End of an era as Central Burnley branch holds final World Day of Prayer service

The Central Burnley branch of the World Day of prayer held its last service recently at Central Methodist Church in Burnley.

By Dominic Collis
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:45 pm

The committee has been organising the service since the 1960's, rotating through seven town centre churches.

This year's service was written by ladies from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A different country writes the service each year which is carried out all over the world on the same day.

Secretary Linda Sawley said: “The theme this year was taken from the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was talking to people who were in exile from their own countries so it felt specially poignant as thoughts and prayers were given for the people of Ukraine, who are also suffering in exile at present.

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Barbara Tomlinson, Ita Thomas, Win Johnson, Linda Sawley and Pamela Edwards at the World Day of Prayer service

“During the service, each person was given a sunflower seed as a sign of hope. Sunflower seeds were chosen at random, but it was later found out that sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine, so they were specially relevant.“Young ladies from Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College attended the service with their teacher, