‘Like a taste of heaven’: was the comment of a man who happened to call in during the 24 hours of prayer, at Birmingham Cathedral, Sat 24 – Sun 25 Jan. He stayed in the cathedral for several hours, deeply moved by the prayer led by Christians of different backgrounds and traditions, united in a common faith in Jesus Christ.
The idea was simple: to start our special tercentenary year with a great wave of prayer and to invite local churches to join in. Birmingham is home to an incredibly rich Christian expression and we invited people to come and lead prayers for an hour in their own tradition.
We were overwhelmed by the love and care with which people responded. Prayers were offered with silence, or with great and joyful noise; we sang Taizé chants and prayed the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary; we formed a prayer tunnel to surround one another in prayer and took part in inter-active prayer stations; teenagers prayed through the night in the comfort of onesies and just as we were flagging, at 8.00am the Salvation Army turned up with a nine-piece brass band!
Thank you to everyone who took part and made this possible. Special thanks to the World Prayer Centre and Birmingham Ecumenical Network, to Laurence Sharman and Revd Colin Marsh. This was a unique, powerful and profound experience. In accepting our invitation, you have blessed us with your presence and your prayer. We have grown closer in unity and love in Christ. Our hope is that our city, nation and world will continue to be blessed by these prayers and the generous service of so many amazing Christians.
Catherine Ogle, Janet Chapman, Nigel Hand.
Clergy of Birmingham Cathedral