Bath Abbey is encouraging people to “just ask” if they would like prayers said for themselves, loved ones or those at the frontline fighting the Coronavirus.
Because of the government’s lockdown measures, all church buildings are closed until further notice. However, the Abbey, like many churches around the world, is finding new ways for its congregation to worship, and to offer prayers and support for those living in the city of Bath and beyond.
People are invited to submit their prayer requests by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, they can fill out a prayer request form on the Abbey’s website. Their prayers will then be read and offered up by one of the Abbey’s priests or lay ministers. There is also the opportunity to light a virtual candle on the Church of England’s website – the link to this can also be found on the Abbey’s website.
The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: "Usually, when we’re open, we get people coming into the Abbey every day, asking if we can help by praying for them or their loved one. It may be they want to give thanks for something, or to ask for God’s help or guidance with an issue they’re facing, or to seek healing and comfort for those on their hearts. Of course we are very aware that these are extraordinarily stressful and difficult times for many, and we are very keen to keep praying with those in need. “The Church” is the people, not the building – so although we can’t be there in the Abbey physically to offer our prayers, it absolutely doesn’t mean we aren’t able to continue to pray for, and with, all who seek God’s help. To do so is deeply humbling, and the greatest privilege."
The Abbey is also offering a ‘Thought for the Day’ from Monday to Saturday, and encouraging its congregation to gather together virtually for worship every Sunday via their website and social media. Music lovers are also being catered for with archive footage of the Abbey Choir and organ music shared regularly on the Abbey’s website and social media, and there is also a Junior Church video message and an activity each Sunday for Abbey families with young children.