A very warm welcome to our Church at Home service for the Second Sunday after Trinity. The Rt Revd Olivia Graham, the Bishop of Reading, presides at this morning’s service from her home, and the address is given by Revd Dr Will Lamb, Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford.
It is wonderful that some churches are now able to open for private prayer. To celebrate, we open today’s service with a magnificent peal of bells. Our country has seen many demonstrations in the last week for Black Lives Matter, and Oxford has had the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign. In this time of change and upheaval we pray for wisdom and guidance for those in authority, that they might listen to the voices of the young and those passionately campaigning for justice and the fight against racism. As Christians we pray for all who are oppressed, and hope that we may reflect the Lord’s compassion and mercy on those who have suffered any form of discrimination.
In a time of continued disruption, when the road ahead is still unclear, we also pray for those returning to schools and workplaces. We hope that all of them will navigate a ‘new norm’ successfully. We are deeply grateful for those who have run and supported food banks throughout lockdown.
As times change we must not forget the patience and suffering of all those affected by COVID-19, directly and indirectly. We remember those on the front line who put their own safety at risk to care for others. We remember those who mourn, and ask that they may be comforted in their time of sorrow; and we pray for those who have died, that they may rest in peace.