Thy Kingdom Come
Wave of prayer is rolling across the diocese
More than 250 prayer events were held in Southwell & Nottingham as part of the global prayer campaign Thy Kingdom Come, which started on Ascension Day and culminated with two major gatherings – at Trent Vineyard, Nottingham, on Friday (June 2nd) and Southwell Minster on Saturday.
The campaign, supported by both Archbishops, started with prayer gatherings in the four corners of the diocese; Bishop Paul was in the North, at St Nicholas’, Bawtry, where he offered reflections on the Ascension of Jesus. Prayers were also inspired by a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said: “In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing a part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities.”
Prayer stations had been set up in the church to help people focus on different aspects of the Lord’s Prayer and praying for our county, nation and world. There was also a prayer walk outside the church.
After the service, Bishop Paul said: “It was truly inspirational to gather for prayer with people from across the north of diocese, knowing that there were similar gatherings taking place East, South and West, led by Bishop Tony and Archdeacons David and Sarah.
“There is nothing more thrilling than to hear of people coming to new faith in Christ. Through Thy Kingdom Come we are praying that many more will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. At the end of a week that has been filled with such shock and sadness we are further resolved to announce the reconciling power of the gospel.”
Bishop Tony was in the West, at All Saints, Huthwaite, where the service was led by the Revd Francis Wainaina, with a focus on finding a quiet place to seek God’s heart. The congregation was encouraged to pray for five people – friends, family, neighbours – who they would love to see finding Jesus.
Archdeacon David Picken was in the East, at St Mary Magdalene, Newark. Prayer stations in the church were used during the intercessions; there was one simply entitled Dear God, another where people were invited to hold a stone and then cast it into water, and another with a mirror and the question: How does God see you and your role in the Kingdom?
In the South, Archdeacon Sarah Clark preached at St Mary and All Saints, Willoughby on the Wolds, during an Ascension Day Eucharist and encouraged the congregation to be open to the Holy Spirit. A prayer website has been set up – Willoughby-prayer.org – containing links to daily prayers.
Forty schools have taken part in Thy Kingdom Come, exploring prayer in fun and creative ways; prayer ribbons are proving to be popular along with prayer letters, prayer planes and prayer balloons – the youngsters at St Luke’s, Shireoaks, had a great time releasing their balloons on the school field.
At the start of the day, Southwell Minster held a 7am Ascension Day service on top of the tower, led by the Dean, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan.
Only a little later, at 8am, students at the University of Nottingham gathered by the lake below the Portland Building to worship and pray, led by the Revd John Bentham. Later on, a total of 25 churches rang their bells to herald the start of the prayer wave.
Many more events have been planned over the next few days, including prayer breakfasts, picnics, walks and a poetry evening are all taking place.
Thy Kingdom Come started on Ascension Day (May 25th) and ends on the eve of Pentecost (June 3rd). It is supported by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who are inviting every parish, school, chaplaincy, retreat house, and praying community to join in ten days of prayer for evangelism and witness in the run up to Pentecost.
Towards the end of the 10 days there will be two major prayer gatherings:
Friday 2nd June – 7pm at Trent Vineyard Church, Nottingham – organised by the Nottingham City Prayer network
Saturday 3rd June – 7pm in the Cathedral at the invitation of the Dean.
Before the evening service at the Minster on Saturday, a whole day of prayer related activity is planned; Visitors are welcome to make use of the prayer chapel all day long, while from 3-5pm there will be a host of interactive prayer stations set up around the Cathedral, suitable for all ages and styles. Refreshments will be available.
At 5.30, there will be a picnic in the Education Garden (State Chamber if wet) – cakes and drinks will be provided, take your own sandwiches. The day will be rounded off at 7pm with a celebratory prayer gathering in the Minster with Bishop Paul.
For more information, please contact the Minster office on 01636 812649
Poet Malcom Guite offered his own unique insight into the Lord’s Prayer with seven sonnets based on the famous scripture.
St Nic’s Church, Nottingham hosted the event as part of the Thy Kingdom Come on Wednesday 31st May.
Watch the video:
Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (59) is an English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic. Born in Nigeria to British expatriate parents, Guite earned degrees from Cambridge and Durham universities.
He is the author of five books of poetry, as well as several books on Christian faith and theology. Guite has a decisively simple, formalist style in poems, many of which are sonnets, and he has stated that his aim is to ‘be profound without ceasing to be beautiful.’
Thy Kingdom came to St Wilfrid’s Church in Calverton
The congregation met together for Communion ‘with a twist’ at 11 am on June 1st to celebrate Thy Kingdom Come.
Paul Howard said: “We had 20 minutes of prayer which contained many elements which you could choose from. Our new vicar, the Rev’d Sam Hustwayte said we could stay where we were or do some colouring whilst thinking about the reading. We could go into the church yard and plant and water some seeds, or go into the porch and blow bubbles into the air and when we saw one to imagine our sin on it, pop it, and say sorry to God! We could light a candle or write down a passage from the Bible and pray about what it might be saying …or turn it into a key ring and take it away with you for later prayers… which is what I did.
“We then all took communion, shared the peace, and everyone was invited to stay for a picnic in church. Ages ranged from two months old up to 90… so we were Younger, Wider in Prayer and Deeper in fellowship.”
Bishop Paul led a TKC prayer gathering at St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on Trent on Weds 31st May.
The church is in vacancy but a warm welcome was given by church warden Susan Megahy, followed by prayers and songs, a bible reading and a short reflection by Bishop Paul. Small group prayers were said for the deanery, the diocese and the nation, focusing on mission opportunities across the region.
The Rev’d Bryony Wood gave out wooden crosses and Luke’s Gospels in her capacity as Deanery Missioner for East Bingham, and the Revd Canon Bronwen Gamble led an Act of Commitment.
Thy Kingdom Come Family Prayer Activity Day – June 3rd – Southwell Minster