“The Ascension of Prayer”

Artwork at St Andrew’s

We have got off to an exciting start to the year at St. Andrew’s with a new piece of art work, a visit from the bishop of Bedford and a party in the Frog and Rhubarb.

The artwork was designed and created by Gayle Storey, a member of the congregation, who is also a Central Bedfordshire College Art Lecturer. I had invited her to create something that would enhance the vestry in its new focus as a prayer room. Her inspired creation involved the skills and abilities of many in the local
community.

It all started last Lent when, during a cafe Church in February, all the members of the congregation had a chance to make a ceramic cross, other friends and colleagues of Gayle added to these until there were 112 individually crafted crosses.

Central Bedfordshire College kindly gave permission for the crosses to be fired in their kilns. These have been mounted on a wooden frame, Tony Willson made a pine wood prototype so that Gayle could experiment with the placing of the crosses. Then professional wood craftsmen from Kensworth Saw Mills fashioned the final hard wood frame. Members of the congregation helped to attach it to the wall in
the prayer room. The inspiration and core skill came from Gayle but it came about through the work of the whole community.

Each cross represents an individual’s prayer, yet placed together there is a sense of a single movement of prayer reaching upwards and outwards – very symbolic of our prayers going up and reaching out to touch others in need. The cross is a wonderful symbol of prayer. We pray with confidence because of the cross on which
Jesus gave his life so freely out of his love
for us.

The “Ascension of Prayer” was blessed by the Rt. Revd. Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford on Sunday January 5th 2014 during the Epiphany Communion Service. Bishop
Richard blessed the work and also prayed that the prayers in the prayer room may bless more people and that there may be a further release of creative gifts at St.
Andrew’s.

Watch this space in 2014 when we will be focusing on worship. Creative gifts have always been used in worship throughout the history of the church. One of the blessings of 2013 was that many of our prayers for healing have been answered, sometimes instantaneously and dramatically. We offer prayers for healing in the prayer room during communion services. We are also holding two special Healing services on Sunday 2 nd February at 3pm in the afternoon and again on Sunday 4th May. Do come along and receive anointing for healing for yourself or for others.

To complete our Epiphany celebrations we had a party at the Frog and Rhubarb where Paul and his team looked after us very well. Bishop Richard bravely took
questions from the floor in a “Grill the Bishop” session. The questions ranged from “his favourite sermon joke” to questions about Heaven and Syrian refugees and what he had hoped to be when he grew up.

It was a very happy, positive, family and community start to the new year. If you would like to come and see the new artwork or spend time in the prayer room, the church is open on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings during Little Singing Stars and Little Stars and Cathy is usually in church on Wednesdays and Thursdays, though it is best to ring and check first.