Category Archives: Prayer

Liturgical comment and prayer diary

Ascension to Pentecost

Between Ascension and Pentecost, let us pray for God’s Kingdom to come in our everyday lives and in the lives of people we know.  Click here for daily prayers.

Novena of Prayer from St Michael and All Angels, Barnes

During the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost you are asked to pray daily for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the world and specifically for the recovery of our world and nation from corona virus.Friday 22nd May: Medical staff in hospitals and in the local community.
Saturday 23rd May: Nursing home residents and staff, home carers.
Sunday 24th May: Those sick with corona virus and the bereaved.
Monday 25th May: Government both local and national.
Tuesday 26th May: Schoolchildren, teachers, university students and staff.
Wednesday 27th May: The unemployed and key workers at risk.
Thursday 28th May: The elderly and the vulnerable.
Friday 29th May: The anxious, isolated and fearful.
Saturday 30th May: The Church’s ministry at this time.

The children have invited to to write a prayer or a Bible verse and attach this to the railings of the cloister or on the gates at the entrance to church by Pentecost.

Compline from St Mary, Barnes

In addition to the usual service of Morning Prayer fom St Mary, Barnes, there will be a daily service of Compline (Night Prayer) each evening  from Ascension Day to Pentecost (available from 6pm) on their Facebook page.

Call to prayer from Holy Trinity, Richmond

Image may contain: text that says "Pray at Midday! #PRAYATMIDDAY"
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, say the Lord’s Prayer at 12 noon every day from Ascension Day to Pentecost.

Reflections and Meditations

A Reflection for Ascension Day

Today is Ascension Day. The day that Jesus ascended into heaven at the very end of his physical time on earth. This was clearly a traumatic time for the disciples. They had felt very much alone when Jesus had died at the hands of the Roman and Jewish authorities, but then he had risen from the dead and they had welcomed him back. But now he was well and truly gone, at least from their sight. Can you imagine the consternation, the confusion, the astonishment of that day?

Jesus knew who he was dealing with and we saw him preparing his disciples in the Gospel reading last Sunday from St John. Jesus talks about God giving them the Holy Spirit. In more modern versions the term “Advocate” or “Helper” is used, giving perhaps a clearer translation of the original meaning than the King James Version, which talks about a “Comforter”. When it came at Pentecost a few days later, the Holy Spirit was indeed a comfort to the early disciples, as it is today to all Christians. But I do not think it was meant in the terms of making people feel warm and cosy as such. In the Oxford English dictionary “comfort” has several meanings. The obvious ones of consolation and relief from affliction, but it also refers back to the Latin: “com” meaning having and “fortis” meaning strength. Advocate and Helper are quite clearly of assistance, comforter in this context means something that will support and strengthen them. The comforter was not a blanket, it was to enable them to take up a challenge! The baton of spreading Christianity had been passed to them, but they were not alone and they were told to expect this amazing assistance.

We all need support and strength; we all need comfort. At this time especially. Although the restrictions have been finessed a little, there are still many people confined to their own homes and worried about the possibility of contracting the virus. And many are worried about jobs or their children’s education and how the future will look. I am sure that many of us have been feeling a bit down recently – just show me someone who hasn’t! But prayer works and when I feel glum, a few minutes on my knees asking for help and strength does wonders for me. We have to keep faith and while we of course worry, it is fantastic to know that God understands our worries and will give us strength to carry on.

The most famous hymn for use at Ascensiontide is the magnificent “The Head that once was crowned with thorns is crowned with glory now”. But I want to go back a bit further to the perhaps less well known “O Christ, our joy, to whom is given”, which has its origins in the fifth century. The fourth verse is really quite wonderful:

Be thou our joy and strong defence,

Who art our future recompense:

So shall the light that springs from thee

Be ours through all eternity.

Richard Austen, Lay Reader St Philip and All Saints with St Luke’s, Kew

Click here to read previous meditations and reflections.

Daily Reflections from The Revd Sister Margaret Anne ASSP

For 39 days up until 2nd May, the Revd Sister Margaret Anne ASSP wrote daily reflections giving us hope and inspiration during the early days of the Coronavirus crisis. Her last reflection is below and click here to read her previous reflections.

Please visit Reflections and Meditations for more thoughts from our deanery PTOs.

Reflection for Saturday 2nd May by the Revd Sister Margaret Anne ASSP

Today is the feast day of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria and Doctor of the Church, who lived from the late third century into the fourth century. He was a notable defender of Christian orthodoxy against heresy, proclaiming both the full divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. He lived a long time in exile, often misunderstood and opposed by his antagonists. Despite this Athanasius wrote prolifically. A number of his works were dedicated to monks, at a time when forms of monasticism were emerging in the deserts of Egypt. Athanasius wrote a biography of St Antony, often described as the founder of Western monasticism. This work describes in vivid detail the spiritual battles of the hermit against the powers of evil amid the fires of temptation. The Life of St Antony became a classic and was widely influential. Antony was the foremost early representative of the desert fathers and mothers, who lived in the desert in remote caves or huts. They lived a profoundly ascetic life, often alone, seeking God through a life of prayer and austerity.

