Many of us will have been following the stories on the news and over social media and have been overwhelmed with feelings of disbelief and horror. But for others of us the feelings may be that this all too familiar and are all too believable, and these feelings are replaced by pain and anger. When it comes to a response it feels like we have no words that can make a difference, but staying silent doesn’t seem right either.

As a vastly white majority Church we recognise that for most of our Church family racism and discrimination are alien to us, but as the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:26 , if one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it. Therefore the pain especially felt by people of colour in our congregation, means Christ Church is suffering. If you need support or want someone to talk with through this time, or even to scream and shout at then please get in touch with someone from the Church. If you are not sure who else to speak to then call Aidan Watson on 07854138472 or email , even if it is just to ask to be put in touch with a clergy person of colour to speak to.

If all of this language feels foreign to you and you don’t know what to do then we can recommend these blog posts by A.D.A. France-Williams and Darius Weithers, who are both Church of England priests, that share the pain they are experiencing.

But in all things we turn to God in prayer:

Father, we think of the events this week in the US and around the world and we call out to you in prayer. We think of the homicide of George Floyd and we lift him, his family and his loved ones to you. Hold them close during this time of pain, and loss.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord many of our brothers and sisters are hurting, members of the body of Christ are weeping and living in fear that it might be them next. Generation to generation are crying out in anguish and those emotions have been on display for all to see in the protests in the US and around the world. As we think of these things, our thoughts turn to you on the cross. A man living under foreign rule, murdered on a cross despite complete innocence. Lord you suffered injustice, death and anguish, minister your love and peace to those suffering and in pain in our community and around the world.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord we know the sin of racism is an epidemic throughout the world, its societies and structures. We confess that the Church, which is not supposed to be of the world, has been infected with racism throughout the centuries. We pray that your Holy Spirit would be at work in our hearts, both individually and institutionally, changing us and transforming us to be like the Church of Pentecost where all nationalities, cultures, languages and races worshipped you.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Christ Church Downend Team