Prayer for the City: A prayer in a photograph

A prayer in a photograph….

One of the consequences of the various lockdowns is that we have been walking much more in the hills that surround Manchester, rather than going off into Derbyshire. From these hills you often glimpse in the distance the distant city. 


The city of the plains. When the light strikes it in the right way it seems to be rising out of the plains like some heavenly vision of the New Jerusalem. Other times it seems shrouded in gloom and smog as if those dark satanic mills never went away. But it is our city, where our feet walk, so we pray for our city….

We see the towers rising out of the polluted mist. But in that mist there are people we know who are struggling. Those whose benefits have been cut…  Those who are sick…  Struggling NHS staff starved of the resources they need by years of austerity and now dealing with the consequences of a pandemic…. A stretched city council trying to care for those who need it most with dwindling funds….

And in those towers we see rising above the gloom are the rich and powerful. Those who make the decisions. Those who are doing well. Those who get the contracts and profit from them.  They are great and powerful, but are they servants of all? Some will be trying to serve the greater good as best they can, some simply out for themselves. Civic pride or crony capitalism?

Down below we see the dark that can make us despair. Above we see clouds which dampen our hope. But there are little rays of sunshine breaking through. There are people trying to make a difference. Working around the edges. Shining light in dark corners. Hideaway, 42nd Street, the small mental health charity Andy was collecting for, and many others we can bring to mind….

We pray for our city

Steve 17/10/21