360 Miscellany – News, views, resources, and online events

Bishop Andrew Forster with the ‘Hope in the Pandemic’ prayer booklet

The Diocese of Derry and Raphoe has produced a new prayer booklet, ‘Hope in the Pandemic’, to encourage parishioners during the Covid–19 crisis. The pocket–sized resource is printed on recycled paper and is meant to comfort people and help them pray through what the booklet’s foreword describes as “one of the most challenging times of the modern era”.

“The darker nights are in some way a metaphor for the added anxiety and fear that many are experiencing,” Bishop Andrew Forster writes. “As people of faith we believe that ‘the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John1:5). I hope that you find these prayers and scripture readings helpful. Let us show our people at this time of great trial that we are people of faith, not fear.”

The new booklet includes prayers for those bereaved by the virus and those who are ill or suffering because of it; there are prayers for those in hospitals and nursing homes, for doctors and nurses, for family and friends, and prayers for peace of mind.

“I hope that this little booklet will become something that you can keep – either in your handbag or in your pocket or at home – and turn to and use,” Bishop Andrew said, “knowing that God has a role for you within this pandemic, to make things better because of your prayers.”

Carlow support for Methodist World development fund

Final fundraising total from Carlow Methodist Church is an incredible €6,185!
The organisers have expressed a big thank you to everyone who took part to raise this brilliant amount for the MWDF partner in Lebanon, Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID).
Learn more about FAID – [[] http://www.faid-lb.org/ ]

Muddy Church Trail in Hillsborough

On Sunday 15 November, Hillsborough became the first parish in the Diocese of Down and Dromore to host their own Muddy Church Trail. And given the constant rain, it really was muddy church!

Inspired by Children’s Development Officer, Julie Currie, rector Canon Bryan Follis thought Muddy Church offered a great opportunity to make use of the beautiful grounds surrounding the church and give focus to God’s creation and the environment. Being outside for the family service also allowed greater numbers to take part than Covid restrictions permitted in the church building.

All those taking part followed seven stages around the grounds representing the seven days of creation. At each stage, the families made use of QR codes which gave them a challenge to undertake and part of a Bible memory verse to learn. The youth pastor, Frank Dillon, and curate, the Revd Jonathan Brown, worked hard planning and staging the various challenges for the young folk. On reaching the seventh day, a day of rest, everyone received a very welcome cup of hot chocolate and some sweets. Muddy Church finished with a short outdoor act of worship.

Despite the awful weather, 127 parishioners took part and everyone (especially the kids) thoroughly enjoyed it!

About Muddy Church

How you do Muddy Church is really up to you but at its core it’s about connecting with your community – both the people and location – to find the treasures within it. It gathers people of all ages together to enjoy God’s creation and each other’s company.

Find out more and discover lots of great ideas (including Muddy Christingle) at [ muddychurch.co.uk ]

NI Assembly Centenary lecture by Dr Eamon Phoenix on Zoom

Are you interested in history and learning more about the background & consequences of the Government of Ireland Act 1920?

Join a virtual lecture “The Government of Ireland Act 1920: Background and Consequences ”, delivered by renowned historian Dr Eamon Phoenix on Wednesday 2 Dec at 7pm.

Alex Maskey MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, invites you to a “Perspectives on…” lecture as part of the Decade of Centenaries series entitled: “The Government of Ireland Act 1920: Background and Consequences ”.

The “Perspective On…” series is the approach agreed by the Assembly Commission to mark events during the decade of centenaries within Parliament Buildings.

The lecture will be delivered on Zoom. When you register, you will be sent a Zoom link via email.

To register & get Zoom link:


EU Settled Status

Many EU citizens who have the right to stay in the UK after the Brexit transition may struggle to do so – so a campaign that enables churches support applications to the EU Settlement Scheme has launched. Find out more

Kilternan Parish’s Gathering Grounds Café cookbook with a difference

Kilternan Parish’s Gathering Grounds Café has launched a cookbook with a difference. The cookbook features 125 enticing recipes centred around the café’s mission of promoting community, belonging, growth and healing. It also tells the story behind Gathering Grounds.

The Gathering Grounds Café is an outreach project of Kilternan Parish. The café has been open for two years under the leadership of Julie Clements who is the Gathering Grounds Co–Ordinator and Outreach Worker.

A vast team of volunteers give their time and creativity to the daily running of this project. As with so many other businesses, Covid has had its impact on Gathering Grounds. At the current level 5 restrictions, the tables and chairs have been stacked up and stored away, outdoor seating is no longer available, footfall has lessened, and takeaway vessels are replenished more frequently. “We delight in the faces that still come up to get a coffee or takeaway soup and thoroughly enjoy in any and all conversation,” Julie says.

In an effort to bring in lost finance in 2020, the Gathering Grounds has come together to write a cookbook not only containing favourite recipes but also capturing the story of the café. This cookbook is now available at the Gathering Grounds Café at a cost of €12. If you are interested in purchasing this book and are unable to travel to Kilternan, please contact the parish office at 01–2952643, or email [ gatheringground@kilternanparish.ie ]

Well said

Pointers to Prayer

This prayer is taken from the @cofe’s COVID Prayer Book, available here 👉 [ ow.ly/VPBi50BCVBL ]

Uganda: Madi West Nile Diocese – Following the lockdown of worship places, the diocese has been facing the challenge of how to cover the clergy welfare, which is usually financed by weekly offerings. Please pray for sustainable ways of providing for clergy and their families.

Today we pray for people relying on food banks. The Trussell Trust have recently vowed to reverse a trend where reliance on food banks is increasingly normalised as poverty becomes more widespread.

Today we give thanks for scientists working on vaccines around the world. A preliminary analysis shows the first effective coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19.

Pray for the Church Army’s centres of mission which provide practical support to people in need of food or assistance.

God in creation

In the Mournes