Service Material for the Annual Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse 9th May 2023

National Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse 9th May 2023

On 9th May 2023, the Hallam Diocese observes the National Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse.  The Service has an open invitation for all to attend, in order to demonstrate support and understanding to all Survivors of Abuse and to acknowledge specifically, the harm that has been caused by abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church.   The service contains specially selected prayers and intersessions that have been prepared by the Isaiah Journey, and music which includes hymns and other appropriate songs that aid reflection. There are also 2 testimonies that have been written by Survivors of Abuse , that will be read at the service. The testimonies give a powerful insight to the ongoing challenges that are faced by Survivors of Abuse long after the abuse stops. It is important that the Church reflects on these experiences and learns from Survivors in order to effectively support all Survivors of abuse. The Diocese of Hallam is committed to working with Survivors in order to provide effective and trauma informed compassionate support. Survivors provide valuable support to the Diocese and help to inform our policy and practice. We are thankful to all Survivors who work with us to develop and improve our practice and who support events such as the National Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse.

The Isaiah Journey Resources can be used and adapted for use in Parishes at any time and can be found at the following website Isaiah Journey Resources for Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse 2023

Invitation Day Of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse

Order of Service, Testimonies and Music from the Service

Order of Service for Day of Prayer For Survivors of Abuse 2023

Please note that the layout for the order of service is in running order for viewing electronically. Print layout copies can be requested from the Safeguarding Office

F – Survivors Testimony

Thanks are given to our Survivor ‘F’ who wrote and read their testimony at the service. Your contribution was incredibly powerful and moving in a way that words can not convey.

Psalm 121 Scriptural reflection by a Survivor

We also thank the Survivor who wrote this Spiritual Reflection to be read out at the service and for their honesty about how the Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church has impacted their relationship with God and the Church. We are thankful that the Priest in this testimony responded with such compassion and empathy and strive that all Survivors who make contact with the Church are responded to in a trauma informed and compassionate way.  We have shared the Isaiah Journey Listening Guide Listening Guide   with all who attended the service. This has also been circulated to our clergy and Parish Safeguarding Representatives as part of their ongoing development and training.

We also launched the Isaiah Journey ‘Survivors Guide’ at the Service and this is also to be made available in Churches and other Catholic Premises as part of our outreach to Survivors and to provide some information about what may happen when a disclosure of abuse is made.  Special thanks are given to the Survivors who supported the development of this guide by working alongside the Diocese of Hallam Safeguarding Coordinator to create this Nationally available resource which also contains National Support Contacts Survivors Guide  Local Support Contacts can also be found here Local and National Support Contacts

Song Lyrics for Closing Song – Bridge Over Troubled Water, Vocals and Harp performed by Sarah Dean

We thank also Sarah Dean  who provided harp and vocal music for the service. Thank you for learning the hymn and closing song and for playing so beautifully as attendees arrived.  Your music helped to create a peaceful and reflective space for the service and was appreciated by all who attended.

As part of the Service, attendees placed hanging hearts containing the message ‘I stand with and pray for Survivors of Abuse’ onto a prayer tree.  The tree is being sent on a journey  around Parishes  so that its purpose can be explained at the end of  mass and parishioners invited to continue to place hearts of support and prayers onto the tree as it travels around the Diocese. Parishes who wish to host the tree should contact the Safeguarding Office to make arrangements.