Lancashire is once again embracing the local, regional, national and international ecumenical prayer event ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, which is back again for 2019.
Last night, at a packed Crossgate Church in Preston, the regional, ecumenical, launch service took place – which included a welcome from Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley and messages delivered by the Pastor of Crossgate Church, Ron Farrington and our Diocesan Director of Discipleship, Ruth Hassall.
For the fourth year running, Christians across the County are setting aside time, from Ascension Day to Pentecost, to pray specifically for people they know to come to know Jesus Christ, alongside fellow Christians in 114 countries across 65 different denominations.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is now truly ecumenical – meaning other Christian denominations are involved – and runs this year from today, Ascension Day, May 30 until June 9.
Denominations represented last night included independent churches; Anglicans, Catholics; Baptists; Methodists and the United Reform Church (URC).
The 10 days of prayer are bookended with the ecumenical launch service and a concluding ‘Beacon Service’ on June 9, Pentecost Sunday, at 7.30pm at Blackburn Cathedral.
There will be a whole host of prayer events happening across the County of Lancashire which you can attend and be a part of. As examples of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ activity, a small selection of events being held in Anglican churches across Lancashire can be found in Notes to Editors.
For more information about Thy Kingdom Come, including events taking place in Lancashire over the 10 day period, visit our Diocesan Thy Kingdom Come landing page, for updates; local resources and links to other information and news.
There is also a national website www.thykingdomcome.global with an interactive map under the ‘Events’ tab and useful resources that can be downloaded to support ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, including ‘prayer pledge’ links; videos and much more.
There is also activity on social media using #TKC2019 #PledgetoPray @cofelancs @thykingdom_come and @churchofengland
At the launch service ecumenical leaders were keen to stress the importance of prayer and how delighted they were to be gathering together to launch Thy Kingdom Come in Lancashire.
During his welcome to those gathered in Preston Bishop Philip said: “It’s important to have a time of prayer like Thy Kingdom Come that is focussed on the renewal of the church.
“In defiance of the overarching narratives some would have you believe, I didn’t get ordained to oversee the death of Christian life in England. I got ordained because I believe the renewal of Christian life is inevitable and one day the people of this nation will realise that truth.
“One way that renewal will happen is through prayer – so that is why the Archbishops of Canterbury and York instigated ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, which has quickly grown beyond an Anglican initiative to be one embraced by all denominations.”
Ron Farrington commented: “It has been a huge honour and privilege for us to welcome the people from many churches across Lancashire here this evening. When Christians gather to pray, significant events happen and so we look forward to reaching more in our local communities with the Gospel message of Jesus.”
As well as some vibrant worship, praying was also a key part of the launch service yesterday evening, as you would expect! The congregation was invited to pray and post prayers at ‘stations’ around the Crossgate Church building. The stations represented different aspects of everyday life in Lancashire.
Rev Anton Muller, Vicar of St Peter’s, Scorton; St John’s Calder Vale and All Saints, Barnacre, and also the Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Lancashire said: “When we pray together like this for His Kingdom to come this is what the Kingdom looks like.”
Meanwhile, Rev Brian Drury was another ecumenical leader at the service, representing the North West Baptist Association. He said: “It is good to have a prayer event like this where every denomination is invited and involved. As in previous years of this prayer event, to be able to stand alongside other Christians and pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is very significant.”
And Rev Paul Davis, Chair of the Lancashire Methodist District, was equally enthusiastic adding: “Tonight has been about great worship together and great speakers and it has been a splendid inspiration to start us praying for the next 10 days.”
Other church leaders attending the launch service included the two Archdeacons from The Church of England in Lancashire.
The Venerable Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster, said: “It is wonderfully exciting to be at Crossgate Church for Thy Kingdom Come as we pray together for people to know Jesus.”
And The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn, added: “It has been a real joy to gather and focus on seeing God’s Kingdom break into lives.
“One of the things we are encouraged to do during Thy Kingdom Come is to pray for five people specifically to know Jesus. Last year I prayed for five people and since then one of them has become a Christian, so I am excited to see what God will do in the year ahead.”
Examples of local parish activity for Thy Kingdom Come
For information, inspiration and ideas here are just a selection of events we know about taking place across Lancashire in County churches for Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) - churches big and small, rural and urban ...
Ronnie Semley, May 2019