We've got a beautiful churchyard at St Peter's Church. Sometimes its nice to just sit there and take in a bit of peace and quiet or to take a gentle stroll through the ground.
In recent years many have revived the ancient practice of prayer walking. Sometimes this simply involve walking round a community pausing to pray for peoel who live in the houses you pass, for the shops and business, the schools and other things you walk past. I sometimes like to do this as I walk around Rawdon bringing our community to God in prayer.
But our churchyard as well as our church building is there to be a place of prayer and we can do a mini-prayer-walk as we stroll around the church yard. Many will simply say a prayer at the graveside of a loved one but you can pray in other ways too.
- At the Western gate on Town St you can stop and pray for the businesses on Town Street. You can pray for St Peters's School. For the bus drivers that service us and for the people driving past in their daily business.
- Near that gate are the stocks which are reminder of an older time when rough justice prevailed and authority was exercised sometimes very cruelly. Pray for the government, the courts, the police, and those who work in prisons and rehabilition and preventive work.
- I sometimes call the other gate towards Layton Lane the "funeral gate" as it has a ramp which makes it easier for bearers to carry up and into church for funeral service. It's a good place to stop and pray for the recently bereaved.
- On the path its good to pause buy one of the lamps and remember Jesus asked us to be like lights on our community. Prayer for the witness and mission of the church
- To the left of the church door is the gate to the vicarage garden. Pray for your vicar and all clergy and their families
- Look up at the clock on the church tower - maybe the bells will ring during your walk. Think about the passage of time, and the limited lime we have here on earth. Pray you will use it well.
- Up at the top gate you can pray for the Jubilee Hall and all that use it. For our community and its organizations, for Scouts and Guides and Brownies.
- The part of our church yard near the church is mown and kept tidy. Pray for all who care for ut and give up their time to care for it and the church by cleaning , repairing , mowing and volunteering in other ways.
- We try to let the older parts of the churchyard be a place where nature can express itself. We allow the grass to grow with wildflowers, grazed only by the sheep. It's a good place to thank God for the beauty of his world, and pray that we will take care of this world and be good stewards of our environment.
I'm sure that you can think of many other ways to pray, and you may choose if its open to pop into the church to pray there too (try their door - its often open) but maybe some of these will add a new dimension next time you walk through St Peter's Churchyard .