Churches urged to #pray4media
on Sunday June 1st 2014
Churches and Christians are being encouraged to pray for the media on Sunday June 1st.
The initiative is being led by the Church and Media Network, with prayers being submitted by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, Revd Ruth Gee, President of the National Conference of The Methodist Church: Dr Daleep Mukarji, the Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, and the Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, the Anglican Bishop-designate of Leeds.
The Church and Media Network, which seeks to encourage Christians to engage with the media, is encouraging people to submit their own prayers on the newly-launched website www.pray4media.co.uk and to tweet prayers to @pray4media.
Revd Tony Miles, Chair of the Network, explained: “The British media is under scrutiny as never before. Illegal and unethical practices by some journalists have combined with tough economic times and pressures from new technology to make these challenging times for everyone working in the media.
“Yet as Christians we want to affirm the media’s vital role in our society. At its best the media gives a voice to the voiceless, holds the powerful to account, highlights unjust practices, calls for justice, keeps people informed, brings us strong opinions to challenge our own – and tells stories to entertain us.”
Tony Miles, Media Chaplain and Deputy Superintendent Minister at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, added: “We firmly believe that working in the media is an honourable profession. We want to encourage Christians and other people of faith and goodwill to consider it as a calling. We want to support all those working in and with the media in our churches, including church leaders and communications officers who help to portray and interpret the Church’s role in our society.”
The Church and Media Network is calling on churches – on June 1st and regularly – to:
- Include the media in their prayers for the world, country or local community. Specifically name the key local media when praying for the area.
- Include the media in prayer diary listings.
- Encourage people who work in or with the media in the church to talk about the pressures they face, and then pray about the issues raised.
- Get to know the staff of their local newspaper or radio station. Ask them to suggest how the church might pray for them.
- Use newspaper and website headlines and photographs as visual aids for prayer. Pray for the people who produced the reports – sometimes at great risk to themselves.
These ideas and others are included on the www.pray4media.co.uk website, together with other ideas to help build positive links between churches and their local media.
The Archbishop of York’s prayer reads:
Lord Jesus Christ, you speak and bring all that is seen and unseen into being:
we give you thanks for the gift of the media to reach the far flung places of the earth with messages of hope and life.
We give you thanks for those who risk their security and even their lives to expose injustice and to bring news of hope.
May they strive to be the bearers of good news that all people may come to know the abundant life for which we have been created; and yet more wonderfully redeemed in Jesus Christ.
We offer our prayer in your name, in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Father. Amen.
Much of the material for the day has been written by Revd Peter Crumpler, former director of communications for the Archbishops’ Council, now serving as a curate in Sandridge, Herts.
Andrew Graystone: firstname.lastname@example.org