The power of place: listening to visitors’ prayers left in a shrine in rural Wales

ap Sion, T. (2020) The power of place: listening to visitors’ prayers left in a shrine in rural Wales. Rural Theology. ISSN 2042-1273

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Previous empirical studies of intercessory prayer-requests left in Christian locations in England and Wales have shown that aspects of prayer content may be shaped by place. Further studies relating to ‘place’ and ‘space’ for prayer and personal reflection have sought to explore this relationship further. The present study builds on and develops this research tradition with an analysis of 939 prayers left at the church and shrine of Saint Melangell in rural mid-Wales, which are read within the broader context of place. A number of ‘shaping place themes’ are identified in the visitors’ prayers, such as, Saint Melangell, place / sacred place, sanctuary / haven / refuge, pilgrimage / journey, a place to return, answered prayer, nature / environment, ecumenical openness, women, and shrine guardian. The study concludes by asking what rural churches may learn from such visitors about the significance of place and prayer in their ministries to those outside their gathered congregations. KEYWORDS sacred place; prayer; church visitors; open churches

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Taylor & Francis. This is an author-produced version of a paper published in Rural Theology. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: sacred place, prayer, church visitors, open churches, shrines, shaping place themes, spiritual tourism, rural
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Tania Ap Sion
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 14:26
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 03:40

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