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15th May 2018

Lancashire city encircled in prayer for Thy Kingdom Come

A Lancashire city was surrounded by prayer at the weekend as the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, walked the entire Guild Wheel on the outskirts of Preston in one day; praying for the city at each mile post as he did so.

Meanwhile his colleague, the Venerable Mark Ireland, the Archdeacon of Blackburn, features today in the latest of a series of daily videos about prayer being uploaded to the Diocesan YouTube channel every day until May 20.

Both initiatives are part of the ongoing national and international prayer initiative ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York which began on Ascension Day, May 10 and continues until Pentecost on May 20. For other events and prayer opportunities taking place in parishes across Lancashire visit the events map on the website

The Guild Wheel was created as a lasting legacy of the most recent Preston Guild (an historic year-long festival that occurs once every 20 years; most recently in 2012). It is a circular walking and cycling path around the city. Archdeacon Michael is also currently the Acting Vicar of Preston after the retirement late last year of Rev Timothy Lipscomb.

Beginning in the early morning on Saturday and continuing until late afternoon, Archdeacon Michael’s route took him from Fulwood Hall Hospital through Brockholes and onto Avenham Pavilion; praying at each mile post. From the Pavilion he walked on to Preston Marina.

Later the Archdeacon passed Savick Brook Farm; then on past the Ancient Oak in Cottam; then Garstang Road in Broughton before finishing back at Fulwood Hall Hospital.

Speaking after the walk was over he said: “It was a tremendous privilege to use the Guild Wheel and each of its mile posts to pray for the city and its communities; to literally encircle the city in prayer.”

Meanwhile Archdeacon Mark talks about the importance he places on prayer in the latest of the Diocese’s daily videos to mark the Thy Kingdom Come initiative.

The video was recorded at the county’s Beacon launch service for Thy Kingdom Come at Blackburn Cathedral last week. In the video Archdeacon Mark says: “Prayer slows me down and makes sure I’m listening to God for His direction and guidance. For me, prayer is what gets me up in the morning because until I’ve spent time with God I’m not ready to speak to anybody else. And at the end of a day I also need to take time to debrief with God and offer the day to his care.”

One video a day is being uploaded to the Diocesan YouTube channel. There are five available so far, as well as video highlights of the Beacon launch service itself.