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Monthly News Update and Special Easter Prayer Spaces
March 2016
Please pray for us
 
The latest pointers to pray for the work of Chelmsford 24-7 can be found here


ALSO DO FORWARD THIS CIRCULATION
TO AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON
This month:
  • Easter Prayer Spaces - details of our Easter Prayer for the City
  • Regular Prayer Spaces - God is on the move!
  • Passion Play 2016 - latest Prayer Pointers
  • sanctuary - what happened at the Cathedral?
  • Local Christian Events  - pass the word
  • The Shack - we've found it!
  • The Cross rising from religion - Thoughts from leader David Gilbey
 
Easter Prayer Spaces - details of our Easter Prayer for the City

Instead of an Easter 'on line' Week of Prayer, this year, from Monday 21 to Thursday 24 March, we are supporting Churches Together in Chelmsford (CTiC) and City Passion, and opening four Prayer Spaces for us all to join together and pray over our City.

We want to pray for the Procession of Witness and for the City Passion Play, both on Good Friday, and for the lasting impact they will have on Chelmsford for the Kingdom of God.


In particular, on Tuesday 22 March, 7pm to 10pm, we have a special Prayer Space at St. John's, Moulsham Street, and between 8pm & 9pm an optional Holy Week Meditation, led by CTiC Chair, Revd. Canon Carol Smith, will also take place alongside, in the side chapel.

We are also inviting all the cast and crew of City Passion to come along to St. John's.

The other three Prayer Spaces will take place during the day:


Monday 21 March, Hall Street Methodist, 11am to 2pm
Wednesday 23 March, The Cathedral, 11am to 3pm
Thursday 24 March, Chelmsford Community Church, Trent Road, Melbourne, 9am to 11.30am


These will feature short periods of corporate prayer 15 mins and 45 mins past each hour.

In addition, we will be opening up a Prayer Space for the first time at North Avenue URC, in Melbourne on Monday 14 March, 10am to 1pm. This will also have an Easter theme.


Please do your very best to come to at least one of these and spread the word.

Click on the picture to the left which is a leaflet for the four Prayer Spaces in the week before Easter, to enlarge and download and / or print.

Details are also on our website.
Regular Prayer Spaces - God is on the move!
 
Mid February, two men who we had not seen before, nor Christians as far as could be ascertained, independently wandered into our Prayer Space at Hall Street Methodist Church. During a conversation, the first spoke of suffering from terminal cancer and was happy to receive prayer for healing. The second came in because his daughter had sadly taken her own life before Christmas and he simply wanted somewhere to sit for a few moments. He was really upset, but expressed comfort for kind words given to him and for a promise of ongoing prayer that God would give him peace for his loss.

Our Prayer Spaces now take place two, three or even occasionally four times per week. Please come along and encourage others from your churches to do so. Prayer Spaces are where the Light of Jesus shines out - strategic places to pray over our City, our Nation and World, to encounter God and be energized for mission.

We have presently reached a limit on the number of daytime Prayer Spaces we can hold, but are still looking for one or two more regular or occasional evening venues. Can you help?

New venue
 
On Friday 11 March, 9am to 12 midday, we have a new Prayer Space being trialled at The Orchard's, Mascalls Way, Great Baddow, a former Infant school building, now leased and used by Meadgate Church. This will become more regular from April, details will be published in due course.

Also, our second monthly Prayer Space at St. Mary's Church, High Street, Great Baddow, is this coming Friday, 4 March,  11 am to 2 pm.

 
These two are in conjunction with community outreach or 'open church' initiatives. Drinks are available and as with all our Prayer Spaces, everyone is very welcome.
 
Passion Play 2016 - updated prayer pointers


As you may know, Chelmsford 24-7 is promoting and organising the prayer support for the City's first Passion Play, which will take place on Good Friday, 25 March. We have endeavoured to get as many Christians as possible, throughout our City, to be involved in praying.

Here are the latest Prayer Requests and Praise Reports (as at 25 February), for you to pray and rejoice over:

 

