"To ease, through prayer, the burden of cancer on individuals, their loved ones and the community and to pray that the day will come quickly when all cancers can be prevented or cured."

Introduction Professor Donnelly 2010

Thank you Canon Hawley for that welcome and for allowing us to come again to this great cathedral for our annual Pause for Hope service.

When, in 1999, we held the first service at which people involved in our cancer charities could come together and pray. I wanted to call it an Afternoon of Prayer for those affected by cancer but it was Br Ken Vance from St Francis Xavier's church who gave it the name of Pause for Hope, a play on words of the motto Cause for Hope used by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and it is a name which has stuck and proved to be a very good and appropriate one.

The purpose of coming together, though, remains firmly to pray, to pray for those with cancer or who care for those with cancer and to remember those we have lost to cancer. To pray also for those in the medical and allied professions, those with responsibility for allocating and managing resources and, of course, for our scientists who are striving for that day so hard when all cancers can be prevented or cured.

It was exactly six years ago today, in 2004, that Bishop David Sheppard spoke here at our service and gave an inspiring homily which can still be read on the Pause for Hope website. That was a day never to be forgotten and today we have another memorable occasion when Lady Grace Sheppard will give the main address. Grace has not been well recently and it has been touch and go as to whether she would be able to speak to us but there is a strong sporting spirit and a lot of courage in the Sheppard family and she has been determined to be here in spite of everything she has gone through recently and we all look forward to what she is going to say.

Copies of Grace's recent book are available in the bookshop. It recounts her journey with Bishop David as they went through the last months and days of his life. Those of you who are there first will be able to get one of the copies which she has signed before the service.

Maureen Walsh, whom many of you will know from Radio Merseyside and who herself has survived cancer, will give the scripture reading and the music of the cathedral choir will be supplemented by that of the choir of Bishop Eton primary school whom we are delighted to welcome to their first Pause for Hope service, and some of the children from the choir will read the bidding prayer which will be interspersed with some reflective guitar music from Dave Flynn. Major Michael Highton of the Salvation Army and Canon O'Brien, Dean of the Metropolitan cathedral, will also be saying prayers.

Radio Merseyside has always supported and promoted this service and we are very grateful to them. This year we have been very pleased to have had huge support from the Liverpool Echo who have run what proved to be a very popular Poetry competition based on the theme 'Hope in the Heart'. The two winners of that competition, Margaret Sheldon and Sue Nugent, will be reading their poems later.

The lighting of candles, symbolising our hope in Christ, the light of the world, is always a very moving part of our service when we pray for our individual intentions and remember those loved ones we have lost to cancer. The children will sing during this and Mgr Peter Cookson will read the beautiful prayer he composed for last year's service. We will all then say together the Pause for Hope cancer prayer led by Pauline Carew.

And finally, please remember to pray, not just today but during the forthcoming year, for the work of those cancer charities and organisations, some of whose members have helped put today's service together - Marie Curie Cancer Care, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, the Linda McCartney Centre, the Lily Centre and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, as well as our local hospices, Woodlands, Queenscourt and St John's and, of course, all our local cancer charities. The power of prayer is very real, especially that of the sick and those who care for them.


Messages of Hope

A message from:

"A Prayer Companion Through Cancer" by Kate Strickland.

A beautiful book of prayers for anyone coping with cancer.

Available on Amazon


Service Details

Services 2018

St Paul's Church, Cantley, Doncaster Sunday 11th February 2018 at 3pm

Cathedral Church of St Philip, Birmingham Sunday 25th February 2018 at 3pm

Chester Cathedral Sunday 3rd June 2018 at 3.30pm

St Bernadette's Church, Motherwell ML1 3PH Wednesday 6th June 2018 at 7pm

St Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley Sunday 8th July 2018 at 4pm

St Michael and St John's Church Clitheroe Sunday 14th October 2018 at 3pm

HMP Littlehey Huntington, Cambs PE28 0SR Thursday 4th October 2018

St Peter's Church, Lampeter Sunday 21st October 2018 at 2.30pm

Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool Sunday 28th October 2018 at 3pm

Renfield St Stephen's Church, Bath St, Glasgow Thursday 25th October 2018 at 7pm


Services 2019

Birmingham Sunday 22nd September

Lampeter Sunday 20th October 2019

Liverpool Sunday 27th October 2019



Further Information

Contact Us

Professor Ray Donnelly MBE FRCS
c/o Roy Castle Centre, Cotton Exchange Building, Bixteth St., Liverpool L3 9LQ
T: 0333 323 7200
Website: www.pauseforhope.org.uk

email: pauseforhope@gmail.com