Women’s World Day of Prayer celebrated in Ilford church with French-themed service

Prayers at Vine Church Ilford for Women's World Day of Prayer.

Prayers at Vine Church Ilford for Women's World Day of Prayer. - Credit: Archant

A French-themed service of prayer and worship was held to celebrate Women’s World Day of Prayer (WWDP).

The worldwide movement, led by Christian women, observes a common day of prayer and this year a special service was held at Vine United Reformed Church, Riches Road, Ilford, on Friday, prepared by women in France.

More than 170 countries participate in the annual day to affirm their faith in Jesus and share their feelings and hopes for the future.

Leader of the Ilford branch of WWDP, Janet Crossland, said: “It was a beautiful day and the highlight for me was the speech that my daughter, Tara Mackenney, gave. The Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Muhammed Javed, even presented her with a mayoral crest to take back to Brittany.

“She spoke about welcoming people of all races and colours as well as the differences between how Christians worship in France and England.”

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The French committee also chose a theme of “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” for this year’s event and a French buffet was served following the service.

Ms Crossland added: “The whole church applauded after the talk – which has never happened before, and was lovely.

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“The event means the world to me and it is so nice to see people of all cultures and backgrounds coming together in a joyful and happy setting.”

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes, leader of Redbridge Council Cllr Keith Prince, and Cllr Alan Weinberg were also in attendance alongside 100 worshippers who also watched a French-themed drama promoting inclusion and acceptance.

The event raised £440 for the WWDP charity. The origins of WWDP date back to the 19th century when Christians in the USA and Canada initiated a variety of activities in support of women’s involvement in missions.

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