They came to celebrate Thy Kingdom Come
As Thy Kingdom Come began, Bishop Michael observed:
“People are just quietly getting on with it and praying,”
The ten days between Ascension and Pentecost became focussed on prayer for new disciples.
All over the diocese, that is exactly what people did.
Parishes opened prayer rooms, held prayer services, and prayer waves of unbroken prayer – some for 24 hours – and opened ‘books of intentions.’ Others walked between churches in the benefice, praying or stopping for prayer and refreshment, held prayer breakfasts or used knotted laces to pray for five friends at five, daily.
On Pentecost Sunday, as well as “quietly or not so quietly getting on with it” more than 1000 people from across the diocese came to St Albans Cathedral’s celebration service. Worshippers from other denominations joined in, as did their leaders, among them Bishop Angaelos, Bishop of the Coptic Church in the UK and the Revd Dr David Chapman, Chair of the Beds, Herts and Essex Methodist District.
The celebration was true to Thy Kingdom Come’s values and purpose. It included twenty minutes when worshippers could pray in diffferent ways: in small groups, in creative ways, writing prayers for a prayer wall before the high altar, silently in the Shrine of St Alban or before the sacrament.
Two messages were preached – by the Revd Grace Sentamu, on doing less, more focussed on God’s call and by Canon Mike Pilavachi, on being intentional in sharing faith and performing acts of random kindness.