St Brendan’s Catholic Church hosts World Day of Prayer


Unity: Members of various churches in Shepparton, (left to right) Helen Van Ryn, Marg Preston, Lois Hardy (middle), Multicultural Liaison Officer Leigh Johnson, Christine Wilson, Edie Poliness and Marie Fontana are busy prepare for the World Day of Prayer. Photo by Megan Fisher

Next week churches in Shepparton and around the world will join in the Global Day of Prayer.

In 170 countries, the movement is celebrated every year by millions of Christian women, with the aim of uniting in brotherhood and praying for another country outside their own.

Every year a service is prepared by Christian women from a different country and this service is shared across the world on the first Friday of March.

This year the UK countries of England, Northern Ireland and Wales (excluding Scotland) will host the service, with the rest of the world praying for each of the countries and the problems they face.

Lois Hardy is a member of Shepparton Uniting Church and has organized the World Day of Prayer for 10 years.

A long-time part of the movement, Ms Hardy said she looked forward to the day every year because it was such a strong moment of camaraderie for women.

“It’s quite beautiful when you think about it. The fact that all over the world on a particular day of the year people come together to pray for the people of that particular country,” she said.

“We focus on stories of hope and people overcoming disadvantage in general. Each year, around the world, they accept an offering for the people of England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Nine churches around Shepparton are involved on the day, with each church taking turns holding the prayer service on an alternating year.

Shepparton churches have been involved in the movement for at least 60 years.

“We get together for the service and try to include a representative from each church to participate in the service, and every year we try to dress in the colors of the country’s flag. This year it’s red, white and blue,” Ms Hardy said.

The day is aptly named, with the morning beginning with prayers and hymns during the church service.

During the service, a guest speaker from the host country is invited to speak to the congregation about life in that country and growing up there.

This year, the guest speaker is a former News Welsh-born writer John Lewis.

The World Day of Prayer takes place on Friday March 4 from 10am-11am at St Brendon’s Catholic Church, 121 Knight St, Shepparton.

For more information, visit the world day of prayer australia website.


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