Many of the sayings of the desert fathers and mothers have been handed down to us, and reveal the combination of wisdom, humour and astute assessment of character that is associated with them. Here is one such story that I particularly like:

A monk held between his outstretched arms a piece of string. He said to a child,

“This piece of string is like my relationship with God. I am one end of the string, and God is the other end. Now”, the monk continued, “ I want you to think of all the things you have done wrong over the last week. Every time that you think of something you have done wrong and then been sorry afterwards, I want you to cut the string and then tie a knot in it”.

The monk handed the child a pair of scissors and held out the string between his outstretched arms. The child became thoughtful for a few moments, frowned – and then cut the string and tied it with a knot. This happened three or four times. Then the monk, still holding the string with outstretched hands, asked the child,

“Now, what do you notice about the two ends of the string?”

The child looked puzzled for a moment. Then his eyes lit up with understanding.

“Oh”, he replied, “they are closer together”.

The Revd Sister Margaret Anne ASSP

Call for Prayer as the London Bridge and Borough Market Inquest proceeds

As the inquest into the London Bridge attack continues, Bishop Christopher requests that you should continue to hold all those who were drawn into the attack and its aftermath in prayer.

A prayer as the London Bridge and Borough Market Inquest proceeds written by the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark

‘Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses ….’ (Hebrews 12.1)

Lord Jesus, your scars bore witness to your suffering
as you stood before your friends.
Bless those whose scars have been reopened,
whose memories have been stirred,
whose pain has been revealed,
whose selfless acts recalled,
whose heroic actions told,
whose stories have been shared,
whose tears have been shed,
as testimonies are heard
in the London Bridge Inquest.
Hold us with your wounded hands
and bring us your peace.
Amen.

November 2018 Prayer Diary

1st –    St Mary Barnes [Vacant], Geoffrey Barnett, Christabel Gairdner (Readers), Fiona Barnett (SPA) and the people of St Mary Barnes.

2nd –   Holy Trinity Barnes David Cooke (Team Vicar), Will Jackson (Worship Pastor) and the people of Holy Trinity Barnes.

3rd –    St Michael and All Angels Barnes  Stephen Stavrou (Team Vicar), Judith Roberts (Asst P) and the people of St Michael and All Angels Barnes.

4th –    St Mary Mortlake  Ann Nickson (Team Rector), Mel Le Vesconte (SPA) and the people of St Mary Mortlake.

5th –    All Saints East Sheen  Alex Barrow (Team Vicar), Peter King (Asst P), William Arnold (Reader), and the people of All Saints East Sheen.

6th –    Christ Church East Sheen  David Guest (Team Vicar), Olwen Williamson (PTO), Paul Russenberger (Reader), Deirdre Munro (SPA) and the people of Christ Church East Sheen.

7th –    St Anne’s Kew Nigel Worn (Vicar), Nicholas Darby (PTO) and the people of St Anne’s Kew.

8th –    Marian Mollett (Lay Chair) and the Deanery Synod; Sr Margaret Anne McAlister, Nicholas Roberts and Elisabeth Morse (PTO), Matthew Knox, Chaplain at St Paul’s School, Barnes.

9th –    St Philip & All Saints (Barn Church) w. St Luke, Kew  Peter Hart (Vicar), Richard Austen & Michael Tonkin (Readers) and the people of St Philip & All Saints (Barn Church) w. St Luke, Kew.

10thHoly Trinity and Christ Church Richmond  Dan Wells (Vicar), Kate Patterson (Licenced Lay Worker), Mark Anderson (Ordinand), Erin Gilmour (Youth Pastor), Sue Jackson (Children’s Worker), Nico Marais (Worship Pastor), Sheena Marx (Pastoral Co-ordinator), Hugh Dunlop and Keith Nurse (Readers) and the people of Holy Trinity and Christ Church Richmond.

11th –   St Mary Magdalene Richmond  Wilma Roest (Team Rector), Ruth Martin (Reader), Sue Easthaugh (SPA), and the people of St Mary Magdalene Richmond

12thSt John the Divine, Richmond  Neil Summers (Team Vicar), Andrew Williams (Chaplain at Roehampton University) and the people of St John the Divine, Richmond.

13thSt Matthias Richmond  Anne Crawford (Team Vicar), Gill Doling (Reader) and the people of St Matthias Richmond.

14thSt Richard’s Ham Riverside  Simon Coupland (Vicar), Donna Turner (SPA) and the people of St Richard’s Ham Riverside.

15thSt Peter’s Petersham  Tim Marwood (Vicar), Frances Forward (PTO) and the people of St Peter’s Petersham.

16thRichmond Charities Almshouses Stuart Lee (Chaplain), and the residents of Richmond Charities Almshouses.

17th – Richmond Inter Faith Forum

18th – The Vineyard Community Centre, and Richmond Foodbank.

19th –  The Chaplain, the Head and the students, staff and governors of Christ’s School.

