[After a few hours dealing with readers’ Fb comments and hindered by google’s inability to search thoroughly – dare I say, skewed searching! – plus online journalism obscured by torrents of advertising (Daily Mail), at long last I’ve found news issued at midnight on a day of national prayer during this ‘pandemic’! Despite the nature of the situation, this announcement isn’t featured prominently but is just one of several items! PS 18th Mar, for the record: found article written by Anglican archbishops especially for the DM – In the time of dread we must all be good Samaritans: Archbishop of Canterbury JUSTIN WELBY and Archbishop of York JOHN SENTAMU says we should been (sic) looking out for friends and neighbours during coronaviral crisis. ]
The following statement appears in Church Times’ Day of Prayer and Action: Light a Candle, say Church Leaders (click to read article) – intriguing it’s ‘22‘ yet again :
LIGHT A CANDLE OF HOPE: A NATIONAL CALL TO PRAYER IN THE MIDST OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
This Mothering Sunday, 22 March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds.
At 7 p.m. this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
Whether you are continuing to worship as congregations or not, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our nation. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the Covid-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
There are already stories being told of wonderful acts of kindness across neighbourhoods. Alongside your prayers, take the opportunity to telephone or email someone who is isolated, buy some additional food for your local foodbank, or offer to deliver shopping for an elderly neighbour. We may not be able to touch physically, but we can make connections in so many other ways.
In the meantime, do please attend to all the government health advice that will be issued, and look out for resources from your specific church governing bodies. At least for those of us in the global North, we do seem to be in unusual times, and wisdom and flexibility about worship gatherings are a key part of our Christian discipleship during this period.
We note that this call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday: a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful, and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss.
In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope.
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5.7
Presidents of Churches Together in England:
Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator
Archbishop Angaelos of London, CTE President for the Orthodox Churches
Pastor Agu Irukwu, CTE Pentecostal President
The signatories are supported by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Cytûn, the Church of Scotland and the Evangelical Alliance.