Churches Together in Bishop’s Stortford is an ecumenical group of representatives from all of the local Churches (one minister and two lay members from each Church), encourages working together to support the community, and brings together many aspects of Christian witness in the town.
There are a number of notable activities organised by Churches Together in Bishop’s Stortford, including:
- Holiday Bible Week, a week of activities, fun, stories, praise and scripture for 5-11 year olds
- GROW, an encumenical youth group for 12-16 year olds – contact Garry Steel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 24/7 round the clock prayer vigil during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- Street Pastors
- The Good Friday Procession in the town
- Bishop’s Stortford Money Advice Service
Noon Day Prayers during COVID-19 – Churches Together will email a daily prayer which will be uploaded on to this website
Clive leading our prayers
Testimonies of survivors and people involved with arresting the UK slavery gang in summer 2019
When I suggested a noon day prayer and a rota of churches doing this, I don’t think I envisaged how long this lockdown would continue.I want to say a huge thank you to Chris Neal for getting this prayer around all the churches over the past 14 weeks, and to church administrators, church notice sheet producers and of course those who have contributed such a variety of prayers during this time, not counting the Thy Kingdom Come, there have been over 80 prayers written,prayed and posted to Facebook during this time, which is a huge witness to our town, and beyond.
I know that those isolated at home have found great comfort in the rhythm of this prayer too.
Now we are entering a new phase, and thankfully emerging, slowly and cautiously into a very different world. As churches like St Michaels andHoly Trinity are now able to open for private prayer, so that,maintaining social distancing the quiet of the church building can be used for contemplation and prayer. However we can, and should be able to pray anywhere, the Charles Wesley has a line ‘pray without ceasing pray,your Master gives the word!’ I would though like to add, pray as you can, not as you think you ought to just open your heart and talk to a God who loves you.
So a long pre-amble and a short prayer:
Loving God we give thanks for the diversity of our churches and that we
can and do work well together through Churches Together. Be with all
clergy and church leaders as they plan the re-opening of the church
buildings that this can be done as safely as possible. And be with those
who although they may long to worship together in person are anxious at
Revd. Gill Hulme Minister of Bishop’s Stortford
From Rev Gill Hume
I have quoted from my friend Rev Betty Trinder – before she was ordained Betty was a police women, and on this day of International prayer for the Police and first responders I turn again to her insightful prayers, and have added some of my own.Apparently there were over 30,000 attacks on Police Officers last year, up more than 25% from the previous year with at least 2 killed,. We
think of the bravery of first responders to the terrorist incident in Reading and the difficulty of policing during lockdown and also in trying to hold apart demonstrator and counter demonstrations in recent weeks.
“Lord, we know there are a small minority of police officers who act
outside their lawful duties as seen in the US, but there are many more
who are the very best, brave, community minded servants who want to keep
citizens safe and free to walk the streets in safety, be with them today
and in all that they do.
We pray for the Christian Police Association which seeks to show the
light of your love to fellow officers, and we pray especially for all
the police officers, and community officers in our town, and the
“Our Heavenly Father, whose love and mercy abounds beyond our best understanding. We pray for your comfort and guidance to all those in prison. Some will be afraid, some angry and many who from the beginning of their lives had no love, guidance or help and who are deeply regretting how life has turned out for them.At this time of the unseen virus which has invaded the prisons causing illness and death not only to the prisoners but also to the prison officers whose task is to look after those in their care. We know that every day is a challenge to be met by each prison officer. In the realisation that all life is one and Heavenly Father, you are the Father of us all. We pray you will keep them safe day by day.Comfort those and those who have lost loved ones and who are suffering.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Today we are praying for the fire and rescue services. You alone know what today holds for them as they follow their calling to into places that are often full of danger.
Here is an anonymous prayer written by a firefighter
When I am called to duty, God,
Wherever flames may rage,
Give me strength to save a life,
Whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late.
Or to save an older person
From the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
To give the best in me,
To guard my friend and neighbour,
And protect their property.
And if according to your will
I must answer Death’s call,
Bless with Your protecting hand,
My family one and all.
