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A night of hope

A season of prayer leading to HOPE 2014 is launched at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s (RCCG) Festival of Life in front of 40,000 people at the Excel Centre

Hope‘We should never be guilty of being without hope. We have been entrusted with the greatest hope of all!’

That was the message from the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, to the 40,000 gathered at London’s Excel Centre on Friday to launch a season of prayer in the run up to HOPE 2014.

HOPE is a catalyst supporting churches to do more together in mission, and has the backing of the major Christian denominations and many Christian agencies.

The Bishop launched the season of prayer asking God to transform lives and communities through local mission during HOPE 2014. It is hoped thousands will join in prayer over the next 12 weeks.

The launch took place at Redeemed Christian Church of God’s (RCCG) Festival of Life, a gathering which takes place twice a year.

‘Imagine what it would be like if thousands of churches worked together, going out into our communities, touching lives in practical ways as carriers of the love of Christ,’ said Pastor Agu Irukwu, the RCCG UK leader.

‘Any initiative of that magnitude must be birthed in prayer. We want to do good works so lives are touched, but we want our communities to experience the love of God like never before. So, for the next 12 weeks we are going to be praying into HOPE 2014. We are praying that this will be a significant part of God’s plan for revival in our nation.’

Host for the evening, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, added his endorsement to HOPE 2014 and prayed: ‘In the United Kingdom, let there be light; let there be revival and may the revival begin in 2014.’

The Revd Ian Bunce, the Baptist Union of Great Britain's networker for Mission and Media, is a member of the HOPE leadership team and was present on Friday night.

‘HOPE gives Baptist churches a great opportunity to engage in mission with Christians from every other community,’ he said. ‘It was a privilege to be part of the launch of the prayer initiative with the Redeemed Church of God on Friday night. I pray that through HOPE local churches will be empowered to do more in word and mission.’

The second part of the launch takes place on Thursday (24 October), with a reception at Lambeth Palace for UK church leaders, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

HOPE came from a vision and conversation between Roy Crowne, Mike Pilavachi and Andy Hawthorne and focused initially on equipping and encouraging churches to take part in a year of mission in 2008. 91.7 per cent of projects in HOPE 08 had Baptist involvement, according to research from Theos.

Download HOPE’s mission prayer focus
Baptist Times, 24/10/2013
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