HOPE in Durham CathedralEmily Lord - 3 Dec 2019
From the 14 - 17 November, Durham Lumiere Festival took place in Durham, UK; a stunning light festival.
As thousands of people filled the city for the festival, a HOPE Prayer Space was created to bring light and hope to anyone who stepped through the doors.
Over the four nights, 12,500 people prayed in Durham Cathedral, using 10,000 prayer cards and lighting the room with candles of hope.
The HOPE Space Vision
41% of practising Christians say that a spiritual experience or an experience of the love of Jesus was a key influence in their coming to faith*. Dwelling on this statistic led Hope Together’s assistant director Rachel Jordan-Wolf to dream up the Hope Spaces project as she thought, “How can we help more non-Christians experience God for themselves?”
Rachel contacted UK Director of 24-7 Prayer, Carla Harding to ask if 24-7 Prayer would partner with HOPE Together to encourage churches to take prayer spaces out into community places inviting those in their communities to pray and experience God for themselves.
Immediately, some cathedrals were interested in getting involved as they are such natural places of prayers - but they needed something big, something 'instagrammable' to work in their buildings.
Durham Lumiere Festival seemed the ideal place to pilot this & in response the HOPE prayer wall was created.
Collection, Creation & 10,000 Cards
The HOPE prayer wall was made by a Christian carpenter especially for the project. He created the word 'HOPE' in large free-standing wooden letters each over 6ft high and 4ft wide which was then illuminated with powerful coloured lights to bring it to life at night in the cathedral.
The huge wooden wall was prayed over as it was built, collected & driven up to Durham with lights, & 10,000 prayer cards.
Hosted in Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House, the idea for the room was a simple space surrounding the theme of HOPE.
From the first night thousands of people began to fill the space, and the team of volunteers led by Sophie Jelley, Canon Missioner, saw a huge receptivity and openness to prayer. Families prayed together with their children, and they were ‘overwhelmed with the response’.
It was a space giving the community a place to express themes of their lives; sadness and anger; hopes for the future and cries to God for the world.
One incredible story was shared:
“Tonight, I visited Lumiere. In the hope room I wrote a prayer. I needed help and I asked God. I went home and within half an hour I received a phone call. My prayer was answered. I struggle on but I now know God is by my side. Thank you for enabling this opportunity for God to speak to me “ - Quote from a Durham Hope Space visitor.
In the coming months, the 24-7 Prayer GB Team will be sharing creative resources to help you create and decorate your Hope Space.
Let’s pray and work together to extend this invitation to experience the God of hope across Great Britain, next year.
Register your interest in Hope Spaces by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and receive a free "How to Run a Hope Space" resource.