And so we pray for those who are helped by firefighters, for their families as they do this essential job, for back up administration and emergency call services. We recall that we don’t often think about them unless we urgently need them.
And we give thanks for all they do
Loving God, who through your Son, brought help and healing to those in need we pray for ambulance workers and paramedics who are committed to do the same. We give thanks for their commitment to the well-being of their fellow women and men and ask that you give them the skills they need; fill them with compassion and patience, particularly at times when they are abused by those they seek to aid. Enable them to provide comfort and understanding to people unsure and frightened of what is happening. Help them to deal with the trauma they must suffer as they deal with some of the most horrific situations anyone will face, whether because of inhumanity or accident. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dear Father in heaven
I’m sure we all know someone who has suffered during this pandemic or lost a loved one or close friend.
Today our heart goes out to them and we pray for everyone who have been devastated by these recent tragedies. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Lord we ask that you bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with your love and strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the days ahead.
As your church in the town where you have placed us, we cry out for an end of this awful time. Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, and in comfort to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of all the community.
We give thanks for the medical advances taking place and pray that you will help the professionals to continue to progress towards a cure.
We also pray that we will soon be able to gather again to bring our worship to you as a church.
We pray this in the Name of Jesus.
Pastor Tony Hickman (the Hub Church)
Dear Father in heaven
From when we arise in the morning, to when we lie down again at night,
you are with us. Every hour of the day, you are our comfort and strength.
When we feel inadequate for the things we are facing today, Lord, you are our adequacy.
When darkness seems to invade our day, then you are the light to guide us and your word is a lamp unto our feet.
When our world is rocked by the storms of life, you are the one in the boat with us and at your command the storms cease and peace and stillness come instead.
So today, our Father, we praise your great and wonderful name, our saviour, redeemer and friend; our present help in time of need. Day by day new mercies we find at your throne of grace. We cast all our care on you because we know that you care for us.
Your lovingkindnesses never cease, and your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Pastor Tony Hickman (the Hub Church)
I bow my knee before You in prayer and praise. I pray for your leading and guiding today in all I say and do. May I walk in spirit and truth and be sensitive to Your gentle voice in my heart.
I desire Oh God, to fix my eyes on the Lord Jesus, knowing that without Him I will quickly stray from the path that is best for me. Jesus you are the Way and the Truth and the Life and I desire to be only guided by You.
Today, as we continue to battle this pandemic that is cruelly taking so many lives, I pray you will help all those seeking for a vaccine or testing drugs to combat it. Lord give them wisdom and a breakthrough soon.
I pray for all those that are anxious and fearful during this time. Help us to be a voice of hope and a signpost towards the Lord Jesus and that they will find peace through turning to God in prayer.
We take comfort in the scriptures, knowing that you are ready and willing to hear our cry.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
A Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for all our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering rejection, discrimination and persecution because of their faith in you. Pour out your Holy Spirit on each one and protect them from evil. Keep them close to you and comfort them. Strengthen their faith so that they are able to stand firm, and may their lives bear witness to your truth.
We pray also for their persecutors, especially those who think that, in persecuting Christians, they are serving God. May their eyes be opened and their hearts softened so that they, too may renounce evil and turn to you, who are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Christianity is widely considered to be the most persecuted religion in the world and it is getting worse. Last year the Bishop of Truro was commissioned by the Foreign Secretary to produce a report on the extent of the persecution of Christians worldwide in order to inform the UK Government’s response to it. This comprehensive report is available at https://christianpersecutionreview.org.uk
Thank You for sending Your Son to die for us, so that we might be forgiven of our sins, and live a life of communion with You.
Thank You that Your word says , that You will never forsake or leave us. We come to You today, with many needs at this desperate time.
We pray for our government and all those in authority over us, that You will supernaturally guide them, in making safe and moral decisions, for our nation. We pray for all the Churches in our town, that you will give them wisdom and peace, as they move forward to re start their services and ministries. We pray for those that are church members , that You will give them a heart of compassion to reach out to others at this time. We pray for all those that do not know You, that this will be a time when they begin to realise their spiritual need, of You. Have mercy on our land, O Lord.
In Jesus name, Amen.