As the culmination of the diocese involvement in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Thy Kingdom Come invitation to Christians around the world to pray as one at Pentecost, Guildford Cathedral hosted a Beacon Event on Sunday 4th June.
A number of our parishioners attended, with a foolish five setting to walk the ten miles to the Cathedral. They set off immediately after the 10:00 service; following a route that Mike Clarke had planned to avoid roads as much as possible. At the half-way point, we were met by Alan Gaw with his camper van who provided a highly civilised refreshment break.
En route, our paths crossed a larger group from St Paul’s in Camberley, who were following a faster but less scenic route by road.
The Beacon Event at the Cathedral embraced all ages and stages of life and faith. Along with several thousand Pentecost Pilgrims from other churches, the walkers arrived at Stag Hill in time to join the other St Peter’s parishioners and hear the Archbishop of Canterbury open the event at 4:30. A Prayer and Food Festival featuring food, prayer tents, psalm drummers, candy-floss, poets, inflatables, dance and live bands entertained us until the service commenced at 6:30
Without alienating those of more senior years, Pete Greig along with Bishop Jo hosted worship led by the Ignite band. Space in the Cathedral is still very limited as building works continue. Priority was given to younger worshippers to sit on the stone floor, but the service was relayed to a large screen on the green outside. Sitting on the grass and straw bales in the brilliant sunshine, we in no way felt like poor relations as parts of the service were led by Bishop Andrew from the outdoor stage and relayed into the Cathedral.