#LiveLent: Embracing Justice is the Church of England’s theme for Lent 2022. Both the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2022 Lent Book, Embracing Justice (SPCK), and the daily reflections booklet for adults (CHP) have been written by Isabelle Hamley.
It invites us to examine our own lives truthfully, to see the world more deeply and to pray – for the church and the world far and near – that ‘justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’ (Amos 5.24).
Each week we follow a different thread through the many stories of justice in the Bible to explore how God works with humanity to bring justice, wholeness and salvation to all. As in recent years, the weekly themes of the Archbishop’s Lent Book (supported by online resources for churches and groups) are also explored in daily reflection from the Church of England.
#LiveLent: Embracing Justice offers a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a prayer, as well as a practical challenge linked to the week’s theme. An accompanying child’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.
The book and booklets will be accompanied by daily social media posts from Ash Wednesday (2 March) to Easter Day (17 April), together with a wide range of free digital resources for individuals, groups and churches.
An update to the award-winning #LiveLent app for iOS and Android – including daily audio – will be available from mid-February.
The six weeks of Lent are a journey. We travel together towards God’s promised world, one where his justice and mercy reign.
For many people, Lent is a time of fasting, of choosing to go without.
This Lent we are called to be speakers and seekers of justice. We reflect on the injustices of the world and ask what God is calling us to do about them. Over forty days, we step into God’s work in the here and now – and in doing so we move from brokenness towards wholeness.
Our journey through Lent is one in which we seek inner transformation to be people of a new world, people who reflect God’s vision that all are created equal.
Our prayer is that this may be a time for you – whether by yourself, in community, or online – to see afresh the vision of God and truly join in making his promise of a world transformed a reality.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York
2027 Community of Prayer during Lent
2027 Community of Prayer Wednesday Morning Prayer
Through Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022 and ending on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, there is an open invitation to all from Bishop Libby to join her from 8:30am - 9:00am each Wednesday on zoom for Morning Prayer. We hope that many people will choose to join in so we can be united in a community of prayer through this season of penitential reflection.
The same link will work for each session and is available from email@example.com
2027 Community of Prayer Intercessory Gatherings
During Thursday evenings of Lent from 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Bishop Libby is hosting online prayer gatherings focussed around different themes across diocesan life. We hope to gather people virtually to discover more of what God is doing in these different contexts and to pray into the opportunities and challenges together.
The format each week will vary but will be very participative and all are welcome to join in for any or all of the sessions which will be led by different people with personal experience of that setting.
Week 1, Thurs, 10 March – rural and market towns, lead Carol Coslett.
Week 2, Thurs, 17 March - children and young people, lead +Malcolm.
Week 3, Thurs, 24 March – emerging transitioning contexts, lead +Libby.
Week 4, Thurs, 31 March – diversity and inclusion, lead Dwayne Engh.
Week 5, Thurs, 7 April – city and urban, lead tbc
The same link will work for each session and is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Holy Week Retreat
St. Werburgh, Spondon, is once again providing a retreat through Holy Week for those who could never afford the time or expense of going away to make a residential retreat.
This year, more than ever it is needed, helping us to move out of the last two years of separation and anxiety. All of us are facing different circumstances in a radically changed and more fragile world.
A retreat is an opportunity to find support with prayer, to be restored, it can be a way to think through a life choice or change in circumstances and it is an opportunity to prepare for the resurrection joy of Easter.
This year, they are trying out a hybrid of in person and online engagement, both for worship and the one to one work with a spiritual guide.
If you’d like to know more, or would like to join, please contact Revd Kate Smedley on email@example.com.
