Prayer underpins our life at St Andrew’s. There is a prayer board in church where people can leave their prayer requests – these are then remembered at one of the weekly services. We also regularly remember those who are in particular need, especially those who are dealing with long-term conditions.
There is also a statue of Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, in the Church at which people can light a candle. You may wish to light a candle to mark the prayer you have made. It will continue to burn here after you have left. It represents the continuance of your prayer and love and concern. Its light reflects the light of your compassion and action.
The statue of our Patron, St Andrew the Fisherman, holds a net to which are attached pieces of coloured wool.
What does it mean?
St Andrew fished in the waters of the Sea of Galilee, gathering in his nets the fish found there. He was the First-Called of the disciples of Jesus. It was Andrew who went to find his brother, Peter, and introduced him to Jesus.
The placing of a Prayer-Net around the statue of a saint is a Celtic practice found in Brittany in North-Western France. We remember that nowadays St Andrew is the Patron Saint of Greece, Scotland and Russia. He is the Patron Saint of this Church and our prayers can be held by him, and he prays with us and for us to God, the Holy Trinity.
Today in this place he gathers in the net around his statue prayers, symbolised by the coloured pieces of wool. If you wish, please take a piece of wool and attach it to the net to represent the prayer you have made. This action means that the prayer is marked and will be held here in love and faith. When you leave, this reminder of what you have done will remain.
At regular intervals a prayer of gathering for all the pieces attached to the net will be made, commending them all to the care of God.
The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in church for the Communion of the sick and as a promise of Christ’s presence with us.
The church is enhanced by a number of icons which have been acquired in recent years and which help to provide a focus for prayer.