Beacon Event

Winchester Cathedral, Sunday 4th June

The wave of prayer for Thy Kingdom Come 2017 culminated with a celebration in Winchester Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday at which the Archbishop of Canterbury was our guest preacher. The gathering at the Cathedral was just one of over 30 Beacon events taking place in cathedrals up and down the country and across the globe.

The Beacon event was an opportunity for Christians across the region from all denominations to gather together to worship Jesus, be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and pray that others will come to know Him. Bishop David and Carla Harding (24-7 Prayer) hosted the event, with Archbishop Justin as guest preacher and worship led by Neil Bennetts and band. Following Archbishop Justin’s sermon there was worship led by Matt Redman:

To see an album of photos taken at the 2017 Beacon event, click here.

Each participant was invited to ‘pray for five’ friends and family. As well as praying, this year’s Beacon event also highlighted and commissioned a number of community engagement and mission initiatives.

Find out more about getting involved in Thy Kingdom Come in 2017

During the Beacon Event, artist Matt Lawrence created an inspiring image. He explains the thoughts behind the picture below: 

My first inkling of a figure coming out of a flame came to me during Bishop David Williams’ sermon at the Cathedral in the morning. I felt that figure could ‘evolve’ out of the flame somehow – I did not yet know how or why, but the image stayed with me through the day.

It was during the reading from Acts early on in last night’s event that I had the picture of what it would be like to have heard the disciples speak in your own tongue, hence the astonished figure with hands to his ears, towards the left. This tallied in my mind with how it it to receive Faith, and whether one is open to this, hence the figure alongside with arms greeting the Spirit.

I wanted to reuse the figure of a white dove against a blue background, as this had been printed in an accompanying prayer leaflet, and it was as I was drawing it that I felt the bird itself could transmogrify into the source of the flames.

I still did not know how the whole picture would come together, but wanted to retain the area bottom right to reflect what Justin Welby himself would say. His mention of overcoming the forces of darkness and the importance of Hope gave me the idea of holding up light/faith to Hope.

This also tied together the rest of the picture for me – specifically the idea that the figure emerging at the top from the flame of the Holy Spirit is fully inflamed itself, much as how it feels to receive Faith/Spirit ourselves; but this figure has to come down to earth – so it descends, becoming more human as it does so (the greater use of flesh tones is meant to express this).

In the same way as people of faith have to learn how to retain that belief in a secular world, so this body has to pick up and retain the spirit/flame, and it is our use of this flame back in the real world that gives us Hope.

As Archbishop Justin said, “we are to be Jesus in the World”…

Drawing from the Beacon Event by Matt Lawrence


Watch the full service:

The video above shows footage from the whole service, you can view also the recording here:

If you’re on social media, you can find out more about Thy Kingdom Come on the Diocesan Twitter stream or Facebook page (both called @CofEWinchester). Please help to spread the word, and find out how other people are joining in, using the hashtags #thykingdomcome and #missionaction.