Durham Cathedral to lead nation in prayer


Durham Cathedral is to lead the nation in prayer this Sunday as England faces its third weekend under lockdown.

Viewers will be invited to say the #PrayerForTheNation (see text below) for families, friends and neighbours and for all those who are sick, fearful or mourning a loved one, in an online service led by the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler.

The weekly service, with a theme of ‘Learning in Faith’, marking the Feast of Christ the King, will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

There will be prayers for schools, colleges and universities and testimony from representatives from the education sector with hymns from the Choir of Durham Cathedral.

The service is being broadcast after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, along with senior church leaders, invited people across the nation to participate in a month of prayer during the lockdown.

In an address to be delivered in the online service, the Bishop of Durham will say: “In prayer we can be ourselves. We express our sorrow and contrition for our own, and our humanity’s, sin. We call out in thanksgiving and praise for the wonders of God’s creation and love seen supremely in Jesus Christ. We lament at the pain and suffering we see.

“We cry out, ‘How long, O Lord?’ when God seems absent, inactive, indifferent. We bring to God our requests; we intercede for others, and for ourselves. But above all in prayer we place ourselves in God’s presence and offer ourselves to this God of glory; this God who is the loving shepherd of his people.”

Here is the #PrayerForTheNation, to be read by the Dean of Durham, Andrew Tremlett:

Loving Father God,
be with us in our distress;
be with our families, friends, and neighbours,
our country and our world.
Give health to the sick,
hope to the fearful,
and comfort to mourners.
Give wisdom to our frontline and key workers,
insight to our Government,
and patience to us all.
Overcome disease with the power of your new life,
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notes to editors

Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, has set up an online community of prayer for people in Britain and around the world. Free to join, the Community takes place on Facebook with monthly Zoom meetings.