Prayer hits the streets of Chatham

Shoppers in Chatham got more than they bargained for when the Archbishop of Canterbury joined a regular ‘prayer on the streets’ session run by the local church and mission team in the town.

Led by Rev Carol Morgan, Priest In Charge at St John the Divine and Mission Leader for Chatham Town Centre, and Stephen Ramshaw, Church Army Missioner for St John’s Mission, the group stopped outside charity shops, the local Cash Convertor store and the betting shop to pray

The Archbishop was also able to engage with shoppers and some of those finding themselves homeless on street.

At a quick visit inside the Prince of Wales pub, the Archbishop met local councillor, Gloria Opara who also shared with him her prayer requests for the area.

With prayer one of the Archbishop’s own personal priorities, it was fitting that he then continued on to the Companions of Christ, a small Ignatian inspired community based at the Diocese’s Attic Retreats Centre in Chatham.

In a first for the Diocese, he took part in an Imaginative Prayer session, led by community members, Susanne Carlsson and Madeleine Dahl, which was live streamed on Facebook.

As well as prayerful reflection on the text of the Road to Emmaus story, the event also saw Bishop Simon Burton-Jones chair a conversation with Archbishop Justin about prayer, which has reached over 18,000 people so far online.

You can view the Imaginative Prayer session here.

A joyful visit to the Medway Towns Gurdwara Saba followed which saw the Archbishop presented with a special shawl from the Sikh community, as a sign of honor and respect.

The evening finished at the Tap n Tin nightclub, where a pioneering chaplaincy is being established to support and reach out to the young people who attend the club.

Dressed in a chaplaincy t-shirt*, the Archbishop chatted with revellers on a night out.

The chaplaincy is part of an exciting partnership with the club which sees a Sunday service taking place at the venue each week – St John’s on Tap – while the main church building is being renovated.

Read more about this here

*Tap n Tin photo credit Jim Drew

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