The Clewer Initiative - Children in the Shadows is a five-week interactive resource for Lent that will help consider the various forms of child exploitation, the scale of the abuse, and the need for us all to increase our awareness and effective response. Each session contains definitions, statistics, examples of current good practice, and ways in which individuals and churches can make a significant contribution to extending care and strengthening resilience and resistance in their communities. There is also a passage of scripture to inspire our response and a prayer to draw our reflections together. Each session concludes with the words of two new hymns, written for The Clewer Initiative by Sheena Evans and Simon Hancock. More information https://theclewerinitiative.org/campaigns/children-in-the-shadows
Prayers, Poems and Intercessions
Lent Spiritual Resources - Creative Prayer responses around six themes [PDF] - Written by Karen Herrick, Harlequin Arts
The Scars Remain - poems for Lent and Easter by Tim Sumpter [Word doc]
Intercessions for the Sundays of Lent 2021 [Word doc]
Living God's Way
Living God's way is a series of resources for children and their households for the season of Lent, aiming to give ideas and spiritual focus during this time of the church year. The series is based on the Diocese of Derby Vision and Values. The resources for each Sunday are not meant as tasks to work through. Rather, they should be taken as ideas which can be selected by children to best meet the age, development, time and resources are available. I aimed to include Bible texts, scope for thought and conversation, craft and activities, worship, prayer ideas, and links to songs, videoclips and PowerPoint from other sites (Please pre-watch any resources from an external site to check for suitability). My prayer is that over the season of Lent, children and their carers will grow in their understanding of God's immense love for each and every one.
Sarah Brown - Children's Adviser
#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation is the Church of England's Lent Campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created.
This year’s #LiveLent challenge offers 40 short reflections and suggested actions to help you, your family and your church live in greater harmony with God, neighbour and nature.
It has been inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury's 2020 Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK).
The Clewer Initiative’s Lent challenge introduces one industry a week that is touched by slavery- with challenges, each based around a different aspect of modern slavery. For example one week asks you to see whether your favourite tea is ethically sourced, and another prompts you to investigate where the minerals in your phone come from. The aims of the campaign are to raise awareness of modern slavery, and encourage people to think more deeply about the purchasing decisions they make.
Hungry for Change
Church Urban Fund’s Lent course focuses on food poverty, one of the most obvious signs of disparity in our society in recent years. It looks at the injustice, failure of generosity and distribution behind food poverty and asks whether the situation is a product of wrong human choices or a lack of God’s provision- these sorts of questions will foster healthy debate over the five-week course.
Broken. A six week study course for Lent, Canon Dr Paula Gooder, Director of Mission Learning & Development Birmingham Diocese
The TV series, Broken, written by Jimmy McGovern and starring Sean Bean is set in an estate parish somewhere in the UK. The church used at the centre of the series is in Liverpool but the series never explicitly states that this is where the narrative is set. The series focuses on the life and ministry Father Michael Kerrigan, a Roman Catholic, priest who, despite past trauma and anxiety about his own inadequacies, attempts to bring the light of Christ into the lives of the people amongst whom he ministers. The series portrays real life at its most gritty and unvarnished, and in doing so raises many questions along the way about how to live faithfully when life is very hard.
This course arose out of numerous conversations I had with people after the series aired. So many people commented that they thought it would make an excellent Lent or study course that I thought it would be interesting to have a go. I have shaped the course around the principles of the series itself – which raises far more questions than it ever answers. The idea of the course is to provide the space for people to pick up the questions raised in the series and to explore how they might want to answer them.
Please click on the link below to download the sessions, leaders' notes and a list of helplines as the series contains disturbing story lines.
Nothing More and Nothing Less: A Lent Course based on the film I, Daniel Blake
The film I, Daniel Blake covers themes of oppression, compassion and radical response by telling the story of two people's struggles with an oppressive and dehumanising benefits system. This is a five-week Lent study, suitable for groups or individuals, that encourages readers to consider the stories of the film and how Christians may be called to respond. Chapters cover such topics as Compassion in the Darkness and the Suffering Servant. The book includes scene timings for key scenes, discussion points, meditations and suggested prayers.
Not A Tame Lion
This is a Lent course based on the Bible and related scenes and characters from the Narnia films The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian and the C S Lewis bio-pic Shadowlands. There are five group discussion sessions exploring themes of suffering, God’s absence and the gift of the present in Christ. Personal meditations and further studies exploring the deeper meaning of the films with reference to heaven, judgement, and the force of evil are also included.
