Pandemic Prayers

Between March 23rd 2020 and June 23rd 2021 Anthea edited and published a weekly blog entitled Words of Connection for the Interfaith Contact Group of Brighton & Hove. A theme was chosen every week, with readings for those seeking peace and spiritual support during the Pandemic. Topics varied from the Challenge of the Weather to Journeys in Time and Space. When unable to source a suitable poem or prayer she would write one. She contributed 15 times to Words of Connection, under a variety of pseudonyms. Here are five of her prayers.


The closing words at the end of the film Light in the Lockdown

We stepped into the gloom
And met lockdown
The ghost of COVID separated us
Imposing self-isolation
Making us all prisoners behind windows
Gazing at empty streets
That gloom has cast its shadow before
In times of plague, war and brutality
In times of desolation
(And it must be said)
That as night stretched out before us
We also found ourselves
At the gates of despair.
But as we peered through the dark
We were able to make out the shapes of light bearers
Black, white, female and male
Brave, kind and compassionate, young and old,
We saw them striding past the fear of others
Haunting the corridors of hospitals
Working in food banks, homes and places of worship
Holding the hand of death
And now we must admit
Darkness is always there
It must be
And it can be challenged
And though we’ve known fear and loneliness
And have witnessed sadness
We can also see the light
We can recognise the stars… those angels
Those bearers of hope and love
The living spirits that have brought light to the lockdown.


In a moment of closeness
With the Divine
I was watering a plant in a flower pot.
Something sacred interrupted
And the green leaves glowed
And we all smiled
While chatting with a friend
Over a cup of tea
I heard the voice of something marvellous
Holy music in harmony
Making its melodious way
Through the air
And we all shared it
As I walked through the park this morning
The sun shone
The grass was scrubby
The dogs bounced
The joggers jogged
And through the uncertainty
Of the sometimes-fresh air
I felt a hand on my shoulder
And connected with the spirit of love
In all its perfection


Between the Downs and sea
The promenade
Is just a little quieter
Then she used to be
The ripples come and go
Leaving memories of sickly sweeties
Babes in the Wood
Silver scooters, pink floss
Summer’s over
Here and in Regency
Those classical curves
Home to drug dealers and princesses
Seem strangely silent
But then one day
The sliding pebbles
And the rustling shore
Gave us a promise…
Music will play again
The bandstand and the pavements
Will throng with students, families
Bubbles, cars, steam-punk fun
Greenhouse-gasses, bracing ozone
It’s a tough call for a City
Full of stars, sunlight and laughter
To go quiet
Switch off its lights
Turn day to night
But when the ripples recall
The memory of it all
Join me on the pier
We’ll walk on the gentle side
Celebrating differences
Making dreams reality
Good people, all sorts,
Strong in faith and none
People of attitude, sacred
A City of two parts and one
Brighton and Hove
Singing and winging
Blessing each and everyone.


Light a candle tonight
And join me on the bandstand at midnight
We’ll feel the chill of winter’s wind
And stay warm

Peer into the darkness
And meet an unexpected peace
Quiet but for the roaring sea
The howling winds
Empty save for the spirits
Of wandering dreamers

The clock strikes midnight
Come walk with me
Give us a new page
In the history of our merry city

And please… bless us
Strong and weak
Young and old
Near and far
The dwellers
The street sleepers

Let’s burst open
In a shower
Of optimistic celebration
And feel the sacred kiss of hope
At the gateway of a New Year


She knows it well,
A winter’s small dark room
Candles, cat, coffee
Lights low, illuminated
Breathing, resting, praying
Thoughts made sacrosanct
Honed by pleasure and pain –
Prison walls shared by many
Cross legged on a cushion
Still, so still amidst
Curling, spirals of fragrant incense
Near and far, the sounds of life
The same oxygen sucked by souls in prayer
A monastery, on a high mountain
Circled by great birds
A green luminous hospital ward
The bus station in Paris
Brixton market
An English country church
A single perfect flower
Her spirit wanders
There are good cells
And bad cells
Her prison is sanctity
As the viral storm passes
She recalls and meets herself:
A princess in a tower…
A tiny prisoner in a playpen…
A graceful dancer above the chaos
Greater than the universe
Smaller than a post card
In sacred space
Walls dissolve
Candles glimmer
We may be far away
But here we are
She prays for us
She loves us
We are together
Held… and remembered