Winchester Cathedral chosen as one of six national Beacons to celebrate ‘great wave of prayer’ acros

    20 April 2016

    On Pentecost Sunday, 15


    May, more than 3,000 young people will join together for an evening of prayer and worship at Winchester Cathedral as one of six Beacon Events taking place across the country. The events mark the culmination of a nine day ‘great wave of prayer’ sweeping across the UK in the lead up to one of the Church’s most important celebrations - Pentecost.

    David Williams, the Bishop of Basingstoke, will lead the evening’s prayer supported by prayer champion Carla Harding of 24-7 Prayer, with sung worship guided by internationally renowned singer-songwriter Matt Redman. Intended for young Christians, the event will draw on their enthusiasm and energy, with an inspiring message from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered live via video link.

    The Pentecost festival celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, often regarded as the birthday of the Church, and the start of the Church's mission to the world. In the lead up to Pentecost and at the six Beacon Events, people will gather to pray for the renewal of the Holy Spirit and the confidence to share their faith. Young Christians are being encouraged to come together to worship and pray for fresh passion and confidence in proclaiming the Gospel.

    The Beacon Events will be preceded by a wave of prayer, inspired by the simple, powerful words of the Lord’s Prayer. Inviting people to take part,

    Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, said:

    “At the heart of our prayers will be words that Jesus himself taught us – ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.”

    Speaking ahead of the event,

    Bishop David said:

    “I’m delighted that Winchester has been chosen as a focal point for this Beacon Event as Christians across the country gather together to pray, to dream some big dreams about what it means to be Christians in the 21


    century, and to be equipped to share their faith.

    But it’s not just about an event, it’s about recapturing something of what happened on the first Pentecost Sunday. That’s something I’m hoping for, longing for, that the Christian church discovers again that it has really good news and good news to share. This Beacon Event is the beginning of the journey to rediscover our confidence in a message that we’ve been given. Not for ourselves, but for the whole world.”

    Young Christians will play a key role in leading prayer at the Cathedral.

    Izzy Collinson (17) who is helping to host the Beacon event said:

    “I’m very excited about this event. It’s awesome that this is happening in Winchester and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in this extraordinary nationwide prayer movement. I can’t wait to share my faith so that others can experience the life-changing impact of the Gospel as I have.”


    Alongside the event at Winchester Cathedral on Sunday 15


    May, Beacon Events will take place in the following places:

    • St Paul’s Cathedral (Saturday 14


      May) – hosted by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, and Pete Greig, founder of 24/7 prayer, with sung worship led by Tim Hughes and Jake Isaac.

    • Durham Cathedral (Sunday 15


      May) – with sung worship led by Lou Fellingham.

    • Coventry Cathedral (Sunday 15


      May) – with sung worship led by Noel Richards.

    • St Michael le Belfrey, York (Sunday 15



    • Canterbury Cathedral (Sunday 15


      May) – hosted by Archbishop Justin Welby and Pete Greig, with sung worship led by Tim Hughes.

    Tickets for the Beacon Event can be booked here:

    Doors open at 5.30pm. Please be in the Cathedral by 6.45pm. The service will last approximately 120 minutes. Seating is on an as needed basis, please note that even inside the Cathedral, most people will be standing for this event. Tickets cannot be held on the door.

    If you need step-free access, please contact the organiser after booking tickets.

    Tickets are limited so book your ticket now.

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