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Archbishop to join Black-majority week of prayer at start of 2021

18 December 2020

Vanessa Anderson

A session at Lambeth Palace on 9 December to record a session for Declaration week with (left to right) Seth Pinnock, Mariam Tadros, Pastor Agu Irukwu, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Karen Gibson. The broadcast will be on 6 January 8-9 p.m.

A session at Lambeth Palace on 9 December to record a session for Declaration week with (left to right) Seth Pinnock, Mariam Tadros, Pastor Agu Irukwu...

THE Archbishop of Canterbury is to join other faith leaders in a televised week of prayer, workshops, and discussions at the start of the New Year.

The event, from 3 to 9 January, “Declaration”, is being organised by Tearfund in partnership with the Christian television channel TBN. Each of the seven one-hour programmes will have its own focus, including justice and restoration, church and community, and youth. The initiative will also highlight the work of self-help groups and projects to lift people out of extreme poverty.

Archbishop Welby is to take part in a discussion on racial justice with, among others, the conductor of Kingdom Choir, Karen Gibson (News, 25 May 2018). He said: “This year, long-standing racial injustice has been brought again to our attention as a sin demanding our repentance and urgent action.

“I’m honoured to be supporting Declaration’s week of prayer, and I’m looking forward to a courageous discussion exploring how we as the Church can become more deeply transformed into a truly Jesus-shaped community.”

The Senior Pastor of Jesus House for all the Nations, London, a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Agu Irukwu, said: “I’m looking forward to being part of a round-table debate with the Archbishop and others to explore justice, race, and healing. I hope all our communities join us for this week of prayer, and begin the year renewed and reawakened.”

The night of “crossover” from one year to the next is traditionally a significant time in the Black-majority Church calendar. Many churches in the community would usually congregate to bring in the New Year with prayer, worship, and celebration, often followed by a week of dedicated communal prayer and fasting.

The head of African and Caribbean engagement at Tearfund, Seth Pinnock, said: “I can see no better way to start 2021 than by taking part in Declaration week to give your New Year a head start.

“My hope is, as people gather in their living rooms over the seven days, they’ll have something of an upper-room encounter, transformed by what they’ve experienced. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes things.”

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