By Emma Temple, Communications and Marketing Manager, LCI

“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12)

On Tuesday 6th February, LCI and Leeds Christian Community Trust launched the 2024 edition of the Leeds Lent Prayer Diary.

The launch event at Roscoe Methodist Church brought together the huge variety of organisations who contributed to the diary – all inspired by faith to work for the good of the city.

stall at an eventThe diary has been released every Lent for over a decade, a longstanding collaboration between LCI and LCCT to shine a light on the important work of faith organisations in Leeds. Contributors were represented at the event, including SPARK social justice, the Joanna Project, Torch Trust, Space and Kidz Club, among many more.

The theme for this year’s diary is compassion. As well as a Christian value that unites faith organisations in the city, making Leeds a compassionate city is one of the ambitions of Leeds City Council. The work highlighted in the diary this year shows that compassion is alive and well in the city and is lived out in vital services to improve Leeds for the benefit of all.

Dr Helen Reid, Director of Leeds Church Institute, said: “I am thrilled to partner with Leeds Christian Community Trust to launch this diary for 2024. Listening to city voices is at the heart of everything LCI does, and this diary is brimming with passionate and compassionate voices from Leeds communities. These reflections build a vision of a city where everyone can thrive and flourish, and it should make all of us proud to faithfully live and work here.”

Liz Harden, assistant Pastor for Leeds Vineyard church, gave a powerful keynote talk on compassion in the city. “You might be holier than me, but I don’t naturally come clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, or patience. These are not my default settings… no matter how I look at it, I’m lacking in the nature of Jesus without the help of His spirit.”

Liz continued to explore how we are called to do good works through God’s love for us and gave us the important reminder that we need to care for ourselves in order to care for others. The full recording of Liz’s talk will be available on the LCI podcast on Spotify.

After the talk, we shared a simple soup supper provided by Nurture Catering from St George’s Crypt, with grace led by Revd Andy Muckle, chaplain at the Crypt. There was an opportunity to pray together for the city and for ourselves, led by Helen Reid.

The prayer diary is available to order for individuals or churches, to help you pray for Leeds every day during Lent. It includes reflections for Good Friday from Revd Dr Joseph Cortis, Deacon in the Leeds Diocese, and for Easter Sunday from Dr Paul Coleman, Faith at the Margins Lead for LCI.