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International celebration

Churchgoers were encouraged to reflect as they learn more about the Christian women of Zimbabwe.


As part of this year’s World Day of Prayer service, residents of Bognor Regis were invited to celebrate and reflect on people from across the world.


Pat Rush, who organised the event at St Thomas à Becket, Pagham, said: “Every year we learn more about other countries. It’s making us aware of other women’s lives, their problems, their joys and we can learn lots more about the countries.


“This is only my third year, It’s been very enjoyable. It’s nice having all the churches involved.


“We had a prep day back in October. People from all over the area come along so they know what’s to be done this time. This was at the Methodist church in Bognor Regis. Once we’d had that, we started finding the people to help.”


Each year the service is written by a different country. This year was prepared by the Christian women of Zimbabwe who called on everyone to ‘Rise! Take your mat and walk”, as the title of the event.


People were encouraged to reflect on any difficulties and unrest that has plagued their country over many years.


They shared challenges they met and the hopes they have for the future and invite everyone to support them as they continue their often turbulent journey towards full reconciliation.


Janer Tapping, president of the local world day of prayer, said: “It’s an order of service celebrating around the world on the first Friday of March every year. It’s published in more than 120 languages.


“Every year the service is created by a group from a different country, this year it is the Christian women of Zimbabwe.


“The movement is very ecumenical, it includes various churches from around the area. We take turns in doing the service and we often get up to 100 people attending. In the past we hosted three services, however now it’s just the one morning one.”

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