Everyday Prayer in Smeeton Westerby


Everyday Prayer comes in many forms. From the private whispers of ‘Thank you God,’ to the rhythm of a nation reaching out in need; prayer can, and should, happen at any time and in any place.


Making time to pray is something that’s incredibly important to Carol who lives in Smeeton Westerby. She has recently started leading morning prayer on a Friday at Christ Church in the village.
Carol says the fledgling group is an opportunity for people to share in a short time of reflection, and offer support to one another within their small and often isolated rural community.
As a basis and guide for the small gathering, they are using Lectionary notes, while reflecting upon and bringing in any personal and community needs.
For readings, The Message Bible has been chosen for its ease of understanding. People take turns to read, as they feel comfortable.
In recent weeks, prayers have been shared for those who lost their lives in the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand.
“That Friday, when the news had just broke, we took 40 candles and lit them – one for each that had lost their life,” says Carol. “As that number increased to more than 50, so did our candles.
“It was timely and meaningful that we were able to pray that morning, as prayers were asked for around the world. And we continue to pray for them.”
The candles have been left in place within the church as a reminder.
“Last week the wind blew half of them out, and it struck me; this is how it is for the other halves, the families of those that go on living and struggling with their loss,” says Carol. “It really made me think.”


Prayer is also helping the people of Smeeton Westerby in moments of need.
“One Friday morning, which also happened to be the day of my mother’s funeral, I had been up since 5am with a house full of people and had been questioning whether I should make morning prayer,” explains Carol.
“That morning a farmer stopped outside the gate of the church, exhausted from lambing. I asked them if they had time to come inside, and they said they didn’t think so. But they did come in, and prayed with us. When they left, they felt refreshed and realised just how important that half an hour had been to rest and reflect.
“It felt so good to have met that person’s need at that particularly difficult moment. Prayer is so healing. We’ve got a creative God who is always miles ahead of us. He knows what He’s doing!”


Prayer is more powerful than any of us often realise. Like these few who meet in a small village in south Leicestershire, it’s incredible knowing people are praying at a similar time, in a variety of places and across faiths, throughout the world.
”There are few places of tranquillity in this life and we are spiritual beings who need somewhere to go for our souls,” says Carol.
“It’s quite comforting sitting in a church that is virtually in darkness, just candlelight.
“We keep it simple; we want it to be easy. There’s a stillness and calm which is therapeutic in the busyness of life.”



First published on: 7th August 2019
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