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Lancashire church seeks Pentecost fire for broadcast

A Lancashire church is preparing to share the Gospel message with many more people than usual as they welcome the BBC and the Bishop of Lancaster for a live Sunday morning broadcast this Pentecost Sunday.

St Cuthbert’s Fulwood in Preston, a vibrant and modern worshipping community of all ages, could find themselves welcoming up to a million more people as their service goes out live on BBC One from 11am on Sunday June 9.

Pentecost (sometimes called Whit Sunday) is the Christian festival which celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, in the form of ‘tongues of fire’, on the disciples of Jesus Christ after his Ascension.

That Sunday is also the final day of the national, international and ecumenical ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ event – 10 days of prayer, spearheaded by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

The Church of England in Lancashire strongly supports Thy Kingdom Come and the Pentecost Service at St Cuthbert’s will reflect the prayer initiative; prior to the closing ‘beacon event’ for the whole County later in the day at Blackburn Cathedral. 

For more on Thy Kingdom Come in Lancashire, click here.

Rev Mark Bradford, vicar at St Cuthbert’s said: “It was said of St Cuthbert that ‘above all else, he was fired by the love of God’. At St Cuthbert’s, Fulwood we are seeking for this to be true of our church today, and what better Sunday to celebrate being fired by God’s love in Jesus Christ than Pentecost Sunday!”

Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster, will be presiding at the service and is speaking of how, at that first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled people to hear the wonders of God in their own languages, and of how the Spirit continues to do the same today.

Bishop Jill said today: “Lancashire is known for being a county of beacons and on Pentecost Sunday at St Cuthbert’s my prayer is for men, women and children to be on fire with the Spirit of God and to spread that fire, through the televised broadcast, so people across the whole of the UK might hear the Gospel in their own languages.”

For St Cuthbert’s, the Pentecost celebration will then lead into a ‘Community Events Week’ from Wednesday June 12 until Sunday June 16, supported by a evangelism team including former ITV Gladiator ‘Ace’ (aka Warren Furman) on hand at the church and visiting local schools top talk about Jesus. 

Rev Mark Bradford added: “Fired by the love of God at Pentecost, we will be sent out to share that love in word and action with our community.”

Events will include a ladies’ craft evening; a men’s breakfast; community clear-up events and some events in the local schools of Fulwood and Cadley, Queen’s Drive and Archbishop Temple, with further chances to hear the good news of Jesus at guest services on Sunday 16 June, 9am and 10.30am.

St Cuthbert’s will be joined for the week by a team of evangelists led by Rev Roger Simpson, the Archbishop's Evangelist for the Northern Province and including Warren Furman.

Warren said: "Christianity has transformed my life, so I know it can transform other’s lives too. I’m now a Gladiator for the Gospel."

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