Cathedral event launches 10 days of prayer
WORSHIPPERS are preparing to get on their knees for 10 days in response to a call for Christians across the world to pray.
And local churchgoers geared up for the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative with an event at Portsmouth’s Anglican Cathedral which showcased some innovative ways to pray.
Millions of Christians worldwide are expected to pray in churches, schools, workplaces and homes between Ascension Day (Thurs 25 May) and Pentecost Sunday (Sunday 4 June) as part of Thy Kingdom Come. It is the second year that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have led the initiative, which encourages churchgoers to pray for more people to hear and respond to the Christian message.
Clergy and prayer champions from parishes across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight flocked to Portsmouth Cathedral on Saturday (May 20) to pick up ideas to use in their own churches during those 10 days. The prayer stations on display involved using maps and newspapers to pray for local and national issues; ropes in which to tie knots to represent each prayer; and ink pads to print the names of individuals to be prayed for – among many other creative ideas.
There was also a giant map of Portsmouth diocese laid out on the cathedral floor, with 139 Thy Kingdom Come candles – one for each parish – placed on the map. Representatives from each parish took home their own candle, which worshippers will light each time they pray as part of Thy Kingdom Come.
Many of them will keep their churches open during the day for people to pop in, say a prayer, light an candle, or to join with others in formal or informal prayer times.
And among the special events organised by Church of England parishes across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are the following:
- a prayer and praise service at St Peter’s Church, Bishops Waltham, at 7.30pm on Ascension Day (May 25) to launch 10 days of prayer in church. Details here;
- 24 hours of prayer at St Faith’s Church, Lee-on-Solent, from 7pm on Friday 26 May until 7pm on Saturday 27 May, and a prayer breakfast there at 8am on Saturday 3 June.
- 24 hours of prayer at St Peter’s, Church, Titchfield, from 7.30pm on Tuesday 30 May until 7.30pm on Wednesday 31 May;
- 24 hours of prayer in a tent, organised by Whiteley Church, from the afternoon of Sunday 28 May until the afternoon of Monday 29 May. Details here.
- a day of fasting and prayer at Christ Church, Sandown, on Saturday 3 June, which involves a prayer walk around the town. Details here;
- a Pentecost bonfire and barbecue at St Peter’s Church, Curdridge, from 6pm on Sunday 4 June. Details here.
The cathedral event on May 20 also involved different styles of worship being showcased, from contemporary guitar-led worship to silent meditation, and from all-age worship to chanting in the style of the Taize Community in France.
Among those attending was Clare King, from Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, who said: “I think this is fantastic and gives us some ideas that we can use. It’s really encouraging being here with people from all over the diocese learning about creative ways to pray. We did Thy Kingdom Come last year, opening the church up for people to pop in and to pray at various prayer stations.”
And Joyce Seaman, from All Saints Church, Botley, said: “It’s great to be here, and lovely to see so many ways to pray. I think this is a great initiative by Archbishop Justin and by our bishop, and we’re taking part in Botley, Curdridge and Durley.”
Last year more than 100,000 Christians of all denominations joined with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to pray during the 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost. This year even more are expected to take part. There will also be a live service at 10am on BBC1 on Pentecost Sunday with Archbishop Justin Welby, and Christian worship leaders Matt Redman and Tim Hughes.
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow him, might ‘be one that the world might believe’. We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer.
It’s not a Church of England thing, it’s not an Anglican thing, it’s a Christian thing.”
More than 250,000 resources have already been ordered to help churches take part, including family-friendly kits, gospels, prayer journals and formal liturgies. Sample prayers are also available online, and participants are also being encouraged to post their own prayers and images on social media and on the Thy Kingdom Come website.
For more details, see www.thykingdomcome.global.