Prayer and discussion groups

How do I pray?

Many people find it hard to pray. Where do you start? What do you say? Am I doing it properly?’ The good news is that there is no ‘proper’ way to pray, whatever way you pray, whatever you want to say to God is the best way for you. And remember prayer is a two way process, as Mother Teresa reminded us ‘God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer’.

You will find some good prayer ‘starters’ here.

And this book, as its title suggests, has some useful and practical advice for all those who seek God in prayer, whether you are just starting out or looking to refresh your practices,
‘How to Pray: A Practical Handbook’ by John Pritchard, SPCK, 2002, ISBN 0281054541

Prayer Groups

Prayer Chain

A group of people have pledged to pray each week for any concerns or thanksgivings that have been posted on the prayer boards in our churches or that have been given to one of us to pass on. All requests are kept strictly confidential within the group. We start off the chain afresh every Wednesday and requests are passed round the group by phone or e-mail. The group are also supportive of each other and it is not unusual for an extra personal prayer to be passed around when it is apparent that one of the group has a concern that they want to share.

Daily Prayer Group

The Daily Prayer Group is a way of praying with others for people who because of family or work commitments, time constraints, age or lack of mobility are unable to go to a specific time at a specific place to pray together. All prayer groups operate from the gospel promise that God will grant the requests of those who come together to ask:

'Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'

Matthew 18: 19 - 20

When we become part of this prayer group, and it is about a five minute commitment each day, we are not together in one room or church, but we are together in time and in spirit and as part of the church. There is no membership list, no formal commitment, no agreement other than between ourselves and God that at the time we have chosen we will pray alongside others who have also chosen the same time. We pray in the confidence that our prayers will be heard and answered, though we need always to remember that how God answers our prayers is not always in the way we hope. We also need to remember that God, like any loving parent, sometimes says ‘No’ and sometimes says ‘Not yet’.

If you would like to participate in the Daily Prayer Group an explanatory leaflet is available here and in the churches.

Time to Be - Weekly Prayer Group

Time to Be is a small prayer and fellowship group which meets for half an hour at 10am every Wednesday morning (immediately prior to the popular weekly coffee morning) in the Aldersgate Room at Castle Street Methodist Church. It is currently led by Rev'd Alison Walker. All are welcome to come along.

Requests for prayer

At St. Luke’s Church, near the font, is a prayer board, book and bowl containing candles which can be lit as a sign of a prayer having been said. Prayers written on the board or in the book are collected regularly and passed onto the Prayer Chain.

At St. Giles’ Church there is a book where prayer requests may be written. These will be remembered during the Sunday service and during weekday Morning Prayer.

At Castle St. Methodist Church a prayer request book is provided in the church.

By post: Prayer requests can be sent to: Prayer Requests, St Giles’ Church, Castle St., Cambridge, CB3 0AQ. These requests will be passed onto the Prayer Chain.

Email requests: Prayer requests can be e-mailed to us at prayer@churchatcastle.org

Requests for prayer may also be made to any of the ministers at any time, about any matter.

Discussion Groups

Upper Room

The Upper Room group has changed its regular time to Thursdays at 6pm, venue as ever the St Augustine's vestry.
It was launched in September 2004 in order to study the weekly readings prescribed by the lectionary in a three-year rotation, but after three years moved on to consider whole books of the Bible at a time.
We are now working on a new approach to the bible by basing discussions on its major themes.
The tone of discussions is informal and lively, sometimes individually led, sometimes free-for-all. This is a group for those who wish to deepen their engagement with the Bible; we use commentaries and other resources as required. The regular members would welcome new members or anyone wishing to come occasionally. Contact Mike on 01223 316382, or by email for further details.

Men's Discussion Group

The group normally meets once a month in a member's house from 8.15 - 10.15 p.m., usually on the 2nd Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. Topics of discussion cover a wide range of subjects, both directly religious and of wider social/political interest; attempting to see where Christian responsibilities may lie. Interested? Contact John Gatiss, telephone 01223 351332, or email

Table Talk

Join the conversation on Thursday evenings at Castle Street Methodist Church - a friendly time to share food (7 - 8 pm), coffee (8 pm) and discussions on faith (8.15 - 9.30 pm). More information is available online or by telephone on 01223 872862.

Seasonal Study Groups

The churches run day-time and evening study courses during Lent and Advent, led by the ministry team and shared by members of all the congregations. All are welcome.

Details will be given in the Calendar and the Events sections of the website, in leaflets in the churches or by enquiry at the Parish Office, tel: 01223 315000.

Parish Quiet Day

The churches share a quiet day of study, prayer and fellowship every year. Details will be available as for the study groups, above.