Resources for a dispersed church community

These pages of our website are dedicated to resources for our spiritual and religious life, particularly when we can't gather together for worship, prayer, fellowship and learning. 

For Sunday worship and daily prayer at home, we recommend that you join the national Church of England online. Click here for their website to access streamed Sunday services, daily prayer, and an excellent free app for your smartphone or table which gives you all you need to follow Prayer During The Day every day.  

Holding together as a local church 

Quick link: Online resources for our local church.
These are challenging times for all of us. Trying to maintain a balance and structure to life in lockdown can be difficult, especially for those of us who like to have a life of rhythm and a timetable or a plan. But out of challenge comes opportunity, and our Archbishops have reminded us that while our churches are closed, we can ensure that our faith is alive in our homes and houses. They said that "In this regard we have much to learn again from our Jewish brothers and sisters. Let us make our homes alive with our prayers and our hopes."

In Hythe, the worshipping community of St Leonard's have made sure that everyone we know who is connected with our church is on a list for someone to make regular phone contact. We haven't made the assumption that everyone is (or wants to be, or enjoys being) online with a computer, tablet or smartphone. But for those of us who are online, we're keeping in touch with a regular e-mail bulletin. If you don't yet receive that, and would like to, click here and simply send us an email with "Subscribe" in the subject line of your email.

To complement what the national church is doing, and to provide some local flavour and continuity to our church life, we've created a page of "local online material"  which will feature video, audio and written material from our clergy and church community. We will add to that page as time goes by and the church year unfolds. There's a link to that page on the left or you can just
click here.

To keep in touch with the wider church in our diocese of Canterbury, click here. You'll find information and guidance, including a message from Bishop Rose, and news from the other churches of our diocese. 

For your personal prayer, you might find the following helpful:
The Church of England has 
a range of apps for your phone/tablet, and as of March 2020 the simple Time To Pray app is completely free to use. 
The fully-featured app 
Daily Prayer gives you the full text of Morning and Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer, in contemporary and traditional-language versions. It is really easy to use, and excellent value at only £2.99 for a year's subscription. 

Many of you will already have books to follow a pattern of daily Bible readings, but if you are going to follow Daily Prayer, then we really recommend the app version of Reflections for Daily Prayer. At £12.99 for a year, it's more expensive, but it's an excellent resource. 

Sometimes it's good to let someone else lead us in prayer, and there is an excellent website called Pray As You Go which does just that. It began years ago as a podcast for people to hear as they commuted or went about their daily lives, but it works anywhere. It is based on the principle of lectio divina, in which you are led through a meditative reading and prayer around a Bible passage. 

Worshipping together, apart. It is odd to worship and to celebrate communion when we can't be together in one place, and it may raise questions for you about what actually happens in a communion service. An article published in the Church Times of 27th March discusses some of the issues, and you can find a copy of it here if you'd like to read it. If the social restrictions continue for a long time, we will find ways of discussing these questions in more detail. 

In 2004, Ship of Fools ran a three-month experiment in online church, which was revolutionary for its time. This article looks back at the technology (enjoy the pictures!) and publishes Steve Goddard's sermon from the final meeting, in which he reflects on being a dispersed community connected by technology.  

The Parish of St Leonard, Hythe 

Oak Walk 

Hythe 

Kent 

CT21 5DN