Prayer-walking, Photography and West Bridgford

A group of us from St Giles went prayerwalking this week. If you are unfamiliar with the concept it is very simple. You divide into groups (or pairs) and walk through the streets praying for the people and place you pass as you go. There were six of us and we divided into 2 groups of three. Occasionally we paused and interceded for a particular place, sometimes we prayed in silence, other times we chatted asked God to show us something new about where we were. I don’t do this nearly as often as I should, when I was a curate in Morden it was a regular practice, but it seems to have dropped out of my schedule. It needs to get back in. I find praying as I walk liberating and invigorating. It helps me engage with God and my community in a way few other activities do.

My triplet were draw to a part of West Bridgford I don’t often venture too. Around the back of the small co-op by the war memorial to be precise. We prayed for a while there, and my eye was drawn to 2 buildings and the signs on them. They gave me food for thought and prayer, so much so I went back to photograph them. There is great post here about the value of photography, one of the points made is that ‘photography has the power to move us’ – all art can move us, but I’m no artist – but I can take photo’s and so for me – taking a photo can be a means of holding a moment or a place in time, and an aid to come back to moment in prayer. I’ll blog more about this another time. But for now the signs:

Ambition

Behind the Co-opIt speaks for itself. The back of a store with all the debris associated with it, and a sign pointing upwards to a small company with their offices upstairs – Ambition. It could be seen as ironic, or aspirational – I think the ambiguity of the picture says something about West Bridgford. I’m not sure what it says but it strikes me that West Bridgford is an aspirational place. People want to move here, many who live here are ambitious, but… ambition can be messy…

A Stunning Contemporary Office Building

There are lots of for sale / to rent signs around West Bridgford, few are as incongruos as this one (look closely). More than a whiff here of ‘bread and lard Island’. There is atemptation everywhere to put on a good face and pretend to be more than we truly are. It is temptation that I think is particularly acute in this community. We were reminded this Sunday that whilst man looks at the outward appearance God looks at the heart; and he seeks a heart of humility in any who would call upon HIm.

 

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