Covid-19 lockdown sees more than 1,200 new people sign up to receive Daily Devotions

Since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, more than 1,200 people have signed up to receive the United Reformed Church’s Daily Devotions.

Each morning a devotion, featuring a Bible reading, reflection and prayer, is distributed by email to new total of more than 4,200 people.

The Daily Devotion’s project creator and co-ordinator, the Revd Andy Braunston, Minister of Barrhead, Shawlands and Stewarton URCs in the Synod of Scotland’s Southside Cluster, shared his delight: “I am amazed and delighted at the number of people who have signed up.”

“We used Fr Sieger Koeder’s beautiful Stations of the Cross as our focus in our recent campaign, and we’re also now sending out a Sunday service recording and text too. We record different people reading different parts of the service, find some appropriate hymns and then mix the tracks together to create a recording which lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.

“When the government first asked us to keep to social distancing, I realised that my churches would not be able to meet and so started to think about recording worship and sending out via email.

“I was fortunate in that the Revd Michael Hopkins, Clerk of the General Assembly, had already prepared his Mothering Sunday service and the Revd Phil Nevard, Minister of Kingsteignton URC, had already started to work on his service for the fifth Sunday of Lent. I’d already got my Palm Sunday and Good Friday material together which meant we had a head start.

“I’m very pleased that we have found more people, from all over the URC, to lead worship in this way and in future weeks we will hear from Janet Sutton, Ruth Whitehead, Martin Knight, Fleur Houston, John Bradbury, Susan Durber, Richard Church, Sarah Moore, Neil Thorogood, Janet Tollington, Ruth Browning and Francis Brienen.”

“I also wanted to create services that feature familiar voices and who reflect our breadth to bring us comfort in these uncertain times,” continues Andy, “as well as something that could easily be distributed to people without email and 400 people receive the orders of service and recording well ahead of time in order to print and burn to CD and post to members of their congregations.”

Asked whether the services will continue in the future, Andy added: “It’s too early to say whether or not we will continue this after the crisis is over.  There clearly is potential but we’d need to think about how that might work given my work with four lovely churches in and around Glasgow.”

In December 2017, the devotions began appearing with the Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today logo to emphasise that they can help each of us develop the habit of finding time to reflect on the Word during our busy lives.

If you are yet to sign up to Daily Devotions, you can do so here.

Picture: The Revd Andy Braunston.
Published on URC website: 16 April 2020

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