A Beautiful Friendship This course is based on the film classic Casablanca, which provides a great basis for discussion of themes of sacrifice, repentance, suffering, loss and hope at Lent. Its wartime setting provides additional poignancy for study at a time of continued armed conflict around the world as well as the centenary remembrance of the first world war. Miranda and Not Going Out writer Paul Kerensa makes an intriguing departure from his comedy writing, preparing this moving book with his wife, Zoe Young. It is designed to be studied by groups or individuals alongside the DVD of Casablanca. The book includes leaders' notes, timings for film clips, discussion-starters, reflections and prayers.
Finding a Voice This is a new and original Lent course by Hilary Brand which takes the film, The King's Speech, as a starting point, and explores the ways in which fear holds us back and examines how we, like Bertie, can face and overcome our fears and begin to find our authentic voice. The course is based around five weekly group sessions which each include extracts from the film, group discussion questions, exercises and meditations. There are also short introductory and follow up chapters, with related Bible passages, for individual reading each week. Also included is a suggested follow up session, along with full notes for leaders.
Another Story Must Begin This Lent course based on the film, the novel and the stage adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Through discussion of some of the themes and principal characters of this epic narrative, the course explores the grace of God and our own fallen state and opportunity for redemption, and helps us to reassess what we can do with our lives and for those around us. The course is based around five weekly group sessions: Fantine and Cosette, the Bishop of Digne, Jean Valjean, Javert and Redemption and Salvation. Each session includes watching scenes from the Oscar-winning movie (with timing references for the DVD), and questions and reflections for group discussion. Each session also includes introductory reading, notes for leaders, related Bible passages and suggested closing prayers.
The Mystery of Everything This Lent course by Hilary Brand takes the award-winning film about Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, as its starting point. The course explores ways in which the mysteries of the universe and of everyday life - and the acceptance that we have more questions than answers - can reinvigorate our faith and spiritual journey. The course is based around five weekly group sessions entitled: the experience of wonder, the enigma of weakness, the complexity of relationships, the encounter with frailty and the hope beyond brokenness. Each session includes an extract from the film, group discussion questions and a meditation. There are also short introductory and follow up chapters for individual reading each week, and a chapter of Bible passages for further daily reading. The book supplies full notes for group course leaders.
This book provides encouragement to all those who feel the need to refresh how they pray. It looks at prayer as having the trust and belief that God is truly interested in everything that happens to us and wants to hear about it. The book leads the reader into the theological aspects of prayer and how it relates to Christ, to the Holy Spirit and to the Church. This is done without using complex theological concepts but simply through scriptural quotations. Chapters are kept brief intentionally to make the book suitable for daily reading over the Lenten period. With a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Say it to God demonstrates that the everyday, even the most mundane of tasks and situations, can be applied in deepening our practice of prayer.
The Children’s Society provide The Story of Lent, prayers and reflections
Christian Aid have daily Count Your Blessings reflections for both adults and children.
21st century living is hectic. Getting the right 'life balance' between rest, work and play seems almost impossible. In five interactive sessions, Life Balance aims to help groups explores: How to build Sabbath time into the crazy pressures of everyday life. How 'Sabbath attitudes' can transform the way we spend our time. Each session contains enough material for a 90-minute session and includes guidelines for group study, with full background notes for leaders, interactive activities, questions for discussion and multimedia ideas, and ideas for practical action.
A series of Lenton Addresses at St Werburgh's church Spondon by Bishop Alastair. To download a copy of the booklet please click here
We are grateful to Ali Campbell, DYO for Chichester Diocese who has given permission to share this document. Please click here to get the finished PDF for the “Lent Bible Reflections for Young People”.
"My hope with the resource is that young people themselves will use it, with so many now having their own tablets and phones that can be used as readers – this seemed the simplest way. Use it however you like as youth and children’s leaders – if it also personally helpful – that is great! Please pass it on as you see fit."