Prayers of hope in Dursley

Published: March 30, 2021

The worshipping community in Dursley have been hanging prayers of hope on a tree in the churchyard outside St James’ Church.

The Revd Canon Michael Cozens, local Rector, said, “All are invited to hang their hope prayers, or their symbols of hope, on the tree. Anyone is very welcome to do this, particularly at this time as we travel together in hope towards Easter and towards better times. Simply attaching something like a ribbon can symbolise a deep hope for the future and, in Christian terms, represent all the prayers that are being offered at the moment.”

As well as the hope tree, they have left stones in the porch and are encouraging people to add them to a cairn – a pile of stones – which each stone symbolising a prayer that has been sent up to God. Some people have even brought painted stones to add to the pile.

People have also been making crosses out of twigs or pieces of branches that they have found in the churchyard or on their walks. Michael said, “Find the large cross that has been put up near the porch or simply find a quiet place in the churchyard, place the twigs, in the shape of a cross, on the ground and pause for a moment. Think about anything you might want to say sorry for, perhaps in your own life or in the world, then look at the cross shape and remember Good Friday and God’s love and forgiveness.”

As lockdown starts to ease, do send us your ideas for ways that people might like to engage with God in the outdoors, on walks or in times of quiet reflection. Send your stories to Katherine at

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