Yesterday (Thursday) I spent the day in Chichester Cathedral as the Day Chaplain. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time in our Mother Church, to meet people from far and wide, and to talk to them about where they have come from, why they are there, and about three of my favourite subjects, faith, history and Chichester.
I met and chatted with people from Poole, London, York and California, as well as locals who pop in on a regular basis for some quiet time, some prayer, or just to have 10 minutes to sit and think in the busyness of their day.
Every hour I climbed into the Pulpit and offered two prayers, the prayer of St
Richard and the Lord’s Prayer, and also offered a blessing. The people in the Cathedral, visitors, volunteers and staff, are invited to stop and maybe sit for the time of prayer, and most people did. They are also invited to join in the prayers, and a few people did, quietly. I then introduce myself, and invite anyone who wishes to, to stop me as I walk round and to speak with me, to ask me for a prayer, or to give me the privilege of praying with them.
As I left the pulpit after the midday prayers, a gentleman stopped me and said ‘we sat for the prayers, and it was wonderful to be reminded that this is a place of worship, but I was surprised you had to read them. Don’t you know them off by heart?’. Now I did reassure him that yes, I know the Lord’s Prayer off by heart, but much to my embarrassment I don’t know the prayer of St Richard well enough to recite it verbatim, but I should.
The Prayer of St Richard should be one I know and say daily, because said alongside the Lord’s Prayer it sums up all I want and need to say to God and to His Son. It offers thanks for all the gifts and benefits I have received, it offers thanks for all the times Jesus has stood with me as I face the trials and tribulations of life, and finally it ends with my greatest desire, to know, follow and love Jesus more.
I can do no more today than to do as I did yesterday, and to offer you the Prayer of St Richard, in the hope that it will give you comfort, hope, and peace, and to remind you that it isn’t just in the Cathedral that I am available for a chat, or a prayer if you need me.
Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits you have given me,
For all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know You more clearly,
Love You more dearly,
Follow You more nearly, day by day.
Dates for your diary
Wednesday 22nd February
Service for Ash Wednesday with Imposition of Ashes
6.30pm, St Andrews West Dean
Friday 24th February – Friday 31st March
12pm, Singleton Village Hall
More details to follow
Rev Sarah Manouch
07468 854864 email@example.com
Please note that I am part-time. My principal working days are Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday. I am not available on a Thursday.