How did churches take part on Sunday 4 July 2021?
Churches Together in England, supporting the lead of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland, commended the national Thank You Day on Sunday 4 July to all churches as an opportunity to give thanks with the whole United Kingdom…
The Together Coalition (with a steering committee chaired by CTE President the Archbishop of Canterbury) is working across the country with communities and organisations to build the first ever National Thank You Day on Sunday 4 July. We want to celebrate all that has got us through the past 18 months – inviting communities throughout the UK to get together to say “Thank You” to everyone who has helped us – from shopkeepers and teachers to the friends, families, next door neighbours and people from our places of worship and community groups.
Through this incredibly difficult year, we know that churches throughout the UK have particularly stepped up and gone above and beyond, reaching out to their communities from all backgrounds to run food banks, hold online prayers and worship, connect with those who are lonely, provide much-needed to support to those who have lost loved ones, and so much more.
Starting from just 13 individuals proposing a Thank You Day, the idea is now supported by hundreds of organisations across the country, ranging from the Scouts and Guides to Rotary and the Royal Voluntary Service, the Church of England, the NHS, The Mirror and The Sun and the Football Association.
CTE’s Thank You Day prayer
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)
Gracious God, we come to you today to give you thanks for every work of your grace and for each answered prayer. We thank you for the selfless devotion of those who have borne the burden of this pandemic, for the generosity of friends and neighbours, for the medical means to fight Covid-19. And, with tears, we thank you for the comfort of your presence when loss has been grievous. Through Christ our hope, Amen.
This prayer was written by CTE’s General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff.
Download the prayer graphic.
Ideas for churches
- Saying prayers of thanksgiving in your church service on Sunday 4 July.
- Distributing cards in your service that people can fill out and pass on to the people they want to thank or even do it via social media –resources are available. Maybe even find a tree, a wall, some railings or another suitable spot and invite people to hang / write messages of who they want to thank to create a photo opportunity before they are distributed. Share on social media. Get your local media to come and take photos. Get creative!
- An interfaith moment of thanks on the morning of 4 July, with faith leaders and community representatives from a host of faith traditions coming together. For some there are theological challenges in, for example, saying mixed prayers inside places of worship. That’s OK, think about hosting something outside instead (we are praying for sun!) such as a community garden or the town/city centre or maybe in a non faith specific indoor space such as a community centre or the Town Hall.
- Hosting a thank you breakfast or tea party for your neighbours of other faiths or no faith to thank them for being there during the pandemic.
- Organising a litter pick or tree planting with people from different backgrounds to thank our environment for getting us through. Share snacks and cold drinks together afterwards.
Any events must of course adhere to current coronavirus guidance.