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Royal Thank You launches
HOPE's harvest of thankfulness
The Big Jubilee Thank You, coordinated by the Church of England and HOPE, was
delivered to Buckingham Palace on Monday thanking Her Majesty the Queen for 60 years of service
The letter launches a season of thankfulness when churches throughout the country will be using harvest festivals to give thanks to God.
The Big Jubilee Thank You letter, signed by the public in churches and cathedrals throughout the year, contains thousands of signatures from people all over the country.
Letters of thanks were first signed by bishops, vicars and church leaders, before being made available in churches for the public to add their own comments and signatures. Some churches used the Big Jubilee Thank You downloads available from the HOPE website, others created their own ways of saying thank you with bound books, cards and pictures.
There were hundreds of contributions to the Big Jubilee Thank You from Church of England, Baptist, Methodist, Elim and independent churches, Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades, church schools and academies, Guides and Brownies, Cubs and Scouts, and Mothers’ Unions.
Compiled together into one huge Big Jubilee Thank You, the contributions were delivered to Buckingham Palace by Dr Rachel Jordan, the Church of England’s National Worship and Evangelism Adviser; Roy Crowne, the Executive Director of HOPE; and Ian Bunce, Head of Development in the Mission Department for the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
Season of thankfulness
The Big Jubilee Thank You letter starts a season of thankfulness in churches nationwide. HOPE has provided churches with
fresh ideas for harvest festivals in a book of resources introduced by HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.
True to HOPE’s vision, HOPE for Harvest equips churches to do more together in mission, in word and action. In the book’s preface, the Prince of Wales congratulates HOPE on encouraging churches and communities to embrace the true meaning of harvest, giving thanks for the abundance we have.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, of Jesus House, takes up the theme of thankfulness in one of his three articles on thanksgiving, prayer and fasting.
Former Abbot Christopher Jamison, whose TV series The Monastery attracted millions of viewers, contributes a chapter on meditation when life is fraught and busy.
Articles and ideas from Mark Greene of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity explain the importance of work and how to equip, empower and affirm Christians in their workplaces.
Three of HOPE’s partners contribute key sections: Stewardship provides four weeks’ worth of Bible studies looking at harvest in the Old and New Testaments; Tearfund focuses on generosity, mission and caring for the environment and Urban Saints contributes ideas for youth groups.
Dozens of other ideas and practical mission examples are drawn from a wide range of people with different perspectives on sharing faith such as a farmer, magistrate, bishop, doctor, mum, student and financial advisor, as well as evangelism specialists such as Revd Joanne Cox from the Methodist Church, Bishop Paul Bayes, Carl Beech from Christian Vision for Men and Dr Rachel Jordan from the Church of England.
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s Executive Director, says: ‘Harvest, as a season of thankfulness, is a holy invitation to re-evaluate and re-orientate our values. I am excited about the potential of this resource to highlight the importance of giving thanks to God for our work and for the many gifts he has given to us and its potential to equip us to share his generosity with those who don’t know him.’
Enquiries: HOPE Communications: 02072072107 / 07810183635
HOPE Office: 01788542782
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Picture: Christopher Sandamas, Chief Clerk, Buckingham Palace (left) receives the boxes full of Big Jubilee Thank You's from Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE
Thank You pages were downloaded and signed in the Dioceses of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, York, Chichester, Birmingham, Blackburn, Carlisle, Leicester and Truro.
HOPE’s vision is that churches will be doing more mission together, in words and actions, and using key moments in the Christian calendar to build a rhythm of mission.
HOPE for Harvest contains fresh ideas and inspiration for urban and rural churches to support their congregations in their places of work as well as providing some thoughts on the value of work itself. It can be used by individuals, small groups, youth groups, churches and groups of churches to spark workplace and community mission. It is
packed with everything you and your church need to reconnect with the importance of harvest and to focus on the importance of work, generosity and thankfulness. See
Harvest Resources webpage
HOPE involves Christians from all denominations, styles, ages, backgrounds and cultures
HOPE is rooted in local churches
HOPE is churches doing more together in mission
HOPE-style mission is words AND action
HOPE is not prescriptive – do mission together in whatever ways are culturally relevant for you and your community.
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