In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him, and all ages;
to him be glory and power,
today and every day for ever. Amen
If you wish to sing, “Let us build a house”, “All my hope on God is founded” or “The Church’s one foundation” would work well here in a church context
The leader shares the story, however best suits your context. You might want to use some of this outline…or use your own words to set the scene reflecting your own church or school community. 100 years ago today it was announced in the London Gazette that King George V had signed the papers that created the re-born diocese of Coventry, separating Coventry and Warwickshire from the Diocese of Worcester and turning the parish church of St Michael, Coventry, into a Cathedral at the stroke of a pen. World War 1 was still being fought, so the birth of a new diocese was an act of huge courage in a world where ways of life that had been unchanged for decades, even centuries, were being radically challenged day by day. Those who had dreamed of the new diocese and worked towards its creation could not have imagined the landscape in which it would be born. But – born it was, and since then so much has happened, – the rise and decline of the motor industry in Coventry city, a second World War, destroying the medieval cathedral, the birth of the new cathedral, a symbol of international co-operation, hope and reconciliation, refugees arriving from many war-torn places, while in the countryside the seasonal rhythms continued, but at a faster pace as technology drove changes forward. So today we celebrate 100 years of Christian prayer in the churches of the diocese; 100 years of babies and adults baptised into Christ, of couples joined in marriage, and departed souls commended to God;100 years of ordinary people responding in so many different ways to God’s call to be the Church.
Response to the diocesan story:
For all that has been, thanks. For all that shall be, yes
Suggested Scripture: Genesis 22:17-18 (God’s Promise to Abraham)
Matthew 7:24-27 (the house on the rock)
Suggested prayer activity for schools, either collectively or in class – to be brought to this special Collective Worship: thanksgivings for God’s faithfulness and God’s gifts to us on paper stars (individual stars for each child, or on a large sheet of with pre-drawn stars)…or a house outline with the option of writing names, living stones, the house built on the foundation that is Jesus Christ…)
Centenary Prayer – either
God of time and eternity, we thank you that all our times are in your hands.
Rejoicing in your faithfulness over the last one hundred years,
We celebrate the life of our diocese:
In stories of faith, and hope,
In worship offered, disciples gathered,
And communities transformed
By your reconciling love.
As we give you thanks and praise
Give us your vision for this place that we cherish,
Help us to walk your way with its people
And pour upon us those gifts we need to work with you
That, filled with your Spirit
your Church may serve you here with strength and joy
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
OR the Schools’ version
Loving God, thank you for every moment, past and present
And for your care of our diocese through 100 years.
As we celebrate all you’re doing here
Help us to make good choices for the future
And to accept your gifts so we may do your work
Of love and reconciliation day by day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
Sing: Lord, for the years (church) or One more Step (schools)
Closing liturgy based on the Great Commission (different voices would work well, reading each line)
So now let us go out into our second century.
Let us go out to be the Church.
Let us go out to make disciples
Let us go out to baptise in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Let us go out to teach others to obey God’s commandments of love
Let us go out, remembering always that Jesus has promised…
(all voices together) “I am with you always, to the close of the age”
Amen. Let it be so. Thanks be to God.