Prayer and Spirituality
Prayer and spirituality are central to Christian faith and practice. Prayer may be informal or formal, individual or done together. Spirituality can mean both giving attention to the things of the spirit and the practice of what is done.
Christian spirituality and prayer is connected to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and to the ways in which people have responded to this over the years.
“Spirituality is how we dance the dance of patience with God. It is about how we manage our impatience that God does not seem present to us fully and undoubtedly all the time. It is about how God is consistently and lovingly patient with us. Learning this dance is the heart of the Christian life, and however clumsily and awkwardly we do it, and however often we tread on God’s toes, God is overjoyed that we overcome our shyness and try, and even more so that we persist, or after giving up get the courage to start again.”
Bishop Mike works with the Spirituality group to encourage the priority of prayerfulness in the diocese and the growth of prayer and spirituality and to support the ministry of spiritual accompaniment. You can contact the Spirituality Group via email@example.com.
- Spiritual Accompanier/Director-+
Many people find it helpful to talk about their own prayer and about spiritual things. This relationship is known as spiritual accompaniment or spiritual direction.
If you are a spiritual director and would like to join our list please contact Claire Powell via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you might like to become a spiritual director/companion, you can contact Claire Powell via email@example.com or 01359 269335.
- Retreats, Quiet Days, Quiet Spaces-+
Taking time out from everyday life can help us concentrate on spiritual life. Organised days give some input to help shape your prayer and reflection.
Cursillo is an opportunity for Christians to grow in God through Jesus Christ, primarily over one long weekend, and with the support of others from the church in Suffolk who have made a Cursillo themselves. Cursillo is a nationwide movement within the Anglican Church, working with the full blessing of the Bishop in this diocese. Cursillo is a Spanish word (pronounced kur-see-yo), which means a “Short course”; the aim of which is to reawaken people to the calling they received in their baptism to be witnesses to Christ.
Cursillo helps us:
- To grow into a deeper relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ
- To discover our personal vocations and to develop our individual gifts for Christian service and leadership.
- To become more effective witnesses to Jesus Christ in our lives
- To bring about and strengthen Christian commitment within a community of faith
- To build up the witness of the Church in the world that may be renewed and transformed
Cursillo is for those members of congregations who are already committed in their Christian lives, and is intended to be a partnership between lay and clergy. Cursillo is part of the church, and is nurtured and sustained by its teaching, by prayer, the sacraments, and spiritual direction; and by the mutual support of small and larger groups of Christians.
For more information contact Sarah Lock, the Lay Director of Cursillo via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01284 850363 or the Revd Canon Julia Lall via email@example.com or 01379 678064.
- Healing and Wholeness-+
The Ministry of Healing and Wholeness is part of our prayer, public worship and pastoral ministry. In many parishes the ministry is expressed in reaching out and caring for the community.
The Diocesan Advisory Group on the church’s Ministry of Healing and Wholeness is made up from clergy and laity across the diocese. The group members are a resource for the churches of the diocese in support of the Ministry of Healing.
Common Worship Pastoral Services gives a very good theological background on this ministry (p. 8ff). It also provides appropriate and rich liturgical material both for public worship and for individual ministry.
Another good resource is 'A Time to Heal Handbook' (Church House Publishing) which gives background to this ministry being re-established in a parish with support from Diocesan Synod. Members of the Advisory Group may be able to assist you with training and advice on this ministry within the church.
For more information please contact Canon Matthew Vernon via email.
- Additional Prayer and Spirituality Resources-+
A series of newsletters which contained people’s experience of different aspects of prayer and spirituality is no longer able to be produced. Previous issues are here:
- Growing Roots 11: Prayer and Music | PDF
- Growing Roots 10: Prayer and work | PDF
- Growing Roots 9: Exploring prayer | PDF
- Growing Roots 8: Spirituality of older people | PDF
- Growing Roots 7: When times are difficult | PDF
- Growing Roots 6: Retreat times | PDF
- Growing Roots 5: Going deeper | PDF
- Growing Roots 4: Rhythms or rules of life | PDF
- Growing Roots 3: People who walk with us | PDF
- Growing Roots 2: Places for praying | PDF
- Growing Roots 1: Ways of praying | PDF
Third Order, Society of St Francis
A religious order inspired by the example of St Francis for people who are engaged in the ordinary tasks of life and may have family responsibilities. www.tssf.org.uk
There are several local groups in Suffolk but the contact for further information is the Provincial Novice Guardian: firstname.lastname@example.org
A website for personal prayer – making a sacred space at your computer
Pray as you go
A Jesuit daily prayer website, offering a 10 minute guided prayer, which can be downloaded to an iPod or MP3 player or listened to on the computer.
An interdenominational movement of prayer, mission and justice, providing suggestions for praying as individuals and churches, and periodic podcasts.
The Methodist Church
Ideas and resources for developing in prayer individually, in the Methodist church, and beyond.