Letter from the Chaplain to the All Party Parliamentary Group - Christians in Parliament

National Prayer Breakfast - 30 June 2020

The prayer breakfast is online this year, which gives us a unique opportunity for as many church leaders and Christians across the UK, to participate in the prayer breakfast and to encourage them to attend in future years with their MP. The general aims of the event each year are to:

- Pray for Parliament and Government

- Be a Christian witness to all Members of Parliament

- Commend the goodness and relevance of the Christian faith to our public life

The theme of the breakfast is ‘Hope and peace in a time of fear and suffering’ and the event will include prayers led by parliamentarians, ‘Amazing Grace’ performed by singers all over the country, and a keynote address by the Bishop of Kensington, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Graham Tomlin. The Speaker will introduce the event, and the Chair this year is Marsha de Cordova MP. We also expect there to be messages from the PM, and the Leader of the Opposition.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, our aim is to bring together parliamentarians, church leaders and Christians from across the UK to pray for our country, the NHS and other key workers, Parliament and the Government, as well as reflect upon the message of hope, peace and loving service that the Christian faith brings to our society in this moment. There have been many voices calling for a national prayer event since the crisis began in early March, and this represents an ideal opportunity to pray for our country and leaders.

Our aim is for as many church leaders and Christians to watch the event and to invite their local MP to watch it too. We are also encouraging church leaders to use the event as a catalyst to arrange an online meeting afterwards with their MP and other local church leaders, to discuss how they can support and partner with their MP in serving people in their local communities.

We would be so grateful for your support and would love to encourage as much participation as possible in the event from Catholic clergy and laity.

To book: The event is free, but you need to register via Eventbrite in order to gain access: tinyurl.com/nppb2020online

More information is available on our website: www.christiansinparliament.org.uk/prayer-breakfast/

Best wishes, Revd. Mark Harris (Chaplain)

Christians in Parliament APPG - Room 484, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London, SW1A 2LW

Day for Life 2020 receives Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis.

This year, the theme is Choose Life, which will focus on the dignity and worth of the unborn child and expectant mothers.

The Holy Father sent the following message - The theme 'Choose Life' is particularly fitting in this twenty-fifth anniversary year of Saint John Paul II's Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, which summoned the entire Church to be 'a people of life and for life' (n: 78).

In these days when our world faces the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the Holy Father asks the faithful to pray for all those families, volunteers and healthcare professionals committed, often heroically, to the care and healing of the suffering, and for all those who, amid the continuing 'pandemic' of poverty and war, work to uphold the God-given value and dignity of every human person.

It is his hope that amid the present crisis all will be led to a greater appreciation of the moral imperative to build a 'culture of life' marked by ever greater concern for nurturing, protecting and promoting the integral welfare of all God's children, beginning with the most vulnerable.

This year, the Day for Life message emphasises the care of the unborn child and pregnant women. We pray that minds and hearts may be opened to the sheer gift and wonder of every new life in the womb, and thank those who work ceaselessly to protect this life more fully by legislation. We also draw attention to the hope and healing that women and men can experience following the trauma of abortion.

There are resources available on the Day for Life website which offers prayers, information about the support which is available for pregnant women and their children, and hopeful testimonies from moving experiences at Rachel's Vineyard, a retreat for women who have had abortions, and people who have been hurt or affected by abortion. We hear of the power of God's mercy.

Day for Life is the day in the Church's year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death.

Day for Life: www.dayforlife.org/

Day for Life is scheduled to be celebrated on 31 May in Scotland, 21 June in England and Wales and 7 October in Ireland.

However, due to the current Covid-19 situation, the dates on which Day for Life is celebrated may change.