On Sunday 20th May, Methodist Central Hall hosted a special Beacon event to celebrate Pentecost as part of Thy Kingdom Come.
The service featured contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Reverend Loraine Mellor (President of the Methodist Conference), the Reverend Gareth Powell (Secretary of the Methodist Conference), the Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches President of Churches Together in England, and Pastor Agu Irukwu (Senior Pastor at Jesus House).
Christian music artist, Pete James who wrote the song ‘Your Kingdom Come’ led the worship on the night alongside the Jesus House Choir and Gerard Brooks at the organ. The Revd Nigel Cowgill, Chair, London Methodist District read a lesson and the Thy Kingdom Come prayer was read by Ada a Steward from MCHW. The evening was hosted by Rachel Gardner (Youthscape) and Maria Rodrigues (Premier) and was recorded for broadcast on Premier Christian Radio and was live streamed across the world.
During his Address, Archbishop Justin remarked on what a privilege it was to speak at Methodist Central Hall and how, as one of his ancestors had been instrumental in expelling Wesley from the Church of England, it had a strong personal connections for him. He also said, ‘In 1975, in Cambridge, like Wesley I felt my heart strangely warmed, and came to know Jesus.’
About 800 Christians attended the event. The Reverend Tony Miles, Acting Superintendent of Methodist Central Hall Westminster, opened and closed the event. He said, ‘We were delighted to host this ecumenical event. It seemed highly appropriate that Christians gathered together in one place in the City at Pentecost; waiting expectantly in prayer together for the Lord to warm our hearts and send us out to be part of his revolution of love.’ The Methodist Central Hall ‘‘Beacon’ service was just one of a handful of similar events happening across the UK and it is clear that many who gathered were inspired by the Archbishop’s challenge.