ONE of the region’s ancient places of worship is responding to the current crisis in the Middle East by holding night of prayer for Iraq.

It will include the chance to sleep in Ripon Cathedral on August 29 to spend a night in solidarity with Iraqi refugees feeling from the current bloodshed.

The Dean, the Very Reverend John Dobson, said: “We hope to welcome people from throughout the region.”

He added: “We wish to highlight the plight of those suffering persecution in Iraq. It is important that we put prayer and love at the heart of our response, so together we will invite the light and love of God into this dark situation.”

Nick Morgan, one of the event’s organisers, said: “The situation for Christians and other minorities in Iraq is almost beyond imagining.”

The evening will start at 9.30pm with an ancient service of night prayer known as Compline which will be followed by a silent vigil for Iraq.

At 10.45pm, following the vigil, those who are not staying overnight will leave and the cathedral will be locked. The great wooden West Doors, however, will be left open so those inside remain aware of the world outside they are praying for.

Participants on the Prayer Watch will need to bring a sleeping bag, torch, camping mat and warm clothing. Organisers request that anyone wishing to stay overnight for the sleep-in and Prayer Watch book online at

Information for those attending all or part of the Night of Prayer for Iraq is available on the Ripon Cathedral website