be a disciple. We are called to learn together what it is to do good, and who and what it is in God’s creation that needs us to stand in solidarity. 

As society becomes more indifferent to the needs of others, we, as the children of God, must learn to take up the cause of our oppressed brothers and sisters by speaking truth to power and if necessary, plead their case so that they may live in peace with justice. In doing this we will always do the right thing, will always be recognising God’s image in all of us. 

Our commitment to eradicate and to be healed of the sin of racism requires us to be prepared and willing to be in relationship with our Christian sisters and brothers. That will be a sign of unity for the whole world.


We give them names:


asylum seekers,


economic migrants,

some more welcome than others.

But you know their human names

because they are your kin,

stamped with your image,

divinely human.


You made us, God, 

in your own image, 

and then became one of us, 

proud of those you have made.

Make us proud of being part of that worldwide family, 

and eager to discover and celebrate your image 

in every person, every culture, every nation 

that we are privileged to encounter.


  • Do you find it easy to recognise the image of God in other people? Or is that sometimes a challenge?
  • How does your church or group of churches welcome those new to your community?
  • How can we see the image of God in people we find difficult to love?

Go and Do


  • Take time to learn about a culture/language/nation of which you know nothing, or very little. Learn as much as you can about those people and, if at all possible, learn more directly from a person or persons from that group.
  • Include a different language in the worship of your church at your next service – it may be even more effective if no one in your congregation understands it!
  • Look back in the news from 10 years ago to find a group of people who were endangered at that time. Find out what their situation is now and how you, your church or group of churches could support them and/or learn from them.