Thy Kingdom Come Around The Diocese

For the last 11 days, from Ascension through to Pentecost, Christians throughout the world have been praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' for more people to come to know Jesus. It’s encouraging to see how our worshipping communities around the diocese have been devoting their time to the movement, and finding new, creative, and engaging ways to pray…

Over at St. Andrew's in Leicester Forest East, a prayer area was set up using artwork and prayers from the TKC resources.
The church became a space for Visio Divina prayer - encountering God through contemplation of art - with one artwork for each day from Ascension to Pentecost.
There was an opportunity to light a candle to ‘pray for five’ people to come to faith, or to pray for people in need, including the work of Christian Aid. Thy Kingdom Come prayer journals and Christian Aid week devotionals were also available to take away.
Revd Dave Hover said: “The importance of prayer in deepening our relationship with God cannot be overstated. Engaging with Thy Kingdom Come is a wonderful opportunity to explore different ways of praying - as the TKC prayer journal and videos invite us to do - because God has created all of us to be different and unique, and so are our preferred ways of praying and relating to God.”
The prayer space was used during the church’s Saturday morning café and before and after the Sunday services, remaining throughout TKC so people could use it anytime they were in church.
The cafe also brought in people from the wider community, encouraging them to use the prayer resources, and take away prayer materials for reflection at home.
As it coincided with Christian Aid week, all the proceeds from that day’s coffee shop were donated to the charity as part of St. Andrew's charitable giving.
“Thy Kingdom Come evokes the Spirit of Pentecost of people praying in all languages and cultures and styles,” said Revd Dave. “Offering different and creative ways into prayer is a way we can engage with this vision and help more people develop a deepening relationship with God.”

A labyrinth was laid out in Christ the King Church in Beaumont Leys for people to wander at their leisure following a Celtic-style prayer evening last Sunday.
A small group from Christ the King, and St Luke’s Stocking Farm, came together to plan how they could take part in TKC and use it as an opportunity to encourage people to deepen their prayer life and pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom. Last year they introduced prayer stations during their joint Pentecost Eucharist.
“We wanted to use a labyrinth in 2023 but ran out of time to create one, so set ourselves the challenge of making one as cheaply as possible using tarpaulin and duct tape,” said Revd Rob Hinsley, who led the service and encouraged his parishioners to walk the labyrinth in their own time after.
Everyone who took part was given a tag on which they wrote a gift, talent or skill they have, and was invited to carry it in their hand as they walked the intricate path. In the centre were some stones, and there was also a Cairn built to represent their encounter with God.
Talking of the significance of TKC, Revd Rob said: “As relatively small congregations it is important to be reminded that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and TKC gives us a tangible opportunity to share in prayer with others across the country and world.
“New ways of praying are important as they help us to deepen our experience of and encounter with God and help us discover God afresh. For new and older members of the community, it is an opportunity to discover together different ways of prayer and learn together that there is more than one.”
Indeed, for many in the church communities, this was their first encounter with a labyrinth, and a completely new way to connect with God.
“We had prepared people by explaining what it was, the purpose and what it wasn’t both in a guide to TKC and as part of a sermon the week before,” said Revd Rob. “Several embraced the experience on the Sunday, and there were further opportunities to use it during the rest of this week.”
The churches now plan to use the labyrinth at other liturgical seasons throughout the year.

First published on: 20th May 2024
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