This set of prayers and readings is for you to use during the nine days (Novena) leading up to the vote in General Synod on women bishops.

Many of us feel weary as we prepare, yet again, to hear the Church of England deliberate over the place of women. The shock, frustration, anger and sadness of the debate in November 2012 still marks us but there is hope in the way the church has moved forward with this proposed legislation. We are glad that there is a greater sense of trust but mindful of the continuing mistrust.

This spring has seen a celebration of the ministry of women priests with services and other events to mark 20 years of women’s priestly ministry in the Church of England. There have been moments of real affirmation and rejoicing.

We now await General Synod’s deliberations on the new legislation to allow women bishops.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6,7


So we pray for Synod, for those speaking and all those voting. We pray for ourselves and the whole church. We pray on our own or with others. Additional prayers and readings, suitable for a longer vigil or prayer meeting, are on the WATCH website or from the WATCH Office: St John’s Church, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY.

Let us pray.


Prayer for Day 1

Faithful God,
give us faith in you,
the one who answers prayers beyond our wildest dreams;
give us faith in you,
the one for whom nothing is impossible;
give us faith in you,
the one who brings life out of death;
give us faith in you,
the one whose kingdom will come.

Kat Campion-Spall

Exodus 15: 22-27
Points for Prayer
We pray in faith for –
Those who are weary of the continual debating of the question of women’s place in the church.
Those who feel that their needs are overlooked and their prayers unanswered
Those who have sustained our faith when we feel dry or lost.
Those who look to us for direction.


The WATCH Prayer
Gracious, loving Lord,
we look forward with hope and joyful anticipation
to the time when
men and women
can serve you,
and all people,
equally in every task
within your Church.
Thank you that every position held
and task done
is valued by you
and furthers
your mission on earth.
Thank you Lord
for hearing our prayer.