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England: Listen to God: Hear the Poor

6 April 2014 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=1126

Archbishops Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols
Archbishops Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols

Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby have jointly launched an initiative this Lent to encourage people to pray for the work churches do to support those in their parishes and beyond. During this week Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Vincent will give also give thanks to God daily for this essential act of service and they will pray for his blessing on the work of churches serving people in need. Their aim is that by joining together in prayer and encouraging others to join them they will foster the work of the church in strengthening communities and helping those in need across the country.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby will jointly visit two projects as part of their initiative this Lent to encourage people to pray for the work churches do to support those in their parishes and beyond. They will begin the week by visiting Giuseppe Conlon House on Passion Sunday (6th April) – a house which offers a place to stay in a Christian community for men who need a home whilst they work through immigration processes. On Palm Sunday (13th April), the two Archbishops will visit the Rainbow Centre in Folkestone, Kent. This Christian charity works to support families and individuals through times of crisis, and to invest in children’s early years and well being.

During that week Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Vincent will give also give thanks to God daily for this essential act of service and they will pray for his blessing on the work of churches serving people in need. Their aim is that by joining together in prayer and encouraging others to join them they will foster the work of the church in strengthening communities and helping those in need across the country. If you would like to join them by committing to prayer, download the prayers and readings for the week in printable format now, or visit www.rcdow.org.uk or www.archbishopofcanterbury.org from April 6th – 13th for daily prayers and resources.

Download prayers and readings for Listen to God: Hear the Poor: A4 booklet (PDF)  A5 booklet (PDF)

Watch the video reflections for each day

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, introduces this special week of prayer for the social action of the church, and reflects on Psalm 72 and John 13:2b-5, 12-15

Ula Michlowicz, a Catholic Sister and member of the Chemin Neuf community based at Lambeth Palace, speaks on the temptation to focus instantly on action to help others – and reflects on today’s reading from John 3 which tells us that first we need to know Christ’s love for us and develop our relationship with him, which will support, nourish and guide us through our work. Today’s Psalm is 46:1-5, 10-11 and the reading is 1 John 3:16-22

On the third day of Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols’s week of prayer for the church’s work serving the poor, Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, speaks on why recognising our own need helps us give generously to others. Bishop Stephen is reflecting on today’s prayers and readings, which are Psalm 112 and Hebrews 13:1-3

On day four of Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols’s week of prayer for Christian social action, Children Society chief executive the Revd Matthew Reed reflects on Jesus’ words in Matthew 18 ‘Whoever welcomes a child welcomes me’ – and what it means to truly welcome and listen to children. Matthew Reed is reflecting on today’s prayers and readings, which are Psalm 34 and Matthew 18:1-5

Today Fr Dominic McKenna, parish priest for the Catholic parishes of Borehamwood, reflects on the reading of Jesus and the miracle feeding of the five thousand. Fr Dominic also talks of his experience of the generosity of people in the community in the work of the parishes’ foodbank and a Contact the Elderly group and his appreciation that: “Once we have a situation where we realise people are in need it is amazing how many people want to help.”

On Day 6 Dr Paula Gooder, a writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies, reflects on today’s readings from Matthew’s Gospel on the parable of the sheep and the goats. Dr Paula reminds us of the care Jesus calls on us to place on those we meet in our lives.

Day 7’s reflection is given by Fr Michael Dunne, Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Catherine of Sienna. Fr Michael speaks about Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and the call for those with wealth to satisfy the needs of the poor. Fr Michael also talks about his experience of helping to found a foodbank in Bow, a project undertaken with the help of people of different faiths, and the impact it is having on the community.

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