Praying over Withernsea

Secretary of Withernsea Churches Together, Josie Briggs shares how members lifted the people of their town in prayer.

Congregation members from three of our East Yorkshire town’s churches recently spent an hour one Friday afternoon literally ‘praying over Withernsea’.

The twelve participants, from St Matthew’s Church of England, Gateway and the United Reformed Church, gathered in the lighthouse at two o’clock. Some of us climbed the 144 steps to look over the town as we prayed for its people. The view from the top was fantastic with a clear view to the horizon.  Another group stayed at ground level for the same purpose.

The event was the idea of Rev Philip West (C of E), who has done prayer walks in the town and produced an open-air passion play and a nativity play in Withernsea and some surrounding villages. Philip, one of those who climbed to the top, said, “This will put a different perspective on our prayers. In doing the prayer walks, it was good to be in the thick of it and meet with people as we prayed for them. This time, I thought it would be good to get an overview of the town as we lifted its people in prayer.”

The participants then reconvened in the Lighthouse café for refreshments, feedback and fellowship.

“Well done to everyone who went up the lighthouse,” said Angie from the United Reformed Church, “and I hope you all had as great fellowship as we did downstairs.”

People who prayed from downstairs of Withernsea lighthouse
The ‘ground level’ prayer team in the lighthouse café

Andrew, also from the URC, added, “Those of us who couldn’t climb the stairs still joined in with the prayers in the lighthouse café. It was encouraging that everyone felt able to take part, in readings, in singing God’s praise and in prayers for the people of Withernsea. We couldn’t see the four directions of the compass from where we sat but knew that our God – who sees all – heard our prayers.”

Ian (St Matthew’s), one of the upstairs group, declared, “What a wonderful experience it was. It was such a good event and one we must do again and again.”

It is hoped to make this an annual event. Meanwhile, the five churches involved in Withernsea Churches Together have started monthly united prayer meetings, focusing on praying for the people of the town and surrounding region in East Yorkshire.

Withernsea Churches Together are grateful to the Lighthouse volunteers committee for allowing us to use this unique venue.