Prayer is simply a conversation with God. It does not need special words or a special place, although people find that these can help.


The Cathedral is a place of prayer. If you would like to pray whilst you are here, you can use your own words to talk with God, as you would with a friend. Prayer includes asking God for help with things that trouble us, but it also includes thanksgiving for the good things in our lives and the world. Sometimes we use a lot of words in prayer, at other times just a few words like, “Dear God, please help my Mum to get better” or “Please help Fred find a job” are all that is needed. Sitting in silence in the Cathedral thinking about God can also be a prayer, as can weeping. Some people like to light a candle as a visible sign of their prayer which continues to burn after they have left the Cathedral. If you like, you can write your prayer on a piece of paper and leave it in the basket to be included with other peoples’ prayers at a service tomorrow.

If you would like someone to pray with you, or if you feel troubled about something and would like to talk to someone or make a confession, please ask the chaplain on duty or ask one of the stewards to find a member of the clergy.

You can pray wherever you are: at home, at work, when walking the dog, standing at the bus stop, or enjoying beautiful scenery. It can be helpful to pray at particular times: when you first wake up, before a meal, before you go to bed, or to have a particular place for prayer: a chair or by a candle or a cross on a shelf.

You will find prayers (some are in old language) in the books in the pews where there are also hymn books with hymns that can be used a prayers. You can buy books of prayers in the Cathedral Shop.

Durham Cathedral and Durham Churches Together Prayer List