‘Searching for God, Almighty Hands’

In 2013 ‘Christ rests’ a monumental sculpture of the thorn-crowned head of Christ by Nic Fiddian-Green accompanied us through Lent

We are delighted that in the days between Ascension and Pentecost, designated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for the whole church to pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, another work by Nic is in the Cathedral.

‘Searching for God, Almighty Hands’ measures 10 ft in height x 4.9 ft wide and is hand-beaten in sheet lead. The image of hands at prayer is a familiar one to us, either from our own life experience when someone told us to ‘put your hands together and close your eyes’ as we learnt to pray, or from works such as the engraving of praying hands by Albrecht Dürer.  The sheer scale of Nic’s work means, however, that we cannot ignore these hands, this call to prayer, this invitation to engage with the God who, in Jesus, engages with us.

The ten days between the Ascension of the Lord and the sending of the Holy Sprit at Pentecost are days of waiting for the whole Christian community.  The writer of the Acts of the Apostles tells us that, following their witness to Jesus’ ascension into heaven, on their return to the room in Jerusalem that had become the first ‘church’ and gathering place for the apostles, the disciples with Mary the mother of Jesus, ‘were constantly devoting themselves to prayer.’ (Acts 1.14)

Here at Southwark Cathedral we give ourselves to that same work of prayer, praying that, as Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, for all people, whoever, wherever they are.


Almighty God,

our hands reach up in prayer

our hands reach out to you.

With healing,


holding hands

embrace us,

embrace me.