During the main 10.45am Eucharistic services at St Mary's there is an opportunity for people to pray with you, and for you. Simply go to the Lady Chapel after you have received communion. You are welcome to share issues or simply receive prayer in silence. This ministry is open to everyone - you don’t have to be confirmed, or a member of any church. Often, during this time, hands will be laid on you. You may feel a warm sensation as prayer is offered – it is simply God’s way of letting you know that he is present by His Spirit.
There is also the opportunity to be anointed with Holy Oil (blessed olive oil). Anointing symbolises that God consecrates us for himself, not that we dedicate ourselves to him; it is an outward sign of God’s inward consecration (a way in which God sets us apart for Himself).
The prayer team and ministry team offer prayer and anointing at any time, on request, and would be happy to visit you at home. Simply contact The Benefice Office to make arrangements.
The ministry team also offers formal confession, blessing of homes, and deliverance ministry (prayer against evil spirits). In the first instance, please contact The Dean.
Prayer is the bedrock of all that happens at St Mary’s. Without prayer it is not possible to sustain a living church community.
Spirituality is being aware of the presence of God in our lives and leads to the way we express ourselves in prayer. Silence and contemplation, free prayer, formal liturgy such as we find in Common Worship Daily Prayer, multi-sensory prayer using perhaps Taize music, art or visual and tactile ways such as lighting of a candle are all ways in which we can come closer to God and through these ways we are able to bring our requests, petitions and thanksgivings to our Lord.
Our worship in this Benefice includes all these expressions of prayer at different times.
A Prayer Meeting is held in St Mary’s Church at 09.30am each Friday in the South Chapel.
In St. Mary's the Prayer Chapel at the end of the south aisle is usually a place of quiet and stillness. At the entrance you will find a candle stand where you may wish to light a candle in memory of someone dear to you or pray for a particular concern or situation. There are some prayer cards there, and in the chapel, a gift from St. Mary's, to take home as you wish.
As you enter the chapel on your right there is a book in which to write requests for prayer. In the prayer chapel you will find a book of prayers to ponder upon and to pray as you will.
Prayer ministry after the main Sunday service takes place in the Lady Chapel, (north chapel) for anyone who has need of prayer for healing or any other concern. Quietly and in confidence, members of our Healing Ministry Team offer to pray with you and for you and for those for whom you are concerned.
On Friday evening the Vestry off the North Chapel becomes a Prayer room for the Porch Project. At least one adult volunteer will spend the evening in prayer and often young people themselves will come into the prayer room to request prayer for any special concern they may have.
We have available for each member of all congregations in the Benefice, a Prayer Diary with prayers for each day of the month, covering all aspects of our church and community and the wider world. Additional prayers for the Church's seasons are included in this and these are also on the website, see seasonal prayers. To obtain a copy of the Prayer Diary please ask a member of the welcome team at each Church or contact the Benefice Office
Our weekly news sheet too, has requests for prayer in our wider world, as events happen, and as the seasons and news change. It will continue to ask for prayer for the health and well being of those who are sick, and for those who have recently died and for their families. Those who suffer from long term illness are not forgotten and members of our congregations are regularly updated with requests for prayer for those who suffer from chronic sickness. Please send any requests for prayer to Joyce Willis via the Benefice Office.
Jesus Christ, you come to transfigure us and to renew us in the image of God:
shine in our darkness.
Jesus Christ, light of our hearts, you know our thirst:
lead us to the wellspring of your Gospel.
Jesus Christ, light of the world, you shine on every human being:
enable us to discern your presence in each person.
Jesus Christ, friend of the poor:
open in us the gates of simplicity so that we can welcome you.
Jesus Christ, gentle and humble of heart:
renew in us the spirit of childhood.
Jesus Christ, you send your Church to prepare your path in the world:
open for all people the gates of your Kingdom.
- Taize Prayer