Christian life


The church is probably best known as a place of prayer. If you would like us to pray about something in your life email us at

Better still give it a go yourself.

Much of the prayer of the Church of England is corporate, that is to say we do it together and this is reflected in much of what you will say when you recite Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer. Yet there is another side to our prayer life – our own individual prayers, as we try to share in Christ’s prayer to his Father that his will be done and his kingdom come.

The advice we provide here was originally written for a children’s book. However, whether you are a child, young person or an adult, prayer is easier than you might imagine! Millions of people of every age pray every day.

You don’t have to know any prayers if you want to pray – in fact, words can often get in the way. Picture Jesus, and then say what is in your heart, what you feel.

God hears every prayer – but not all prayers are answered in the way we might expect or desire: we don’t always pray for his will to be done!

‘Arrow’ Prayers

can be offered to God anywhere, at any time.

But thankfully we don’t live all our lives in moments of extreme crisis. What about day-to-day praying? We need to come closer to God, to experience His love for us and to try to make sense of where we are in the world. Prayer is the way we do this.

How to start?

Use your hand.Sketch of Hand
Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things to pray for.

  • thumb this is the strongest digit on your hand. Give thanks for all the strong things in your life, like home and family, relationships that support and sustain you.
  • index finger this is the pointing finger. Pray for all those people and things in your life who guide and help you. Friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services and so on.
  • middle finger this is the tallest finger. Pray for all the important people who have power in the world, like world leaders and their governments, members of parliament and local councillors, the Royal Family, other world leaders and their governments.
  • ring finger this is the weakest finger on your hand. It can not do much by itself. Remember the poor, the weak, the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved.
  • little finger this is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for yourself.

When should I pray?

Traditionally, prayer times have been morning and evening, but you can choose a time which is best for you. It helps to be somewhere quiet, where you can have some time for yourself.

Do I have to kneel?

Kneeling is the traditional posture for penitence and standing for praise, but you can pray anywhere – walking, standing, sitting, whatever feels comfortable.

What else do I need to know?

Be creative – use music, a stone, a feather, a flower, or a candle to help you focus – if you are very young, or elderly, be careful with candles!

Prayer activity is a discipline – it can be difficult at times, just like keeping fit, being on a diet, or keeping weeds down in the garden! Little and often is best, but don’t give up! No prayer, however inadequate you may feel it to be, is ever wasted or of no value.

Praying with others

At St Mary Magdalen we have a series of different devotional services on Sunday evenings where we pray quietly together, often in silence. Please see our Services page for more details.

Learning more about Christian life

bcdmThe Bishop’s Certificate in Discipleship and Mission is a  set of short modules in discipleship and mission for lay people.  The course is focussed on building confidence in your faith and biblical knowledge in everyday life. Modules happen around the Diocese in parishes throughout the academic year. If you want to know more, please see the BCDM website.


“And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill-offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” (1 Chronicles 29.13-14)

As a church we receive no financial support from the Church of England or the Government. All our income comes from donations, fees from room hire, weddings, and so on. Having sufficient regular income to cover our expenditure is essential to allow our ministry in Chapelfields to continue.

Give by text message

Text SMMC01 £2/£5/£10 to 70070 to donate now. If you are a UK tax payer, you can opt to add Gift Aid to your donation (you will be sent a text message to confirm this).

Give while you shop

easy_fundraisingWhenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be collecting free donations for St Mary Magdalen! There are over 3,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury’s – it doesn’t cost you a penny extra. Just head to and join for free, then every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping. After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to your good cause for no extra cost whatsoever.

There are no catches or hidden charges and St Mary Magdalen will be really grateful for your donations.

How to give regularly

Thank you for contributing to the mission of God in Chapelfields! To give regularly to St Mary Magdalen, please set up a standing order with your bank and let us know, either in person after one of the services or via the contact details at the bottom of the page. Your standing order should be payable to: St Mary Magdalen Church, Chapelfields; Account number: 50609378; Sort code: 60-07-40.

Gift aid

If you pay Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the UK, we can claim back 25p on every £1 you donate through the Gift Aid scheme, recovered from the money you’ve paid in those taxes. To make an enduing Gift Aid declaration (so that you only have to fill in one form to cover all your donations to St Mary Magdalen), please fill out our Planned and Regular Giving form, which is available from the table at the back of the Church, and pass it to a Welcomer or Priest.

Legacy giving

If you are considering making a bequest to St Mary Magdalen in your will, and would like to talk to somebody or require more information, then please feel free to contact us — our contact details are at the bottom of the page. Any discussion we have with you will be treated in complete confidence. More information can be found on the Church of England legacy website.