On being let down by the Church

I’m supposed to be doing my Wednesday Worship right now but I’m feeling rather shaken today following the publication of the report into abuse in the Church of England.

It’s not really news to me but as a survivor of several kinds of abuse, not by clergy but by people close to me, the publication of the final report has touched old wounds.

I was let down as a teenager by a vicar who didn’t take my report of abuse seriously, which was painful enough, so I can only imagine how hard it must be like to live with the pain of being abused by those who we should be able to trust most.

In that light, and with the hope that it might help someone, here is a prayer for survivors that I found online:

Come, Holy Spirit, to rest in our broken hearts and tend to our broken lives.

Bear us up on wings of eagles when our hope lies crushed below the cross of our past.

Release us from the shame and grieving that hobble our pursuit of joy in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Comfort our pain.

Help us trust in Christ’s complete victory over evil, so we may endure what we have suffered until that day when all we cannot see and cannot know is finally made clear.

Heal us with a fuller understanding God’s grace, so we may be open to sustenance to continue our recovery.

Help us discern the sure direction of God’s whisper when noise and confusion threaten to send us on mistaken pathways.

Provide us generously with Your counsel, so we may not be lost in a wilderness of sorrow, doubt and despair but, rather, are able to hear over our shoulder which way to go, what way turn to choose, which time to rest and which time to push forward.

We ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

For the Rest of Us

Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
   or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you. 
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…

Isaiah 49.15-16


For those who cannot celebrate Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day or whatever you want to call it:

  • For the abused
  • For the neglected
  • For the abandoned
  • For the unwanted
  • For the ‘nuisance’
  • For the ‘difficult’ one
  • For the ‘why can’t you be more like your sister/brother’ one
  • For the ones who can no longer speak to their mothers because the pain is too much and nothing makes the relationship better
  • For the ones who don’t want children and are made to feel incomplete, lacking, selfish, not a proper human being


For all of these, because we matter as much as the ones who grieve lost mothers or not being able to have children.

For all of these because we matter as much as the ones who are happy today.


A prayer:

Through Christ’s wounds may we find healing;

through his pain may we find relief;

through his suffering may we find freedom;

through his cross may we find victory.

And may God the Father bless us;

God the Son take care of us;

Holy Spirit enlighten us,

today and all the days of our life.