A PLAN to build a wall representing a million answered prayers needs to win crowdfunding of £45,000 in the next month, to be realised.
The Wall of Answered Prayer is the idea of a former chaplain of Leicester City Football Club, Richard Gamble, who more than a decade ago walked around Leicestershire carrying a cross over Easter.
“Doing that walk — what I think of now as a piece of public art — was the catalyst for lots of conversations about Jesus,” he said. “I felt at the time it was what God was calling me to do. I asked God then what I should do next, and I was reading Nehemiah at the time. The vision for the Wall came to me.
“I know a wall can have negative associations, but a wall is also about protecting and strengthening. The Wall will represent the strength of God, each brick an answered prayer.”
His vision — which has obtained the backing of many people, including the executive director of Hope Together, Roy Crowne — is to create an iconic UK landmark. He would like to build it by a busy motorway, so that, like the sculpture Angel of the North, millions of people would be able to see it each year.
The Royal Institute of British Architects has agreed to run a competition this summer for the Wall’s design.
Fund-raising for the site began last weekend, and £12,000 has so far been pledged. If the £45,000 mark is not reached by 11 May, however, the project will fail.
Supporters are asked to pledge £10, which will buy them a brick on which they will later be able to write their answered prayer. Pledges have come from Christians in the UK, and also from around the world, including Burundi, South Africa, India, and the United States.
Mr Gamble expects opposition to the building of the Wall. “Some is coming in already. I expect we’ll have to lobby Downing Street before we’re done,” he said. But he has already begun early conversations about planning permission with some councils, which have so far been positive. A million bricks is the equivalent of 62 homes, and part of the offer to a council will be the money to build 62 social houses, as well as the Wall.
He hopes for a site that already has strong Christian links; so that the Wall can both celebrate the past and represent a strong sign of Christian faith for the future. If the initial target of £45,000 is reached, it is hoped that the Wall would be built by 2020.
Ian Nicholson, from the 24-7 prayer movement which is partnering the Wall vision, said: “We are behind the idea of the Wall because we have learned, time and again, through 15 years of continuous and creative prayer, that God is present, hears our weak and uncertain prayers, and responds because he loves us. The Wall encourages people everywhere to do the same.”
To pledge support for the Wall, visit www.thewall.org.uk/kickstarter.