Archbishop prays on streets of Middlesbrough

The Archbishop of York was out and about on the streets of Middlesbrough on Wednesday to pray with members of the public.

Dr John Sentamu braved the cold temperatures to hear peoples' worries and concerns, and offer a prayer on their behalf.

Members of the public were also invited to write their prayer requests down and drop them into a 'Pray one for me' box.

"I think it is important that we meet people wherever they are. That might mean going out into the local shopping centre, or the hospital, or sharing time with people getting their lives back on track," he said.

"Everybody goes through difficult times and sometimes we need someone to be there to listen. God values everyone and is always there to offer support for all. And what's more, prayer is the greatest tool of communicating with God."

Dr Sentamu also held Ash Wednesday services at All Saints Church and Teesside University.

In contrast to pancake festivities earlier this week, Dr Sentamu noted that Lent was about "sober contemplation" and reflection on God's sacrificial love for us in Christ.

"That may not immediately sound like a great thing to you, but actually having time for peace and reflection is very important in our busy lives – whether Jesus is real to you or not," he said.

"In our daily lives we should think about other people, not just constantly focus on ourselves and our own needs.

"Lent is a time when the Church puts the spotlight on our human condition and in these difficult times there are many around us who need our love and support."

Prayer requests can also be submitted on the Archbishop's website at