Newcastle Cathedral Hosts Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Event
Don’t miss this wave – pledge to pray!
Have you ever been caught in a wave and felt the surge of the water swirling around you as you’re swept to the shore? Waves are a powerful force, a bit like prayer. They may start small on a distant horizon and build into a huge breaker. But unlike waves, with prayer anything is possible. And that’s what happened in May last year when hundreds of churches and individuals joined in a wave of prayer called Thy Kingdom Come.
The initiative began when the Archbishops of Canterbury and York invited churches to pray in fresh and focused ways during the days between Pentecost and Ascension – a time when the church traditionally focuses on prayer. They encouraged everyone to ask for the Holy Spirit to help them be witnesses to Jesus Christ and to pray for others to discover that living faith.
What started as an idea gained momentum and earlier in 2016 more than 100,000 Christians from different denominations and traditions took part from the UK and across the world. They joined in more than 3,000 events and services to pray for others to come to know Jesus Christ and for God’s Kingdom to come. The time of prayer culminated in six national Beacon Events over Pentecost weekend at Cathedrals in different parts of the country. At Winchester demand was so great overspill areas with big screens had to be organised and at Canterbury a live stream was set up for people to join in on the internet. By July 2016 it had received 300,000 views.
Churches up and down the country, from every tradition, from inner-cities to rural areas, got involved and people joined in wherever they were, praying the way they wanted, in schools, homes, via twitter and even on a church roof. Many churches hosted whole weeks of 24-7 prayer – some for the first time or in partnership with others. Others hosted prayer days, special events and half nights of prayer.
Project leader for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Evangelism Task Group, Emma Buchan, said: “we were astounded by the take up, which was definitely God’s doing. What Thy Kingdom Come did was give people time and space outside their normal worshipping patterns to come closer to God. Some people got up to pray at 2am and said they didn’t know that an hour of prayer could change their life. I think some of us have forgotten the importance of praying regularly and intentionally for our friends to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and this has helped many discover new ways of praying.”
This year the wave is starting to build again as preparations begin for Thy Kingdom Come 2017. The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to every serving priest in the Church of England inviting them to take part. On Saturday 3 June 2017, Newcastle Cathedral will host one of only ten Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Events in the UK as part of the wider Thy Kingdom Come global prayer movement. Families, friends, and neighbours from across the Diocese of Newcastle and beyond are invited to gather together at the Cathedral to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness.
Emma Buchan believes the 2017 wave of prayer will be even bigger than 2016: “we’re hoping more people will join us in Thy Kingdom Come this year between 25 May and 4 June. We’re inviting people to pledge to pray with the whole family of God during that period and to pray for the Holy Spirit to empower them as witnesses to Jesus Christ. Last year there was interest from Christians across the world from New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, Brussels the USA and many others. Stories continue to pour in and we know from Diocesan champions that what we’re hearing about nationally is only the tip of the iceberg.”
This year all the churches of the Anglican Communion have been invited to take part and the hope is that beacons of prayer will light up the globe as the wave of prayer breaks over the days from Pentecost to Ascension. What started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.
Don’t miss out on this God-given wave.
All are welcome to attend the Newcastle Cathedral Beacon Event on Saturday 3 June 2017 from 7pm until 9pm, and admission is free. Please reserve places at https://thy-kingdom-come-beacon-event.eventbrite.co.uk
For more information about Thy Kingdom Come and the global wave of prayer, please visit: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/ where you can also view a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who says: “With God the impossible is possible…”