Category Archives: Prayer

Prayers for Palm Sunday

This is the fortieth and last of our daily Lenten blogs, with prayers for projects connected with the Contextual Theology Centre and the Church Urban Fund.  Do take a look back at them all, to get some sense of the extraordinary breadth and depth of Christian engagement with local communities on issues of social justice.

As CTC and CUF’s partner churches enter into Holy Week, pray that for us all, this work of social transformation may be rooted in the extraordinary and transformative work done by Jesus Christ.

CTC’s theme this Lent has been Contemplation and Action, and this blog post by the Bishop of Stepney captures the importance of placing Jesus’ death and resurrection at the heart of all we do as Christians and as congregations.

Almighty God, as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son, teach us to see and know his love for us, that with humility, love and joy we may place at his feet all that we have and all that we are, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (from Daily Office SSF)


Prayers for Day 39 of Lent

Pray for ‘Spruce’, a gardening and landscaping training project to help long term unemployed people in Durham to get work experience and be helped into work.  It has been set up by Handcrafted Projects with support from the Church Urban Fund.

Pray also for the growing links between ARC (one of CTC’s Pentecostal partner churches) and churches and College chapels in Oxford University – which are deepening understanding across very different parts of the Body of Christ.  Young people from ARC visited Oxford last term, and will be singing at a special Eucharist in one of Oxford’s city centre churches in May.  In addition, three students  from Oxford have served as CTC interns at ARC, with one going on to work there as a Church-based Community Organiser.

Prayers for Day 38 of Lent

Pray for ‘The Changing Room’ – a project based at a Methodist Church near Penzance which is being supported by the Church Urban Fund.  It has been piloted for the last 18 months and is addressing long term issues of poverty in West Penwith such as child poverty, homelesness, unemployment and domestic abuse, by running activities such as a carers and children drop in, sessions for teenagers, a Food bank, and women’s clothes swaps. Many women who attend these activities are unemployed, on benefits or have suffered domestic abuse, and there are links with Penzance Women’s Refuge. With support from the Church Urban Fund, it is now increasing its activities to include homeless work, and ‘back to work’ sessions (requested by MIND & Addaction).

Pray also for the Catholic Parish of Manor Park, as Contextual Theology Centre staff assist the parish priest and congregation (the church has around 1200 regular attendees) in discerning how to use their building more effectively for ministry and mission.  Pray for the discussions and prayer going on within the church, and for God’s guidance on the process – in one of London’s most diverse and economically deprived neighbourhoods.

Prayers for Day 37 of Lent

Pray for Rubies in the Rubble – a project in one of CTC’s partner churches which is being supported by the Church Urban Fund.  Rubies in the Rubble makes preserves out of surplus fruit and vegetables from London’s wholesale markets – providing work for vulnerable long-term unemployed women in the community. This is a safe supportive environment where the women can work and build their pride and  confidence. St Peter’s Bethnal Green is involved through providing low-rent storage space, promotion and prayer in services, produce stalls at parish events, and volunteering by church members.


Prayers for Day 36 of Lent

Pray for the  Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) , whose work has a particular focus on refugees and asylum seekers. The Church Urban Fund is supporting a pilot project in London, which will enable Jewish doctors to provide mentoring to 15 refugee doctors to help them overcome the hurdles to finding employment. This project builds on mentoring they already provide to young asylum seekers.

Pray also for the New Citizens Legal Service (NCLS), an initiative of Citizens UK which has been supported by CTC staff and interns.  NCLS aims to address the lack of information available and access to high quality affordable legal advice that is experienced by some members of communities. Often leaders within diaspora communities lack the confidence and knowledge to assist members who are in need of immigration advice.  Citizens UK been training up immigration ‘sign posters’ in its diaspora communities, who will not be giving advice, but will help people navigate the immigration system and obtain the services of an accredited adviser.

Prayers for Day 35 of Lent

The Church Urban Fund is pioneering a programme of Joint Ventures – working in partnership with Dioceses throughout England to provide long-term sustainable support for Christians working in the country’s poorest neighbourhoods.

Pray for these joint ventures, and in particular for the Joint Ventures developing in Southwark and London Dioceses, and for the partner parishes of CTC involved in this work.

Prayers for Day 34 of Lent

Pray for the Parish of St James’ Gloucester – one of the poorest in the Diocese.  The Church Urban Fund is supporting St James in delivering a pilot project of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes for refugees and those seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Pray also for churches in Liverpool which are exploring involvement in broad-based community organising.  CTC Director Angus Ritchie spent time training church leaders in the city last week, and discussing the theology which undergirds Christian engagement in the movement.  Pray that these conversations will bear fruit, and in enable churches to take effective action with their neighbours for social justice.

Prayers for Day 33 of Lent

Please pray for ‘Seeing Change’,  the programme of Bible study, prayer and training developed by CTC and the Church Urban Fund to equip churches to engage their neighbours in ‘Money Talks’ – exploring the impact of the financial crisis on their lives. and identifying practical action that can be taken together to respond to the needs and injustices it is creating.

Around 16 churches have done Money Talks this Lent, with many more coming in the months ahead.  Tonight, they will be holding this work in prayer at St Paul’s Cathedral’s 6pm Eucharist.  Whether or not you can join them in persin, please do uphold this work in prayer.

Prayers for Day 32 of Lent

Pray for St Philip’s Centre, which is administering the Near Neighbours programme in Leicester, and also offers training to churches and civic bodies throughout England in inter-faith engagement and dialogue.

St Philip’s also works with CTC to deliver the Catalyst training programme for young people in east London.  Pray for young people who met recently at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine (home of CTC), and for the relationships and activities which are flowing from that encounter.

Pray also for the other training partners involved in Near Neighbours – the Christian Muslim Forum, Hindu Forum, Council for Christians and Jews, The Feast, and the Nehemiah Foundation, which employs and trains community workers as part of the programme.  Pray in particular for Beti and Rukshana, the Nehemiah workers in eastern London.

Prayers for Day 31 of Lent

Please pray for Bradford Churches for Dialogue and Diversity, which is administering the Near Neighbours programme in Bradford and another of neighbouring towns – and in particular for Carlo Schroder, the centre’s Near Neighbours Co-ordinator.

In East London, pray for Waltham Forest Asian Seniors.  For many years, this organisation has provided lunch and fellowship to elders in the Asian community in the area.  With support from Near Neighbours, the lunch club has reached out to neighbours at Shern Hall Methodist Church – a simple development which is now building long-term friendships.