Women's World Day of Prayer 1st March 2013
Women's World Day of Prayer at Frenchay
On Friday, 1st March, Frenchay Parish Church will be one of many churches throughout the country and the world, taking part in a 36-hour wave of prayer that starts at dawn in Western Samoa and finishes in American Samoa on the same day.
The origins of the Women's World Day of Prayer go back to the 19th century. The aim was to support women both at home and abroad. The first church services in Britain were held in the 1930s. Nowadays, a service is held all round the world on the first Friday in March every year. The women of a different country, chosen each year, write the words for the service. The words are then translated into over sixty languages and a thousand dialects. In return, the prayers of women throughout the world are focused on that country.
This year it is the turn of France, with the theme of "I was a stranger and you welcomed me". France has always accepted asylum seekers fleeing on political grounds. Some examples are those from Hungary, Chile, and Vietnam. Almost a quarter of the current population has at least one foreign grandparent.
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Two of the hymns included in the service are Taizé chants. Taizé, in Northern France, is a place of welcome for people from all over the world and is well known for its music.
The service is open to women, men, and children. Although it will be a Christian act of worship, anyone is welcome to attend. Coffee and light refreshments will be served afterwards. There will be an opportunity to make a donation towards the work of the Women's World Day of Prayer.