Northampton celebrates Global Church's
HOPE Northampton takes Pentecost to the Park
Northampton churches joined together to celebrate the festival of Pentecost by heading to the Park and leaving their buildings to encourage and share with the town. The action packed afternoon with 3,000 people attending Abington Park on 23 May, with every available grass area around the bandstand was filled with picnicking families.
Well known Christian worship leader and songwriter, Graham Kendrick led the joint service celebrating the work and presence of the Holy Spirit. Prayer was led by local church leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, United Reformed Church and Salvation Army congregations.
The gathered crowd of over 3,000 joined in prayer with millions of others through participation in the Global Day of Prayer. At 3.00pm the festival linked Northampton to this global movement as it moved through the UK time zone. This wave of prayer circled the globe as Christians in almost every nation took part in the largest prayer gathering on earth.
Prayers were attached to 300 balloons which were released in a spectacular display of red , yellow and orange, signifying the fire of Pentecost. A dozen churches had taken part in ten days of prayer in the lead up to the event and teams of volunteers had been out on the streets of Northampton during the weekend to invite them along and talk and pray with people.
Lewis Houston organiser and member of HOPE Northampton Committee, said: "It was magnificent for churches in our area to unite together again for the same purpose. We want the Church to be available and accessible for non-church goers to find out what we are about but also to bless our community."
The HOPE Northampton team has built on the events of the past three years and the park hosted activities for families and young people including crafts, face painting, a climbing wall, ministry exhibitions, juggling and a family zone. The Christian Motorcycling Association brought along their Harleys and Hondas and told people about their faith.
HOPE Northampton was set up as part of a local outworking of HOPE which is a national initiative encouraging churches to work together and reach out to their communities through mission, in word and deed.