In the first of Her Majesty the Queen's recent broadcasts, she said that 'though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.'
With that in mind, I thought you might find a round-up of just some ideas we've come across lately useful to you…
Chaplains, ministers and others in church leadership might find helpful the practical advice on combatting fear and remaining connected with the needs of others in this article online entitled 'Compassion Amid the Chaos.'
Likewise, a cleric with expertise in studying trauma, the Revd Dr Carla A. Grosch-Miller, wrote a letter to her own flock when news of the lockdown came. It appears on the website Tragedy and Congregations.
Grosch-Miller also co-wrote with colleagues Christopher Southgate and Hilary Ison 'Guidance for ministers as the coronavirus crisis deepens' – good advice for those in leadership positions currently. It appears elsewhere on the same Tragedy and Congregations website.
On a somewhat lighter note, we've enjoyed the music of the choir of Wells Cathedral in Somerset, who found themselves no longer rehearsing for Easter services now that places of worship are closed temporarily. They decided to reach an even wider audience with this beautifully sung and filmed rendition of the famous prayer of Cardinal John Henry Newman:
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last.
Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–90)
LAMPS is a collective of Christian artists that produces live events and creative resources for the church at large: 'Our aim is to create work that will inspire, challenge, entertain and provoke thought about the nature of God, life and the universe,' they say.
LAMPS is an acronym for 'Love, Action, Music, Poetry and Stories' – 'all things close to our hearts!' they add. A way to enter into the last days of Jesus’ Passion is through a free Easter online resource, a series of monologues filmed by LAMPS' professional actors, covering the key events in Holy Week. The monologues are available here.