A Prayer Pilgrimage: St Mary Arches

The church dates from the 12th century, “Arches” possibly deriving from an arched thoroughfare outside the church in medieval times. It has been much altered and renovated over the centuries. Today, as well as being the home of Unlimited Church (the youth church of the Diocese of Exeter), it is a base for Exeter’s “Street Pastors”, who work in the night-time economy at weekends, making communities safer by engaging with people on the streets to care for them, listen to them and help them.

1 point of prayer
For security reasons the church has to be kept locked when not in use, so the single point of prayer is the locked door itself, a frustrating contrast to the biblical promise about the door of heaven: “knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

1. The Locked Door
Merciful God,
through your Son you have promised
“ask and you will receive,
seek and you will find,
knock and the door will be opened…”;
and though this building may still be locked,
I give thanks that the door to eternal life is ever open to all.


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