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Praying for Growth around the deaneries

Published: 4th August 2023

Bishop MartinAn article for September's editions of parish magazines from the Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick.

I spent the first two weeks of August on a prayer pilgrimage around the diocese. I last did this in 2021 when I visited over 100 churches and loved meeting so many people in diverse and wonderful parishes, praying for God’s Spirit to flow and bless our churches and communities.

This year I have been visited fewer parishes but spent longer in each one ‘Praying for Growth’.  In each church we prayed for our growth as Kingdom People, growing in love, compassion, justice and freedom.  We prayed for the growth of our church communities in depth and in number, as we seek to worship God, make new disciples, share hope and join with others to transform our communities for good and for God.  We prayed for the growth of healthy and sustainable churches in every community, churches that reflect and connect with their local community, churches that are rich centres of diversity and inclusion, where old and young come together to make a difference together. We prayed for the growth of the numbers of children and young people connecting with our churches and bringing their faith and commitment into the centre of church life. And we prayed for the growth of congregations old and new, traditional and more alternative. Each service was special for me, as we moved together around the church in song and in prayer, and people received anointing as we asked for the grace of the Holy Spirit to equip them for mission and ministry.

If you couldn’t be there, you can still be part of these ongoing prayers for growth. Prayer needs to underpin everything, and there are Praying for Growth leaflets with intercessions, and a Praying for Growth card with Prayers for our Vision and our Priorities. If you can’t find one in church, find them on the diocesan website at www.cofe-worcester.org.uk/praying-for-growth or contact Sam Setchell at the diocesan office.

Generous God,

by your Spirit lead your church into growth,

and into the mature humanity

that reflects the image of Christ our Saviour.

So equip our ministers with the gifts of your Spirit

that we may kindle the flame of faith

among children and young people,

renew our churches with your life and love,

and help new communities come to birth

and lift their hearts in worship,

that, joined in one body together,

we may find a voice to sing your praise,

now and in all eternity. Amen.

Page last updated: Friday 4th August 2023 3:09 PM

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