All standing side by side in cancer battle

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Churchgoers determinedly banded together from across the faiths as they prayed to beat the common enemy of cancer.

Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral played host to a moving ecumenical service for all people affected by cancer last month - called Pause For Hope.

Patients, carers, doctors, nurses and research scientists of all denominations prayed for a cure and for the greatest fullness of resources for those diagnosed with cancer.

Naturally, the service also seeks to honour the memory of those who have passed away.

Services under the Pause For Hope banner have been held in the UK and beyond - in a move introduced by the Roy Castle Foundation For Lung Cancer.

Other venues have included the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham and St Mirin’s Cathedral in Paisley

Those participating in Motherwell included Moderator of Hamilton Presbytery of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Roberta Hutton, Cathedral Administrator Father Cromy and Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell Diocese.

John Lennon of sponsors Knights of St Columba has had a decade-long experience of fighting cancer was also involved in the service.

And he revealed that plans are afoot to make the service an annual event - simply because it was such an inspirational experience.

He said: “The congregation totalled 200 and the Diocesan Choir had 70 members present.

“There was a voluntary collection at the door when leaving and this raised £674 which will go to cancer charities.

“We were joined by 100 of the congregation for tea and coffee in St Brides Hall. North Lanarkshire Council gave us a Community Grant to help with the funding of the event.

Other highlights of the event included a rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ by soloist Susan McLean - and when attendees were asked to flood the cathedral with light by holding candles dedicated to their loved ones.

The simple Pause For Hope prayer was also uttered as it is frequently credited with giving inspiration and spiritual comfort to the congregation.