St Bride's: News - A Prayer for Journalists

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St Bride's: News

A Prayer for Journalists

j_altar.jpgThe tranquil north aisle of a world-famous Christian church in the heart of London has taken on an even more special meaning these past few weeks.

Because here is housed the journalists’ altar, where not a day passes without prayers being said for the safety of all those journalists and cameramen whose responsibility is to report news from around the world, particularly at this time from Iraq.

St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street is one of the great churches built by Christopher Wren. It rose from the ashes during another famous conflict, the Second World War. London newspapers may have left Fleet Street, but the industry today is still known by that name and many journalists often refer to St Bride’s as the ‘street’s cathedral.’

Reporting events in worn-torn countries is a hazardous duty and, sadly, the list of names of all those whose lives have been taken in the conflict, has grown these past few weeks. Here are those names:

Terry Lloyd, ITN correspondent
Gaby Rado, Channel 4 News correspondent
Paul Moran, freelance Australian cameraman
Kaveh Golestan, freelance BBC cameraman
Michael Kelly, Washington Post columnist
Kamaran Muhamed, BBC translator
David Bloom, NBC correspondent
Taras Protsyuk, Reuters cameraman
Jose Couso, Telecinco, Spain
Tareq Ayoub, Al-Jazeera
Christian Liebig, Focus, Germany
Julio Anguita Parrado, El Mundo, Spain

Below these names is a simple message that reads:

At this altar day by day, we pray for all those who face danger, persecution and death in bringing the truth in word and pictures to a trouble world.

And finally, here is a prayer for journalists:

Almighty God, strengthen and direct, we pray, the will of all whose work it is to write what many read, and to speak where many listen. May we be bold to confront evil and injustice: understanding and compassionate of human weakness; rejecting alike the half-truth which deceives, and the slanted word which corrupts. May the power which is ours, for good or ill, always be used with honesty and courage, with respect and integrity, so that when all here has been written, said and done, we may, unashamed, meet Thee face to face. Amen.
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