This week, as churches throughout the country prepare to reopen their doors for public worship, two Galway parishes will celebrate the completion of a one thousand kilometre journey in prayer, with the launch of a new YouTube video called 1000K to Pray.
Featuring inspirational photographs of the East Galway landscape and w, 1000K to Pray chronicles the daily prayers of two clergy who ran 1000 kilometres together over the last seven months of lockdown. It includes a series of 225 prayer-postcards, which invite a daily meditation on the Bible readings of the Church Lectionary through the lens of the natural world, in all its changing lights and seasons.
The initiative is the culmination of an appeal called 3K a Day to Pray, which was launched in October 2020 when churches were closed under Level 3 Coronavirus restrictions. At that time Reverend John Godfrey (Church of Ireland rector of the Aughrim and Creagh Parish Unions) and Father Gerard Geraghty (Roman Catholic Parish Priest of Aughrim and Kilconnell Parish) promised to run three kilometres each day to pray for their parishes; stepping up to five kilometres a day during Level 5 restrictions.
“Realising how hard lockdown could be, we wanted to encourage our parishioners to join us in taking active steps to look after their mental, physical and spiritual health,” explains Father Gerard Geraghty. “Every day we sent out a prayer postcard, as a way of focussing our prayers and staying connected,” reflects Reverend John. “When lockdown seemed to be going on forever, the postcards reminded us that we were still moving forwards.”
The 3K a Day to Pray appeal also proved an important way of fundraising, at a time when normal church giving had dried up. To date, it has raised over €15,000 towards the running costs of the local churches. 1000K to Pray is available to view on the Aughrim and Creagh Parish YouTube channel. For further information, or to donate, visit 3K a Day to Pray on GoFundMe.com.