Not one, but two, straight from the Royal Wedding …. to Thy Kingdom Come
The Archbishop we knew about… but the surprise arrival of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry with him caused additional excitement during the afternoon of the Thy Kingdom Come Beacon Celebration at St Albans Cathedral. Both came straight from the Royal Wedding and gave a series of interviews to media on the Abbey Orchard about ‘The Wedding’ and got in a few mentions of Thy Kingdom Come too. By the time the Archbishop’s party arrived at around 5pm, Bishop Michael’s sermon from the wedding was trending on Twitter and causing a sensation among a large number of people who had watched the wedding. In fact, when asked what had been the highlight of the wedding for him, Archbishop Justin said with a smile, pointing at Bishop Michael, “His sermon.”
About 3,500 people from across Beds and Herts came to the celebration. Some arrived around 4pm, when the number of prayer stations available was boosted from the ten open during the preceeding nine days to nineteen, for the celebration, inside and outside the cathedral, adding to the festival atmosphere, enhanced by the warm weather.
Outside the west end of the cathedral there was a ‘Creative Confessions’ station, where there were large bean bags to punch and oversized teddies to cuddle, to aid the bringing of difficult experiences to God. There was also a sensory prayer station, with soft balls immersed in water, a chalk board for people to commit the names of five others for whom they were praying and an exam station with a large hamper into which those undergoing the season of summer exams could drop their prayers.
The Archbishop joined a number of GCSE and A level students there before the beginning of the celebration, prayed with them and blessed the prayer cards.
And all this was before the celebration!