Preface of Pentecost
[Common of a Pastor]
[Common of a Missionary]
[For the Ministry]
[For the Mission of the Church]
PRAYER (traditional language)
O God of compassion, who didst open the heart of thy servant Thomas Bray to the needs of the Church in the New World, and to found societies to relieve them: Make the Church diligent at all times to propagate the Gospel and to promote the spread of Christian knowledge; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
O God of compassion, who opened the heart of your servant Thomas Bray to the needs of the Church in the New World, and to found societies to relieve them: Make the Church diligent at
all times to propagate the Gospel, and to promote the spread of Christian knowledge; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lessons revised at GC 2009.
Collects revised at GC 2015.
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Last updated: 20 Dec. 2015
PRIEST AND MISSIONARY (15 FEB 1730)
In 1696 Thomas Bray, an English country parson, was commissioned to report on the
condition of the Church in the colony of Maryland. He spent only ten weeks in the colony,
but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church there, providing for the instruction
of children and the systematic examination of candidates for pastoral positions. He
founded thirty-nine lending libraries and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his
return to England, he wrote and preached in defense of the rights of enslaved Africans,
and of Indians deprived of their land. Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison
conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He persuaded
General Oglethorpe to found a American colony (Georgia) for the settlement of debtors as
an alternative to debtors' prison. He founded a missionary society, the SPG (Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel) and an educational and publishing society, the SPCK
(Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), both of which are still active today.
by James Kiefer
More information about Thomas Bray, and a portrait of him, may be found
at the SPCK's web