On Tuesday 27 November, Bishop Declan launched the Year of Prayer at Clifton Cathedral. In a celebration of evening prayer he presented to each parish, community and school in the diocese the resources for the Year of Prayer starting this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

In his message, Bishop Declan said that although we focus our attention upon prayer, mission is not finished, but we continue to reflect upon mission with a spirit of prayer. He continued to say that prayer is a conversation with God and is a conversation with others. It is not a one-way conversation but that the conversation we have in prayer is one both of speaking but above all of listening.

Link to the Year of Prayer Booklet 

This booklet is not a treatise on prayer or an introduction to prayer it is rather a resource to help us to reflect on the rich patterns of prayer that already exist in our parishes and communities and a call to deepen that prayer. This resource is to help us reflect on the many ways we already encounter Christ and an invitation to the see the ways in which the Lord invites us to encounter him anew.

 

The Year of Prayer is the second of the bishop’s threefold vision of Mission, Prayer and Communion. These will follow the cycle of the Church’s year and begin with the season of Advent.

 

Year of Mission                      Advent 2017 –  2018
Year of Prayer                        Advent 2018 –  2019
Year of Communion             Advent 2019 –  2020

 

Each has its own document with resources and reflections in order to spur us on to more active engagement in the work of Christ. The aim of these three years is to give us the tools we need in order to be able to take a firm grip on the future that the Lord calls us to. The symbol of the anchor, which recurs through-out the document, reminds us that the anchor which holds us fast is the knowledge of God’s love for us.