Susanna’s prayer desk
‘My favourite item’ by Sarah Friswell – Chair of Trustees
‘When I visit the Old Rectory there is one particular piece of furniture which for me sums up the ‘heart of the story’. That is Susanna’s prayer chair/desk. It is quite easy to imagine the Rectory bursting at the seams – the hustle and bustle of family life, hectic mealtimes, intense schooling sessions, food being prepared, parishioners calling by with matters for the Rector. Yet we know that for Susanna Wesley, the so-called Mother of Methodism, her prayer life was vitally important. As a young girl she has promised to devote her life to God which included praying regularly.
Therefore the fact that we have a visible sign of that prayer life in the form of a beautiful prayer desk is very striking. It is not in a church or chapel or in a special room set aside for ‘religious purposes’. It is right in the middle of the family home and was used by a women who had a family often to care for, plus a sometimes absent husband.
It is great this can be used as a symbol to visitors, young and old, that a relationship with God through prayer is possible even in the busiest of households/lifestyles.’