On Ascension Day, 18 May, a prayer and worship service took place at the Salvation Army’s Regents Hall, London to mark the start of the call to pray known as Thy Kingdom Come.
Having been involved in Thy Kingdom Come for several years at a local and regional level, I found this year’s event notable in that there was enhanced ecumenical representation which echoed the broader contributions and encouragement that were offered online and through the Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Journal from across the traditions.
Although the event was streamed live on Facebook, I was privileged to attend in person and it was great to see so many colleagues from our national Member Churches in attendance.
Following a welcome video from the Archbishop of Canterbury, opening prayers were led by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Then the wonderful Salvation Army Band and Choir led the congregation as we raised the roof with music and singing.
CTE’s Shermara Fletcher read from the gospel of Luke and a short sermon was delivered by Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which reminded us of our role as messengers of peace as we pray that God’s Kingdom will be present in the here and now.
We then continued to worship together and were led by the Spirituals, a Pentecostal Choir that sang beautifully and guided the congregation graciously through a time of prayer. This included contributions from senior ecumenical leaders CTE President and Moderator of the Free Churches Group, Rev Canon Helen Cameron, CTE’s General Secretary, Bishop Mike Royal; Bishop David Urquhart from the Church of England, Archbishop Angaelos, and Colonel Paul Main, Salvation Army.
The service was both inspiring and uplifting, offering a wonderful example and extending a challenge of the church united in worship as together we prayed Thy Kingdom Come.