Women's World Day of Prayer
The service for 2017 will take place
St Bede's Catholic Church,
High Street, Newport Pagnell,
on Friday 3rd March, starting at 2pm
The service this year was prepared by the Christian women of the Philippines.The theme
Am I being unfair to you?'
reflects the focus of the service—St Mark's Gospel, chapter 20 verses 1-16.
The Philippines comprise three main islands in an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; located on the Pacific Ring of Fire close to the equator. This, along with climate change, contributes to the high incidence of typhoons and earthquakes, averaging 20 per year. Typhoon Haiyan, hitting the islands in November 2013 was the most severe storm recorded to hit land, claiming thousnads of lives and leaving millions homeless. Approximately 1,000 of the islands are populated by roughly 100 million (2014 estimate), and there are between 120 and 170 languages spoken. English and Philipino are the official languages. More than 80% of the population are Roman Catholic. Labour migration is a major economic force and has impacted the social fabric of the country. The country is one of the largest sources of migrant labour in the world, with 90% of the domestic workers women, working mainly in the Gulf countries.
Below this box there is a brief history of the Women's World Day of Prayer movement.
All are welcome to the service—women, children and men.
This day of prayer is held annually on the first Friday in March, when, over a period of 36 hours, an estimated 3 million people in over 170 countries take part; using an order of service translated into over 60 languages and 1000 dialects; in the British Isles alone, over 6000 services will have been held.
It begins on the international date line with the first service held at dawn in Tonga. Then, like a giant Mexican Wave, services take place all over the world, with the last service of the day on the island of American Samoa. The world is encircled in prayer.
Come and join us at St Bede's Catholic Church
for your local Day of Prayer service.
The origins of the Women's World Day of Prayer date back to the 19th Century starting in the US and Canada in spite of strong opposition from all-male mission boards. By 1887 women from different denominations were joining together in organizing days of prayer for missionary work, both at home and overseas, and word of these special days spread to the British Isles. The first service was held in England in 1932, closely followed by Wales in 1933, and Ireland two years later.
An international committee meets every four years to choose the themes and writers for the future years. Suggestions come from around the world, and the themes are allocated to countries that have expressed a desire to prepare an order of service. Countries are chosen to give as wide a geographical variation as possible. The process then moves to national committees, who may amend a suggestion slightly to suit their own country context.
The Women's World Day of Prayer is a unique organisation, truly interdenominational, truly international; it speaks the voices of women from all corners of the globe. Involvement in WWDP creates a netork of Christian women on a worldwide scale which also reaches into our local communities.
See the Womens World Day of Prayer website for more information.
This service in 2016 was prepared by the Christian women of Cuba.
The focus of the service was the theme
Receive children, receive me.'
reflecting St Mark's Gospel, chapter 10 verses 13-16, a reminder that
everyone is a child of God and equally worthy of love and respect.
The speaker was Mrs Mary Shepherdson.
The Republic of Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, located at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico and called 'the Key to the Gulf'. Politically at odds with the USA, Cuba suffered greatly due to the economic embargo imposed upon it in 1960 but has found strength within itself to move on and overcome many of its problems
The service in 2015 was held in the Baptist Church, Lovat Hall, on Friday, 6thMarch. The service had been prepared by the Christian women of Bahamas. The focus of prayer was
- those poorly paid in domestic jobs in hotels and restaurants
- those facing problems due to drug and alcohol dependency, HIV and Aids
and these problems despite the Bahamas being one of the most prosperous countries in the West Indies.
The theme was Jesus said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you?' [John 13:1-7]
The service in 2014 was held in the United Reformed Church on Friday, 7thMarch and the speaker was the Revd Coralie Mansfield. The service had been prepared by the women of Egypt and was called ‘Streams in the Desert'.
The Day of Prayer starts at dawn in the Pacific and moves in a wave around the world ending in the USA at nightfall. This is always a moving and uplifting service and this year's was no exception. People from every church in the town took part - and not just women. Thanks to Eva for organising it!