Church organises ‘999 pray-in’ to calm parishioners’ anguish over Brexit

  • Marple ordinand invited people to pray for the state of the nation
  • People invited to turn to healing power of prayer in time of uncertainty
  • Remainers and Leavers both invited to take part in 12-hour event

A church in Marple organised a 12-hour prayer session so that parishioners could soothe their worries over Brexit and the divided state of the nation.

Ordinand Martin Makin held the ‘999: Prayer for the Nation’ event at All Saints Church to encourage people to reflect on the uncertain times we are living in.

Martin Makin

Mr Makin said: “We had the bishop of Southwark come in an speak to us, who mentioned how they were going to be opening up a cathedral on Brexit day, as it was, the 31 March.

“To keep it open all day for people to just come in and use it as a space and that sounded like a good way of making this space a place for the community to come and talk to people and pray.”

The Marple pray-in was originally scheduled for 31 March this year but as Brexit was postponed, Mr Makin decided that October was a more appropriate time as the next EU deadline approached. 

Mr Makin said he hoped the event would help to ease the worry many local people felt around the issue of Brexit. 

He said: “If you think about the heart of the gospel being essentially the hope of resurrection following death, the hope would be that people would come in here with their concerns, their grief, their cries but meet with that hope of resurrection and that connection to god would somehow minister with them in some shape or form.

“That would be the grand hope. I suppose on a lower level, it’s just giving people the space to come and be with god at a time where they might be concerned.”

The church was set up with candles for prayer and a projection of slides which showed images and symbols relating to national issues such as Brexit, to provoke emotions and thoughts.

The church was keen for the pray-in to be space for everyone to feel at peace despite the divisions in the country.

Mr Makin acknowledged that Marple – like all other communities in thre UK – contains a mixture of political opinions and that people disagree about the decisions the country should take regarding the EU.

All Saints was kept open from 9am until 9pm, with a steady flow of people coming and going throughout the day to take part in the pray-in.