Beacon event at St Paul’s spreads prayer throughout London
Two thousand Christians have gathered on the eve of Pentecost at St Paul’s Cathedral for an evening of worship and prayer for their fellow Londoners, as part of a national movement of prayer being celebrated around the UK.
The event saw the Bishop of London join the Archdeacon of Hackney, Liz Adekunle; Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 Prayer; worship leader, Tim Hughes; and Intermission Theatre Group, based out of St Saviour’s in Chelsea, to celebrate how prayer can change the lives of ourselves and others.
During the evening, Intermission Theatre performed a dramatisation of Acts 2, which describes how The Holy Spirit comes down at Pentecost. This brought to life the story of Pentecost – the ‘birthday’ of the Church – the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and the start of the Church’s mission to the world.
During the service, attendees each committed to ‘pray for seven’, an initiative of the Diocese’s Capital Vision 2020 strategy for Christians in London to pray for seven others and share the story of their faith.
There was also a screening of a short film giving the story of a Londoner, Toby Lewis Thomas from Christ Church Spitalfields, who came to faith after finding a call through music, demonstrating how Christianity in London is reaching out beyond the traditional formality of the Sunday service.
The St Paul’s service was one of six Beacon Events taking place across the country, marking the culmination of a nine day national ‘wave of prayer’. The movement, known as Thy Kingdom Come is a national initiative by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to encourage Christians to spend focused and dedicated time in prayer in the run-up to Pentecost.
In London, the response to the call has been strong. Individual parishes have marked the week with everything from a week of 24-7 prayer at St James church in Clapton, prayer walks in Tower Hamlets and Knightsbridge, to an all-night Psalmathon at St John’s Wood church. The variety of responses to the call from London churches illustrate the three key themes that the Diocese is working through in Capital Vision 2020; confidence in living and speaking the Gospel, compassion in serving our communities and creativity in reaching new people and places with the good news in the power of the Spirit.