One morning in April, my browser page opened to the following headline on the BBC news website: “Archbishop of Canterbury learns real father was Churchill’s private secretary.” Shocking for anyone to find out that their father was not who they thought he was, but even more challenging to have very personal news made public. As a response to this news the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a personal statement. I was struck in particular by the following lines:

“I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes. Even more importantly my role as Archbishop makes me constantly aware of the real and genuine pain and suffering of many around the world, which should be the main focus of our prayers.”

For the Archbishop, faith in Christ has meant that he has turned to Christ in life’s storms and found the comforting, steady presence of God. In light of this, he has called Anglicans to a national Week of Prayer in May prior to Pentecost (8-15th May). There will be a focus on prayer in churches all over the country during that week, culminating in some special prayer events in cathedrals.

St Paul’s Cathedral (7.30pm, Saturday 14th May) is involved with this and the event will be hosted by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, and Pete Greig, founder of 24/7 prayer, with sung worship led by Tim Hughes and Jake Isaac.

Closer to home we are hosting Inspire: Three Days of Prayer May 12th–14th with different prayer stations throughout the church. All ages welcome. It will be held at SMwSA from 9am – 9pm and we hope you will drop in to spend some time in prayer. If you do, we hope that you will find a mixture of contemplative and creative prayer stations to help you on your way. We are also putting together a prayer video. This will consist of all ages praying favourite prayers. If you would like to be involved in this please contact

On a personal note, for me, prayer is invaluable. I know I need regular communication with God in order to remember who I am and the work God has given me to do. Also, in the darker periods of my life, knowing that God is with me means that I have the strength to keep journeying forwards. I am thankful that prayer can both be solitary and corporate, as I have learnt so much from other Christians, both old and young, simply through praying with them.

So, wherever you are on your journey of prayer, even if currently you don’t pray at all, I hope you’ll consider joining us in May as we pray.

Best wishes,
Gabby Thomas