STOURBRIDGE shoppers got a chance to send messages directly to The Almighty via a visit from a leading churchman.

The Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, hit the streets of Stourbridge town centre on Ash Wednesday, February 13, to collect prayers from members of the public.

The prayers were then said at services to mark Ash Wednesday, traditionally a time for people to cleanse their souls as the Lent fast begins.

Bishop David Walker said: “We know that people really appreciate somebody offering to say a prayer for them. In the past we have collected over 120 prayer requests in two hours in one location. We believe that prayer can make a real difference.”

On Friday February 22 the Church of England will be collecting prayers around the UK for their Pray One for Me initiative which was inspired by the Bishop of Worcester.

The initiative began in 2009 when the bishop collected prayers outside a job centre in the hope of helping people affected by the economic downturn.

Anyone who misses a bishop on February 22 can post their prayers online at, where they will be collected an prayed by church groups and prayer communities across the Church of England