20th – The Head, students, staff and governors of Holy Trinity CE Primary School

21st – The Head, students, staff and governors of The Queen’s CE Primary School

22nd – The Head, students, staff and governors of St Richard & St Andrew CE Primary School.

23rd – Richmond Street Pastors; Alcoholics Anonymous.

24th – The patients and staff of Barnes Hospital, and the Richmond Royal Hospital (inc. the Recovery College) [and the Community Mental Health Chaplaincy].

25th – The residents and staff of supported, sheltered, residential and nursing homes in the Deanery.

26th – Staff, volunteers and clients of Richmond Welcare, and Cruse Bereavement Care.

27th – The Chaplaincy, staff and patients of Kingston Hospital.

28th – SPEAR, and services for homeless people.

29th –   Refugees Welcome in Richmond and services for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants

30th – The members and staff of the London Borough of Richmond

May 2014 Prayer Diary

May is traditionally the month to remember Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. The national Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, is one of the most beautiful power houses of prayer in our land.May 2014 Prayer Diary

Saints’ days in May

1 Philip and James, Apostles

2 Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher of the Faith, 373

4 English Saints and Martyrs of the Reformation Era

8 Julian of Norwich, Spiritual Writer, c.1417

14 Matthias the Apostle

16 Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877

19 Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Restorer of Monastic Life, 988

20 Alcuin of York, Deacon, Abbot of Tours, 804

21 Helena, Protector of the Holy Places, 330

24 John and Charles Wesley, Evangelists, Hymn Writers, 1791 and 1788

25 The Venerable Bede, Monk at Jarrow, Scholar, Historian, 735

25 Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, 709

26 Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605

26 John Calvin, Reformer, 1564

26 Philip Neri, Founder of the Oratorians, Spiritual Guide, 1595

28 Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Scholar, 1089

30 Josephine Butler, Social Reformer,1906

30 Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431

30 Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist in Central Africa, 1933

31 The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth

March 2014 Prayer Diary

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

Why we receive the ashes?

Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told

“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

Lenten Resources

In 2012 the Church of Scotland General Assembly received the report of the Special Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity – A right relationship with money.

For Lent 2014, a small writers group has produced a six-session study resource based upon this report. The group was chaired by Professor Charles Munn, who was Chair of the Special Commission.  http://www.ctbi.org.uk/649

Saints’ days in March

1 David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601

2 Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672

7 Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

8 Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, 1910

8 Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647 8 Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929

17 Patrick, Bishop, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460

18 Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, Teacher of the Faith, 386

19 Joseph of Nazareth

20 Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687

21 Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Reformation Martyr,1556

24 Walter Hilton of Thurgarton, Augustinian Canon, Mystic, 1396

24 Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980

25 The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary

26 Harriet Monsell, Founder of the Community of St John the Baptist, 1883

31 John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631

January 2014 Prayer Diary

What meaning does the annual repetition of Epiphany have for our faith and for our Christian life? The feast of Epiphany is not held only as a commemoration of a historical event in the life of Jesus, not merely for theprayer-2014-01 attractiveness of the atmosphere of lights, music, and poetry. The recurrent celebration of Epiphany has a great spiritual significance far beyond either of these. It is not the mere commemoration of a historical event because in the Christian faith everything is present, here and now, for our Lord Jesus Christ is with us here and now, our inseparable Companion and Comforter. The historical event is but a motive and remembrance, for the Person of Christ is ever present, and His Grace is not merely a memory of history.

Saints’ days in January

2 Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishops, Teachers of the Faith, 379 and 389

2 Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Spiritual Guide, 1833

2 Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945

6 The Epiphany

13 Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher of the Faith, 367

13 Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde and Cumbria, 603

13 George Fox, Founder of the Society of Friends (the Quakers), 1691

17 Charles Gore, Bishop, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932

18 Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, Spiritual Writer, 1951

22 Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, first Martyr of Spain, 304

24 Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622

28 Thomas Aquinas, Priest,Philosopher,Teacher of the Faith,1274

31 John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888

December 2013 Prayer Diary

December 2013 Prayer Diary

The first 24 days of December fall during the liturgical season known as Advent and are represented by the liturgical colour purple. The remaining days of December mark the beginning of the Christmas season. The liturgical colour changes to white or gold — a symbol of joy, purity and innocence.

THE ADVENT COLLECT

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Feast days in December

1 Charles de Foucauld, Hermit in the Sahara, 1916

3 Francis Xavier, Missionary, Apostle of the Indies, 1552

4 John of Damascus, Monk , Teacher of the Faith, c.749

4 Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637

6 Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326

7 Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397

8 The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

13 Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304

13 Samuel Johnson, Moralist, 1784

14 John of the Cross, Poet, Teacher of the Faith, 1591

17 O Sapientia

17 Eglantyne Jebb, Social Reformer, Founder of ‘Save The Children’, 1928

24 Christmas Eve

25 Christmas Day

26 Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr

27 John, Apostle and Evangelist

28 The Holy Innocents

29 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1170

31 John Wycliff, Reformer, 1384