Clergyman's prayer collection aiding people through troubled times

A former Lancashire clergyman has published a new book which he hopes will help people find solace during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Canon Ian StocktonCanon Ian Stockton
Canon Ian Stockton

Former Canon Chancellor of Blackburn Cathedral Ian Stockton has published a book which is perfectly timed to help people through the coronavirus pandemic.

Cathedral Prayers for All is a collection of themed prayers written for services during his seven years as the Canon Chancellor of Blackburn Cathedral.

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Now he hopes his words on subjects ranging from climate change to slavery, sport, sexuality and refugees will help people worshipping at home during the pandemic.

Ian, 71, said: “In these times of continuing coronavirus it’s a useful resource for people stuck in their own home or for people who have the responsibility for leading a simple service.

“One 91-year-old canon told me that he wishes he’d had my book when he was a young priest and said that it should be in the hands of every young clergyman.”

Ian was born and raised in a slum clearance property and remembers that his grandmother couldn’t read or write.

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At the age of 20 Ian went to Cambridge to study theology, followed by studies at Nottingham University and a PhD completed in Hull during his spare time.

His lifetime of work as a parish priest, theological educator and residentiary cathedral canon has seen him work in the Potteries, Galloway, Lincolnshire, the Northeast and Lancashire.

A father of three and grandfather of seven, Ian still plays cricket and runs three times each week.

The prayers collected in Ian’s book are mostly drawn from his time at Blackburn Cathedral. They were often scribbled on scraps of paper and sometimes even thrown into the bin then later retrieved.

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It was only when Ian retired, three years ago, that he dug the scraps of paper out from a file and decided to put them to good use.

“I often found myself scribbling down prayers, in a way they were almost spontaneous. I’d often leave them behind and the cathedral vergers would retrieve them and put them on a desk in the canons’ vestry for me.

“I hope that I’ve put together a useful compendium. There are quite a lot of prayers about suffering, which people may find appropriate in current times.”

Ian has also written various academic articles and theology workbooks. His collection of poems, Mindscape and Melody, was published at the beginning of 2020. He has also written a 62,000 word memoir of his childhood and a short children’s novel set in Scotland.

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Cathedral Prayers for All by Ian Stockton is published by North Staffs Press and priced £10. It can be ordered from all good bookshops using the ISBN code 1-9160-1528-9, from Amazon or directly from the author by emailing [email protected]

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