Space to Lament

29th October 2020

Peterborough Cathedral has created a special prayer trail to help people find space to lament and acknowledge the effects of Covid-19 on their lives and those of their community.

Finding space to lament: a Covid-19 prayer trail at Peterborough Cathedral

The trail, entitled Covid-19: All we have lost, opens in the Cathedral this Sunday and is available throughout November.

It leads visitors on a route around the building, stopping at displays reflecting various aspects of things lost during the pandemic – jobs, education, music and culture, people. Amongst the displays will be a collection of simple crosses, laid out in the North Transept, each one to mark the passing of a person in Peterborough who has died from Covid-19.

Visitors will be invited to pick up their own copy of a booklet to use as they explore the trail, with questions, bible quotes, suggested prayers and prompts to help them to think through their own response to the pandemic.

Canon Sarah Brown, who has worked with colleagues to develop the trail, said:

“Lockdown has been a strange combination of loss and hope – so many good signs of love but also so much loss – death of course, but also security, innocence, freedom and a sense of identity. People of all faiths and none have a lot to think about and much to share. We hope that this trail will help us to make space for our feelings of devastation and also to move forward with hope.”

The main picture used throughout the trail is of a person overwhelmed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in the first century, turned to stone by heat and ash. Canon Sarah said:

“This is the posture of someone who is powerless in the midst of chaos, curled up in tears or prayer or both. Whilst we have faced a virus not a volcano, there is something in their plight that speaks to anyone whose world has been, even partially, turned upside down by loss or fear.”

The prayer trail will be available from 1st to 30th November during normal Cathedral opening hours. It is free of charge though donations are invited to help cover costs.