The Women’s World Day of Prayer meeting was held at the Salvation Army in Goldthorpe on 1st March. The meeting was not fully completed on schedule as one of the ladies became ill during the service, but prior to this, members of a range of local churches had joined together to celebrate the theme ‘I Was A Stranger And You Welcomed Me’ prepared by Christian ladies from France.

Captain Chris Lee welcomed us all to the meeting and acted as the leader of the service:

The service used the idea of different coloured scarves to emphasise the diversity of ethnicity within modern-day France:

The service focussed on the theme of serving our communities and loving our neighbours (the key passages were Leviticus 19 and Matthew 25), with songs such as ‘When I needed a neighbour, were you there?’ reinforcing the teaching that we should reach out to our communities in every possible way.

Later in the service, I had the opportunity to sing a French song written especially for the service, which focussed on the thought that ‘each time you welcome a stranger, it’s me, the Lord, that you welcome’.

Testimonies from women living in France were read out and local women also gave their own testimonies of how they had found fellowship and help in their local churches:

Chris spoke about the ways we as local churches have been serving our communities. Last year’s WWDP service saw each church bring tinned food to be donated to the Salvation Army food bank. Since then, a range of local churches have become involved with supporting this on a regular basis and there has been a great increase in cooperation between the local churches and a greater understanding of the practical ways in which we can help the poor and needy. This fulfils Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 25 and is a great encouragement. She urged us not to look down on what we can do as individuals, since every donation and every act of help are important. Together, these simple acts form something of great value and worth as we serve Christ by serving the people around us.

At the end of the service, croissants were distributed and other refreshments served:

Many thanks to all the ladies who participated in the service and who helped with refreshments. Thanks also go to the Salvation Army for hosting this year’s service and to Stephen for playing the keyboard.