Churches across the diocese have responded to the call from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury for a week of prayer leading up to Pentecost Sunday, May 15th.
The Archbishops wrote to every serving parish priest in the Church of England expressing their longing “to see a great wave of prayer across our land, throughout the Church of England and many other Churches” from 8th-15th May .
The congregation of All Saints' Kirby Hill (pictured right) in the Ripon Episcopal Area were encouraged to wear red, orange and yellow to represent the flames of Pentecost. In the last hymn a joyful, dancing procession waved balloons and streamers as they made their way through the church and into the churchyard.
Examples of local initiatives included St Peter’s Church, Shipley, where various events during the week culminated on Saturday 14 May with a 24 hours prayer gathering in the church’s Hope Chapel. They write, “We will be praying for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy and more opportunities to share their faith and asking God to ignite fresh passion for sharing the gospel in this country.”
As part of the national initiative, St. Stephen's, Steeton, set up prayer stations in church based on the Lord's Prayer for families and school groups to use during the week leading up to Pentecost.
The theme of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ from the Lord’s Prayer has been highlighted on a national special website (http://thykingdom.co.uk) to accompany the Archbishops’ Prayer Initiative.
A prayer station (pictured below) was placed in St Mary's Church, Luddenden, Halifax which has also been holding prayer walks around the parish.
In Leeds on Wednesday 11th there was a half night of prayer at Wrangthorn Church.
On Saturday 14 may there was10 hours non stop worship from midday until 10pm at St Matthias Burley, LS4 where a 'Thy Kingdom Come' prayer station were placed.
At Ripon Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday, May 15, a Pentecost service for the Ripon Episcopal Area took place – Led by the Bishop of Ripon, Very Revd James Bell, several churches took part leading prayers or choosing hymns.
In Wakefield, the Bishop of Wakefield issued a personal invitation to all the parishes and church communities across the Wakefield Episcopal Area to join him for a special Pentecost picnic and worship event.
Come and See on Sunday May 15 icelebrated the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and was the culmination of a series of social and worship events at parish level designed to engage with the wider local community. These have included pancake parties, Messy Church, a race night, Grill the Bishop and a special event for Baptism families.