Surfing in Heaven: A Week of Prayer

Sunday 26th September 2021 - Saturday 2nd October 2021

Sunday 26 September – Saturday 2 October

Prayer isn’t always what you think it is!

We are delighted to welcome Father George Guiver CR and Sister Elizabeth Jane CSMV to lead us in a week spent exploring different ways of praying. Each day they will open to us approaches to prayer: from engaging in the daily office (morning and evening prayer) to contemplative forms of prayer. There will be opportunities to try out prayer in practice, as well as time for questions and conversation.

Read on to find out more about the programme of services and activities throughout the week, and to discover our book suggestions for anyone wishing to read around the week’s learning.

During our Week of Prayer, we will explore both corporate and personal prayer. We will explore the ways that prayer forms us in community. For when we pray, we do so in company with all others who worship.

Come along and listen, learn some things you didn’t know, discover some things to do, and ask our guests your questions, no matter if they’re seemingly simple or enormously challenging.

– What is the meaning of everything?

– Where do I belong?

– In prayer, what do you do?

– Is there any firm ground anywhere?

– What comes of it?

Father George Guiver

Brother George grew up in Leicester. He has a degree in music, worked in Italy and Germany, and was nine years in parish ministry before joining the Community of the Resurrection in 1983.

He taught Liturgy for 20 years, and has written several books, including Everday God. He is working on another book at the moment, on the subject of this week’s explorations.

Fr George Guiver is a member of the Community of the Resurrection.

Sister Elizabeth Jane

Sister Elizabeth Jane is a Sister of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage near Oxford. Prior to joining the Community in 1989, she had worked for the Intercontinental Church Society in London and spent 18 months with the church in Botswana, both horizon broadening experiences. The Community to which she belongs is centred around the Eucharist, daily office and personal prayer – and from this wellspring flows their ministry and outreach.

She writes: “One of the joys I have had over the years is to be alongside others through the ministry of spiritual direction and retreat giving. I feel very blessed in being called to the religious life and I look forward to sharing some of its riches with you in our week together. I also look forward to getting to know Exeter, having only ever been through on the train!”

Sr Elizabeth Jane is a member of the Community of St Mary the Virgin.


Sunday 25 September

8.00am and 10.00am, The Eucharist

We will introduce the week at our morning Eucharists and Fr George will preach.

6pm, In Conversation

Fr George and Sr Elizabeth Jane in dialogue with each other at an extended [email protected]


Monday 27, Tuesday 28, Thursday 30 September, and Friday 1 October

1pm and 6.30pm, Learning and Experiencing

These sessions will take place in the Chapter House and will last for one hour. The 1pm and 6pm sessions will be the same, giving you the chance to come to whichever works for you each day. The lunchtime meeting will be livestreamed. Refreshments will be available beforehand.

We also invite you to join in the Cathedral’s regular worship on these days:

8.15am: Morning Prayer
8.35am: Eucharist
5.30pm: Choral Evensong

Tuesday and Friday only:

10.30am, Talking Together

These sessions will take place in the Chapter House and will last for 45 minutes. A more open conversation in which people can ask questions, share experiences, and talk together about prayer. In addition, on some of the afternoons there will be opportunities for some people to speak to Fr George or Sr Elizabeth Jane individually.


Saturday 2 October

10.00am – 12.00pm, Gathering the Fragments

This session will take place in the Lady Chapel. A closing session, including opening and closing worship, responses to the week, and a further dialogue between Fr George and Sr Eliabeth Jane. It will be followed by lunch in the Pearson Room.


There are lots of books available to help us explore prayer. Here are some suggestions. The books in bold type will be carried by the Cathedral Shop during September and the Week of Prayer.

Everyday God by George Guiver CR
Company of Voices – Daily Prayer and the People of God by George Guiver CR
Songs for the Journey – The Psalms in Life and Liturgy by Brian Pickett.
The Psalms – Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (SLG Press 81)
Praying the Eucharist by Charles Miller
Heaven in Ordinary by Angela Ashwin
Taste and See – Adventuring into Prayer by Margaret Silf
Sadhana – A Way to God by Anthony de Mello SJ
The Word is very Near You by Martin Smith
Pray As You Can – Discovering Your Own Prayer Ways by Jean Gill
God of Surprises by Gerard Hughes SJ
Do Nothing to Change your Life by Stephen Cottrell
Words for Silence by Fr Gregory Fruehwirth OJN
Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird OSA
Word into Silence by John Main OSB
Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life by Mary M Funk OSB

But remember, it’s more important to pray than forever to read books about praying!

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