Ten days of prayer around the diocese and at the cathedral
Here are just some stories of the great variety of activites from around the diocese that took place from Ascension to Pentecost. We’d love to hear yours!
Across the diocese, churches offered significantly more opportunities for prayer. Many of these were local in focus, such as in Potters Bar, where churches remained open for the whole of one Sunday for people to come in to pray for the town.
At St Faith’s in Hexton, the church is at the junction of two busy roads, so they divided the parish up street by street and gave people the name of a road to include in their prayers, in a plain brown envelope!
At Elstow Abbey, prayer within the abbey’s cloisters centred on reflection on the Lord’s prayer in a labyrinth.
In the Chellington Team, there were ‘Stations of the Resurrection’ folllowed by a daily Eucharist.
In the Sharnbrook Team, they practised the Ignation Examen prayer at the end of each of the ten days.
The Stodden Team included lighting candles for those people in mind, as well as a mix of silent and said prayer.
All Saints, Leighton Buzzard, introduced local schoolchildren to the Church’s year through an interactive trail set up and run with the help of Pulford School. More than 500 children took part over four days. On display were eye-catching stations showing the colours of the Church’s year and what they represent. The journey began with a giant Advent dream catcher and ended with Pentecost fire and balloons in the church’s upper chapel. On the way there were dream clouds, water turned into wine, pancakes to eat, ashes to apply, a cross that changed words and prayer trees. Judging by the children’s faces and comments from their teachers and escorts, they all had an enjoyable and informative time – even the ladies in the local sandwich shop had heard about what had been happening!
Reaching out in Hemel Hempstead
In the Langelei Team, Team Vicar Revd Richard Howlett said he had passed: “…a busy but happy few days as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’,” adding: “..we can only hope more church members give it a try in the future. I am sure it will add a new dimension to their Christian faith.”
Thy Kingdom Come began at St Mary’s Apsley with an all night prayer vigil, leading on from Evening Prayer using the TKC ‘Morning and Evening Prayer’ booklets. One parishioner commented: “I was struck by how the church atmosphere changed with the still hours of the night, the wonderful dawn chorus and the first light of the rising sun. What I thought would be a long time- from 3am- went quickly. I am glad we did it again this year, and it has made me want more”
On Monday (14/5), the Vicar and others were out at local shops, gathering prayer requests from passing shoppers. That evening near Apsley station, many prayer resources were given out to commuters and to nearby taxi drivers and station staff. A young professional photographer, Blyth Lewis, was among those who were given resources. A few minutes later he came back and offered to take a photo (reproduced here, above). “I was intrigued to know who you people were” he commented “You all looked so happy.”
Tell us your Thy Kingdom Come story: firstname.lastname@example.org