Thy Kingdom Come (TKC), the global ecumenical movement, uniting Christians in 11 days of prayer from Ascension to Pentecost, is inviting church youth groups to join in with a collective time of prayer and worship around the country. ‘The Prayer’ will take place on Pentecost Sunday (19th May) and will see thousands of young people coming together before being led in prayer online by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Rochester and the Archbishop of York in Bradford.

Youth groups of all sizes - and across the length and breadth of the country - are being encouraged to host their own gatherings before tuning in at 5.15pm for 20 minutes of prayer and encouragement, which will also feature contributions from leading digital youth ministry, The Way UK and Joshua Luke Smith.

Inspired by the Church of England’s commitment to doubling the number of children and young people becoming active disciples of Jesus Christ over the next decade, this year’s TKC has a particular emphasis on the next generation. This is also reflected in the range of children and young people’s resources which includes 5 brand new episodes of the Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones & the Cheeky Pandas, read by well-known Christians such as Bear Grylls, Mary Berry, Gemma Hunt and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Speaking ahead of this year’s TKC, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:

“Thy Kingdom Come is a gift to the whole church on every level because during these 11 days between Ascension and Pentecost we hold open our empty hands and hollow hearts to receive what we most need and what God wonderfully promises to give; the Holy Spirit. It is the renewing that only God’s Spirit can bring, that the whole church needs. It is only by awakening the Spirit that those who don’t know his love are enabled to turn to him. It is only with the Spirit’s power from on high that we will fruitfully proclaim and witness to Jesus.  It is only in the unity which the Spirit creates and inspires that we join together across our devastating divides. At a time of global conflicts and uncertainty, praying together is more important than ever.

I am delighted that this year’s focus is particularly on young Christians, and I am looking forward to joining with youth groups on Pentecost Sunday, witnessing and praying for the dynamic ways that they are witnessing to Jesus Christ around the UK.

And what is really exciting is that God listens to our prayers. The Bible tells that again and again – and I have witness it in my own life too. So, I urge Christians across all churches, in every church, to take hold of the gift God offers in these 11 days and let us cry to God as one, ‘Come Holy Spirit.’”.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell said: “The disunity of the church is a scandal! During Thy Kingdom Come 2024, pray that the Spirit may make Jesus’s prayer for unity amongst his disciples a reality. I encourage churches of all denominations to join together and pray together as a visible witness to our common faith. I’m particularly looking forward to joining young people on Pentecost Sunday and many others online as we make our prayer: Thy Kingdom Come!”

The Prayer on Pentecost Sunday sits among a range of other events taking place across the country, including a 3-day festival culminating in a Beacon event in Exeter Diocese, a pilgrimage across the deaneries in Peterborough Diocese; Prayer walking by Bishop Ric Thorpe in the Diocese of London and many more events, including many ecumenical / interdenominational gatherings happening across the UK including Wales.

As ever, there are 11 brand-new discipleship films featuring inspiring stories of faith from Revd Dr Florence Li Tim Oi (the first woman priest in the Anglican Communion); The Way UK & Catholic sisters from the Faithful Companions of Jesus; Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and Jackie Pullinger as well as an ecumenical Prayer Journal exploring different styles of prayer – from Ignatian Spirituality and Prayer Walking to Praying in Song and Contemplative Prayer. For the first time, in partnership with the Church of Scotland, there will be a Scottish Prayer Journal- featuring ecumenical voices from across the land including the General Moderator Revd Sally Foster-Fulton; Archbishop Leo Cushley (RC Diocese of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh) and Bishop Mark Strange (Scottish Episcopal Church).