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Lancashire' Anglican Bishops' issue call to prayer statement for 'Thy Kingdom Come'
Lancashire’s three Anglican Bishops today issued a joint statement as people in parishes across the County prepare for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – a huge joint international and ecumenical prayer initiative.
In doing so, they join with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York who have galvanised and led the event from the start. The first was in 2016 and this second year has seen a huge leap forward in numbers participating, including many internationally.
Archbishop Justin Welby said today: “I cannot remember in my life anything that I’ve been involved in where I have sensed so clearly the work of the Holy Spirit.” Watch a video here.
While Archbishop John Sentamu added: “Remember, whilst the big events are fantastic, Thy Kingdom Comeis about being part of a movement of prayer – so small is beautiful, for Jesus says ‘where two or three gather together in my name…’ “
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson; the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Geoff Pearson and the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North have issued a joint statement of encouragement for parishes.
The Bishops said today: "Thy Kingdom Come is an exciting initiative about making time for God together; making time to #Pledge2Pray for people we know - our friends, our family, our neighbours and our work colleagues -that they might come to know Jesus.
"As people of God, we are fully aware of the importance of prayer and the changes prayer can bring.Prayer is an opportunity to have a conversation with God.
“Jesus set the example for us.He prayed for His disciples and for every generation to come that would follow Him. His prayer was that God wouldprotect and strengthen them for as long as they were in this world. Jesus also prayed for those who would come to believe in Him through the Gospel message.
"Taking time to pray every day is vital for a healthy Christian life and will also help to ensure we have healthy churches transforming communities across Lancashire.
"But with Thy Kingdom Come the Archbishops have sounded a specific clarion call to the church, both in this country and around the world, for 10 days of focussed prayer as a church family.
"In our Diocese, Thy Kingdom Come will be launched on May 24 at a beacon event at Blackburn Cathedral and we invite all parishes across the County to send representatives to the Cathedral for this important gathering.
"As well as the call to attend our beacon event, we hope many of our parishes will hold their own local welcome events while they pray.
"So, over the past few weeks, we have also been encouraging our churches to make every effort to be open as much as possible during Thy Kingdom Come.
"We want as many people as possible to come into our churches and to feel welcome over the 10-day period of Thy Kingdom Come ... and then beyond over the summer."
Our beacon launch event is one of 29 across the country. It will take place at Blackburn Cathedral at 7.30pm on May 24. People from parishes across Lancashire will attend.
The service will be led by Bishop Philip and the keynote speaker is Roy Crowne, who is the HOPE Together Executive Director and one of the founders of HOPE, a catalyst organisation that brings churches together to transform communities, which is a key aim of our own Diocesan Vision 2026.
Many parish churches across Lancashire have been ordering special ‘Welcome Banners’ from the Diocese and are planning to be open as much as possible during Thy Kingdom Come (and summer beyond) to welcome visitors. See this page for events near to you. Banners can still be ordered for £45 (vinyl for external use); £99 (pop-up stands for internal) from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other resources, including service plans; latest news; prayer kits and general information about Thy Kingdom Come are on this page of the Diocesan website
- Individuals; families and churches can #Pledge2Pray by adding their details here and they will then receive regular updates and useful links throughout the 10 days
- Share events and activities on social media locally @cofelancs and nationally @thykingdom_come while the national website is http://www.thykingdomcome.global/