A Pilgrim’s Prayer

IMG_0866I have been working on the new souvenir guidebook for Peterborough Cathedral – writing copy and ensuring that there is a common voice for the whole text. It is a truly collaborative effort and I think we have produced an excellent book to mark the 900th anniversary year. It has been important to balance the need for history with conveying that it is a living Christian church.

To bring all the themes together, and round off a final section on it being ‘A Sacred Space for All’, I have written this prayer, ‘A Pilgrim’s Prayer’. It reflects work by Dee Dyas and the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at the University of York on how the boundary between visitors, tourists and pilgrims is both thin and permeable. Visitors can find themselves surprised to leave as pilgrims. And so the guide book ends with a prayer for them to use, either in the building or when they read the book at home.

The prayer recognises the vast array of reasons people come and the concerns they bring. It also draws on the cathedral being a sign of the Kingdom of God – its grandeur designed to draw hearts to the glory of God.

As we pray for all who come, so we invite them to pray for us.


A Pilgrim’s Prayer

God of life and love

as we journey through our days

on roads smooth and rugged

fill us with the hope of Jesus Christ

that the beauty of this place

may be for us a sign of your Kingdom

of justice and peace

and inspire us with your Holy Spirit

to be people of praise and thanksgiving.


© Ian Black 2018


About Revd Canon Ian Black

Ian is Vicar of Peterborough, Canon Residentiary of Peterborough Cathedral and Rural Dean of Peterborough. He previously served for 10 years in Leeds, as Vicar of Whitkirk and as a member of the Chapter of Ripon Cathedral. He has also worked in Kent in Maidstone and as priest-in-charge of a group of parishes 10 miles north west of Canterbury. He was a Minor Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, a prison chaplain and Assistant Director of Post-Ordination Training for the Diocese of Canterbury. Prior to ordination Ian had a career in tax, both with the Inland Revenue as a PAYE Auditor and a firm of Chartered Accountants as a Tax Accountant. Ian is married with two sons. He is the author of three books of prayers: Prayers for all occasions (SPCK 2011), Intercessions for Years A, B & C (SPCK 2009) and Intercessions for the Calendar of Saints and Holy Days (SPCK 2005). His latest book is 'Follow me: living the sayings of Jesus' (Sacristy Press 2017). He has been writing online since the mid 1990s.
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