Festivals of prayer to be held at Winchester Cathedral and across the Diocese

    23 May 2019

    Major events are due to be held at Winchester Cathedral and in churches in Southampton, Basingstoke and across Hampshire as part of a nationwide festival of prayer.

    The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have called on Christians from across the country and around the world to join together to celebrate the Christian festival of Pentecost.

    Major ‘Beacon’ events will be held on Sunday 9th June across Hampshire. They will mark the culmination of a ‘wave of prayer’ which is taking place across the country from 30th May to 9th June, as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. Supported by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Thy Kingdom Come is an annual opportunity for Christians to light up the world in prayer for the nine days between the Christian feasts of Ascension and Pentecost with candles that have been donated for the event. His Holiness Pope Francis also pledged his support for Thy Kingdom Come, saying he walked alongside those praying that the ‘Holy Spirit might enlarge and widen our hearts.'

    Christians of all denominations across the Diocese of Winchester will be joining in this celebration of faith and prayer, which is taking place for the fourth time this year. The Beacon events have grown from their origin in Winchester Cathedral, with people across Hampshire taking up the Archbishops’ call. There will be at least seven major beacon events hosted by Christian communities in Southampton, Basingstoke, Lyndhurst, Eastleigh, Alresford, and Odiham.

    The Beacon events will bring together thousands of Christians in prayer for Pentecost, when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, often regarded as the birthday of the Christian Church.

    Speaking in anticipation of the events, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester said:

    “Our annual celebration of Pentecost is an exhilarating moment when we gather in prayer and are thankful for the ever present gift of the Holy Spirit. Every year I am overwhelmed by the stories of people who receive faith in Christ for the first time, and I am sure that this year will be no different. It’s a mark of how inspiring the festival is that this year it has grown to more locations across the Diocese. I look forward to celebrating with everyone on 9th June!”

    Thy Kingdom Come also brings together Christians from across the world to celebrate Pentecost. This year the Diocese of Winchester is being supported by the Most Rev Martin Nyaboho, Archbishop of Burundi.

    Encouraging those taking part in Thy Kingdom Come, Archbishop Martin said:

    “This is a message from Burundi. This Pentecostal season, we are requesting you to be revived so that you can keep on evangelising. Don’t be caught sleeping now, it’s the right time to challenge people, and to tell people about Jesus Christ and the meaning of the Holy Spirit!”

    Beacon events will be taking place across the Diocese of Winchester. They will be held at:

    Winchester Cathedral, Winchester

    Central Hall, St. Mary Street, Southampton

    Romsey Abbey, Romsey

    All Saints Church, Odiham

    Overton Recreation Centre, Overton

    St Michael & All Angels, Lyndhurst

    St Peter & St Paul, Ringwood

    Beacon events will also be taking place in Alresford and Eastleigh

    To find out more about Thy Kingdom Come in the Diocese of Winchester and how you can get involved visit:

    Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost (30th May to 9th June). Participants focus on praying two prayers: The Lord’s Prayer and ‘Come Holy Spirit.’ For further information follow the hashtags #thykingdomcome, #lightuptheworld and #pledge2pray on Twitter.