The power of meditation and prayer

The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury ANL-161103-110230001
The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury ANL-161103-110230001
Have your say

I write in the midst of the season of Lent: a time of reflection when the gaze turns inward and we ask of ourselves some of the deeper questions about our lives.

Given this is the only one I will have, am I using my time and energy to the best possible outcomes? Am I trying to be a person of character, who has certain qualities that run through me like the letter through a stick of rock? I try and hold the list of nine attributes that are listed by St Paul in his letter to the Church in Galatia: they ring true today, just as they did 2,000 years ago. Love, peace, joy, kindness, patience, self-control, faithfulness, generosity, gentleness. Not always easy. Particularly the patience and self-control!

It helps to spend time in meditation and prayer. And at the Cathedral 
we’ve started a great project, led by our new Artist in Residence, Mark Cazalet.

He has been taking half an hour with individuals, painting them as they meditate. Eventually, there will be 153 soul images up in the Cathedral, each showing someone deep in thought, or 

Each person gets to choose two colours, and what Mark produces is not a traditional likeness, but a colour distillation, a snapshot of recognition. An image of a soul.

Mark is with us until November and anyone can sign up – many have already. If you’re interested, please email


In the midst of Lent and Easter will soon be upon us.

Holy Week (the days between Palm Sunday on Sunday 26 March and Easter Day) will be led by Canon Dr Jessica Martin on the theme of ‘The Passion of Remembering and Forgetting’.

She is a profound and imaginative thinker and speaker, and if you’re interested in hearing her, do come along on Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24 at 7 pm and then on Good 
Friday at 12 noon.

On Good Friday the Cathedral will also host the Churches Together Service at 10.30.

On Easter Day, we have our two new Bishops with us. Bishop Mike will lead the service at 6 am (yes, at dawn!) and Bishop Martin will preside and preach at 10 am.

Do come along and celebrate the joy of this day of life and love.

-- The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward is Dean of St Edmundsbury