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Thousands Pray With The Archbishop Of Canterbury At Guildford Cathedral

Published on: 5 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 9 Jun, 2017

Story and pictures by the Diocese of Guildford’s communications team

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, addresses Christians gathered at Guildford Cathedral.

Thousands of Christians from many different traditions came together on Sunday, June 4, at Guildford Cathedral to pray Thy Kingdom Come as hundreds of thousands of Christians prayed worldwide on Pentecost Sunday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, walked the last leg of his journey to Guildford with many fellow pilgrims as he opened the afternoon prayer event, less than 24 hours after the London Bridge terrorist attack left seven dead and many more seriously injured.

The archbishop prayed for all those suffering and called for people not to turn on the Muslim community following the latest terror attacks: He said: “The job for us is to draw alongside those who are suffering and to renew in them the hope that will, over time, come – but it will be a hard journey.”

Thy Kingdom Come 2017 is the second year of a call to Christians of all denominations to come together during the 10 days between Ascension and Pentecost – May 25 until June 4 – to pray for more people to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have the joy and confidence to share the love of Jesus.

The grounds around Guildford Cathedral, one of 34 cathedrals involved in Thy Kingdom Come across the UK, hosted a diverse range of prayer stations for visitors to sample, ranging from art, music and dance to meditation, healing and reflection – along with lots of fun and games for families, food and drink.

The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people coming together to pray. We’ve seen many flames of prayer being lit across our diocese in response to Thy Kingdom Come adding to the blaze of fire here at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.”

The highlight of the evening was the Pentecost worship service inside and outside the cathedral hosted by both Bishop of Dorking, Jo Wells; and Bishop Andrew; along with Pete Grieg, Prayer 24/7 leader; and Diocesan youth adviser David Welch.

Due to ongoing refurbishment of the building’s interior, numbers were limited to 500 inside the cathedral with hundreds more standing and sitting outside, enjoying the evening sunshine and a spirit-filled worship service led by, for and with young people – including a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Boileroom Ignite band played several sets during the service, ending with a medley of worship songs that had young and old on their feet and dancing inside and out.

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