Praise Reports!
  • For the involvement of two performing arts schools, who are doing dances as part of the Play – Dance Projection and Chelmsford Theatre Train.
  • Producer Andrea attended a meeting with the Council Events Manager and technical company for the production this week, to work through and finalise it all. All went very well and the positioning of the cross, stage and cast were sorted out.
  • The Cast are working together well and things are really coming together.
  • For a great stage management team.
  • For much enthusiasm from many!
General Prayer Requests
  • Health and well-being of cast and crew.
  • For each Saturday rehearsal – lines and songs to be learned.
  • Technicalities and logistics all work out.
  • Liaison with City Council, for positive relationships to continue.
  • For a fine rain free day on Good Friday.
  • That public who come to watch the production will ‘get it!’ and as a result will find or be moved closer to a faith in Jesus
  • That the interplay between the traditional Procession of Witness beforehand and the Passion Play works well.
More Specific Requests
  • Health of Cast: Caiaphas is still unwell; a crowd member is housebound and another is awaiting a knee operation.
  • More liaison with the Procession of Witness Committee is needed.
  • For the logistics of the involvement of the dance schools mentioned above works out well.
  • That the cross will work on a very uneven and wobbly High Street – a practice in-situ is planned for 15 March.
  • Funds are still required – money has come in, and initial costs of publicity, insurance and St. John’s Ambulance attendance are covered, but about £5000 is still needed to cover all costs. (The technical costs alone are about £5000).

For more details about the Play, go to the chelmsford 24-7 website or check out:
www.chelmsfordpassionplay.org.uk or their Facebook page.

Please spread the word and feel free to pass these prayer requests on. 

 
sanctuary - what happened at the Cathedral?
 
We were excited to be a partner in a brand new inter-denominational youth prayer event called sanctuary, which took place at Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday evening, 28 February.
 
sanctuary was open to young people from all denominations, traditions or none and involved prayer stations being set up around the body of the Cathedral. We laid out a 50 meter 'river' to tell the Gospel message based on the story of the river of life in Ezekiel 47 - complete with fish and ducks!

Whilst there was not a vast crowd, nonetheless from those present we had around twenty-five people, including Bishop Stephen Cottrell, walk the river bank, It was great to see the potential for introducing young people to an encounter with God through prayer and we will be looking at repeating the event later this year.

We also received an invitation to possibly take the river to a church in Colchester.


More photos of the evening can be seen on our website.
 
Local Christian Events  - pass the word
 
Via our website and on social media, we seek to promote as well as pray for local Christian organisations, groups and meetings.

We have an on-line Calendar that can be linked to a Google Calendar or similar, (if you understand such things!).

If you know of any meetings or events coming up in the City or District, which are open to all, please let us know and they will gladly be considered for promotion and circulation.


Visit our website for full details
 
The Shack - we've found it!
 
Some of you might have read a Christian novel called, 'The Shack', which describes a man's encounter with God, in well, a shack!

You might be interested to know that David Gilbey, leader of Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer, also recently went to The Shack. However, this particular one was a building that last summer opened as a 24-7 Prayer Space, near Enfield, Middlesex.


The Shack is open to all to book for prayer, for an hour or more at any time of the day or night. Find out more details here. It's less than an hour's drive away from Chelmsford and would be brilliant for a time of retreat..

It has also given more food for thought about the establishment our own Prayer Centre here in the City. Keep praying that the path for this opens up.

And yes, David too encountered God there!


 
 The Cross rising from religion - Thoughts from leader David Gilbey 
 
Whilst at one of our Prayer Spaces last month in Chelmsford Cathedral, l wandered around the wider building to look at some of it's wonderful artwork and artefact's. It was a beautiful sunny morning.

On one of the walls in the chancel hangs a large but thin and simply styled silver metal cross, (looking to me rather like a knight of old's 'broad sword'), and as the sunlight streamed in through an elevated arched window opposite, the outline, slightly fuzzy and out of focus, was projected onto the cross. However, the cross sat on the wall a little higher than the shadow, and glistening in the light, seemed to be resolutely rising out of it.

Reflecting on what I had seen, I felt that God spoke to me.

The window and it's projected shadow represented religion. Not a good form of religion, but one that is narrow and restricting, only half the truth, a distortion, even a counterfeit of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus. I felt that over many decades, centuries even, a spirit of religion has entered and pervaded our City.

Just as when Jesus walked the earth, breaking religious traditions and upsetting religious sensibilities, bringing healing and new life to all he encountered, I felt that the rising silver cross on the wall was a picture of how God is slowly bringing renewal and revival to the Church in Chelmsford. The focus is coming back onto Jesus, His death and resurrection.

The cross lifted high spoke too of unity and right from the outset, when in August 2014 God spoke to me about starting a prayer movement in Chelmsford, He said that it was to be all about unity, relationships and love, through His Cross.

Jesus is the Light of the World and just as the sun rises each morning, the Cross also represents a new beginning, a new dawn. I believe that as Christians continue and in even greater numbers meet together and pray, the 'Cross' will continue to rise over our City. That we will become a 'City on a Hill' that shines out to this Nation for Jesus.

A new day is coming over Chelmsford. Will you join in to see it happen?


Blessings to you all
David
Leader, Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer
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