11 April 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
12, 11 April 2024

Bishop George Augustus Selwyn died on 11 April 1878 at the Bishop’s Palace, Lichfield, and was buried in Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

This week began with the Second Sunday of Easter (Easter II) or ‘Low Sunday’ (7 April 2024). The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today (11 April) remembers George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878), first Bishop of New Zealand and later Bishop of Lichfield.

Throughout this Season of Easter, my morning reflections each day include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

Later this evening I am speaking about the Wyatt family of architects from Weeford, between Tamworth and Lichfield, at a meeting of the Tamworth and District Civic Society in Tamworth. I may also visit Comberford village in the afternoon. But, before this day begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

The effigy of Bishop George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878) in the Lady Chapel of Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 3: 31-36 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 31 ‘The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. 34 He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.’

The mosaics in the Selwyn memorial in the Lady Chapel, Lichfield Cathedral, illustrate his life (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878):

George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878) was educated at Cambridge and ordained as curate of Windsor. He was made the first Bishop of New Zealand in 1841 and remained there for 27 years, during the first years travelling when few roads or bridges existed.

In the wars between colonists and Maoris he stood out heroically for Maori rights, at the cost of fierce attacks from both sides and grave personal danger in his efforts to part the warring sides, until later he was revered as one of the founders of New Zealand as well as of its Church. He taught himself to navigate and gathered congregations in the Melanesian Islands. His Constitution for the New Zealand Church influenced the churches of the Anglican Communion and he was a chief founder of the Lambeth Conferences of bishops.

He was persuaded to become the Bishop of Lichfield in 1868 and died in Lichfield on 11 April 1878. He gives his name to Selwyn College Cambridge and Selwyn House in Lichfield.

The mosaics in the Selwyn memorial in the Lady Chapel, Lichfield Cathedral, depict events in his life (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayers (Thursday 11 April 2024):

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is the ‘Certificate in Youth Leadership Programme in the West Indies.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Right Revd Michael B St J Maxwell, Bishop of the Diocese of Barbados.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (11 April 2024) invites us to pray:

Lord, we pray for zeal, care and attention to be offered by trained youth leaders in the faith, and spiritual development of Caribbean youth and their acquisition of life-skills.

The Collect:

Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him:
deliver us from the death of sin
and raise us to new life in your love,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Additional Collect:

Risen Christ,
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
open the doors of our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
to the praise of God the Father.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued Tomorrow

Selwyn House at the east end of the Cathedral Close in Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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