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Archbishop Justin Welby leads St Albans’ celebrations for global prayer movement moments after officiating Royal Wedding

 

Fresh from the Royal Wedding, Archbishop Justin Welby will address hundreds of Christians at St Albans Cathedral on the eve of Pentecost Sunday to mark the finale of the global prayer movement, Thy Kingdom Come.

The Archbishop, who will have officiated the Royal Wedding in Windsor before travelling to St Albans, will lead the celebrations which will see several churches from across the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire area gather together to pray. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Primate of the Episcopal Church (USA), who is set to preach at the Royal wedding will also be in attendance.

Now in its third year, Thy Kingdom Come initially began as a call to prayer from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York but has since evolved into an ecumenical movement bringing together Christians, from all denominations, in more than 85 countries, to pray for more people to come to faith between Ascension and Pentecost.

Across the UK churches, families and individuals have taken part in Thy Kingdom Come with many churches and cathedrals hosting prayer services including messy church (for families), 24/7 (continuous) prayer, morning and evening prayer, and beacon events to name a few. 

The St Albans’ service is one of only a handful of special beacon events happening across the UK and one of just two events that Archbishop Justin Welby will attend over the weekend due, in part, to his incredibly busy schedule preparing for the upcoming Royal nuptials among other commitments. 

The evening service will see contributions from church leaders across the main denominations including the Bishop of St Albans who will give the welcome; Baptist Minister Revd Hayley Young, who will preach; Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London who will lead prayers and The Revd Dr David Chapman and Revd Simon Carver (Baptist Union of Great Britain) who will also take part.

Representatives from the Roman Catholic Church will also be represented along with leading Christian youth movement -  Soul Survivor Watford who will lead worship on the night.

During the service Archbishop Justin Welby is expected to bless five hundred postcards carrying prayers for peace and strength for GCSE and A level students ahead of the imminent exam period.  

 The service will also feature numerous ‘prayer station,’ installations designed to suit different ages, styles and traditions of prayer including those suitable for children and for people with sensory impairment. There will also be prayer stations focused on social justice themes including praying for those trapped in modern-day slavery.

The public will be invited to gather from 4pm to pray at the stations before the celebration starts at 6:30pm.

The service will be live streamed on Facebook to a global audience from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Facebook channel, https://www.facebook.com/archbishopofcanterbury/.

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