I 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