Phillip joined our PCC this month and wrote this Prayer of Welcome to our church. He explains: I joined the PCC of the church last Thursday. I have been coming here several times a week for a number of years. Each time I leave feeling as if it is my first visit, full of awe and wonder. I wanted to write a welcoming prayer to mark Reverend Stephen’s licensing; one which could also be used to welcome all visitors here, with a text that draws on the distinctiveness of the church to prompt contemplation, in a form and structure which could be used with images on social media, in a language that is as inclusive as possible, with the Eucharist (like the altar) at the centre.
If we are all on a journey of faith we must be visitors wherever we are (even if we are always in the same place). This idea brings to mind the awe and wonder of new experiences and at the same time the uncertainty of being away from what is familiar and feeling more dependent on others for our wellbeing:
A Prayer of Welcome to St Stephen Walbrook
Whether we are here for the first time or more regularly, whether we are laity or clergy and whatever our faith, we are part of a community of the past, present and future, all drawn to this place as visitors.
We pray that:
as we rise up the steps into our church we feel the welcome embrace of hospitality,
in this birthplace of the Samaritans we will be filled with renewed compassion for those in need,
in the quietness of our City church we are able to hear words of comfort,
we will gather around our circular altar in concert, each a different note being played in one divine song,
in contemplating Wren’s dome above, we will remember those beyond and all who are treated as beneath or below,
in this home of the London Internet Church our prayers will be joined with a global community of the faithful,
as we return to Walbrook the outward beauty of our church inspires us to share our inner joy,
we relish the gift of being visitors wherever we are.