Prayer in the Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral will remain open for individual prayer and reflection, from Monday to Saturday, 11am-3pm, during the current pandemic lockdown.


Face coverings in the Cathedral:

Following the introduction of laws around wearing face coverings in places of worship, and guidance from the Church of England, it is a legal requirement that members of the congregation at all services, visitors, volunteers, and staff, wear face coverings in the Cathedral. This helps us keep one another safe. Some people are exempt from this requirement; please be sensitive to these: not all needs that exempt people are visible. Those who are leading, preaching, cantoring, reading, and interceding at public worship – who are well distanced from the congregation – need not wear face coverings whilst exercising these ministries.

Important guidelines if you are visiting for private prayer and reflection:

If you are planning to visit the Cathedral, please be aware of the following measures to help ensure a safe environment:

  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands as you enter the Cathedral.
  • You are legally required to wear face coverings.
  • As you will understand, we cannot open our WCs. 


The Building

The Cathedral is open during most of the day, seven days a week. Everyone is welcome to come in and pray, and there are many small chapels you can use for prayer. Note that the Cathedral has an admission charge for tourists, but there is never a charge for worship or prayer. Please tell the person on the welcome desk.

Let the building inspire you. It was built to the glory of God. Allow your eyes to be drawn up, and watch the play of light on the golden stone. Ponder the love and attention paid to the craft in wood and stone. Touch the walls and feel the prayer that has soaked into them over the centuries.

In particular, the Lady Chapel at the east end is is reserved for private prayer. There is also a board just outside where you can post specific requests for prayer. To its right is St Gabriel’s Chapel, where the blessed sacrament is reserved. Two to its left is the Speak Chantry Chapel. Here there are often materials, such as pebbles, you can use for sensory forms of prayer.

Regular Worship

The cycle of worship and prayer throughout the year underpins the life of Exeter Cathedral.

If you find a structure helpful to support your prayer life, you may like to join us for worship at Morning Prayer, Choral Evensong or Evening Prayer, and the Eucharist.

After 9.15am Morning Prayer on Sundays, you are welcome to pray in St Gabriel’s chapel before the start of the 10am Eucharist.

The service booklets used in the Eucharist often include some reflections at the beginning, which you could use for prayer before the service.

The Weekly community notices include the readings and special prayers used in the previous Sunday Eucharist. You might like to use these in your prayer. The website also hosts recordings of recent sermons and lists Weekly Intercessions for the Life of the Cathedral. Throughout the month we pray for different aspects of the Cathedral’s life and work at our daily services. We invite you to pray with us for the Cathedral in your own prayers.

Prayer Groups

There are two Contemplative Prayer Groups at the Cathedral, which meet regularly to practise Christian contemplative prayer and meditation together. The main emphasis of the prayer time is simply ‘waiting on God’ in stillness and silence.

The daytime group meets on the second Monday of every month at 2.30pm in the Chapel of St John the Baptist in the Cathedral. The evening group is a Julian Group and meets in Pinhoe at 7.30pm, also on the second Monday of every month. You are very welcome to join either to explore further, or simply experience this way of prayer.

Contact information can be found in the February 2018 issue of the Cathedral Magazine at Please see the article entitled “Julian Prayer Meetings”.

The Prayers for Healing group meets in the Cathedral every Monday at 1pm.

In the context of a short service, the group spends time in prayer for those in need of healing, whether of illness, uncertainty, unemployment, relationships or lack of peace. Coming together regularly in this way encourages the group members in their prayer, and friendships are further deepened over refreshments afterwards.

If you are in need of prayer for healing, there are boards in the Cathedral where you can leave a message. The group prays through all these messages each week, as well as the Cathedral intercession lists and the work of the Cathedral and the wider community.

More detail can be found in the April 2018 issue of the Cathedral Magazine.

Prayer and Spirituality Events

From time to time, the Cathedral holds events on the theme of prayer and spirituality. In the recent past these have included a Week of Guided Prayer and a Prayer and Spirituality Day, ‘Come and See’, inviting people to try different methods of prayer.

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