Christians from churches across the Diocese thronged at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday for our ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ beacon event.
Thy Kingdom Come began as a simple invitation to prayer by the Archbishops of York and Canterbury in 2016 and has since blossomed into a global movement, bringing together thousands of Christians across the globe to pray for more people to come to know the love of Jesus Christ during the period from Ascension to Pentecost – which this year is from May 10 until May 20.
Bishop Toby pictured, right with Rayne, 3 and Pip Bolton from Holy Trinity, Idle.
An afternoon of workshops, prayer spaces, music and worship included Bishop Nick Baines as the main speaker, who told hundreds of worshippers that prayer was a collective act and not about individual convenience with the goal of making God's Kingdom Come. "And if you take God seriously, he will take you seriously," said Bishop Nick, pictured with Canon Paul Maybury, the Diocesan Prayer and Spirituality Team Coordinator.
Canon Paul organised the family friendly event, which included workshops with Church Growth adviser Canon Robin Gamble, Christians Against Poverty and the Church Mission Society.
Robin talks growth in the Chapter House and CAP workers Sarah Elson and Alicia Chapman, right.
One of the workshops included three Virtual Reality headsets offering a new view of the Lord's Prayer which were loaned by Missional Generation of Leeds and organised by Lawrence Basham, Ilkley All Saints' youth worker.
"It's the latest technology and that's what young people are into," said Jacob Moore, 14, who was there with brother Isaac, 12, sister Niah, 10 and mum Dawn Moore, a children and youth adviser with the diocese.
"I like the words that pop up on the screen," said Niah, pictured with her family and headsets.
The Voices in Praise gospel choir from the New Testament Church of God provided powerful music until the worship at 4pm led by evangelical singer songwriter Joe King with a talk with the Bishop Nick.
Canon Paul led a responsive prayer dedicated to Thy Kingdom Come and thanked everyone who had taken part in what was a very successful event.
For those unable to come the service on Sunday, it was livestreamed on the Diocese of Leeds Facebook page - search for @LeedsCofE and remains viewable.
Archdeacon of Pontefract, Peter Townley, pictured with visitors from St James the Great, Woodhall and Waterloo.
Thy Kingdom Come continues to grow. In 2017 alone, more than 85 countries – ranging from Canada to Australia, South Sudan to Japan - took part and it is hoped that this year, even greater numbers of individuals, families and churches will be involved.
Across the Diocese of Leeds, churches in towns and cities are coming together to celebrate with Thy Kingdom Come events. The Archbishop of York himself will be in Leeds on May 16th for a special under-30s service at Holy Trinity Boar Lane - more about this event here. His visit is part of a series of events taking place in Leeds city centre.
Find out more about Thy Kingdom Come here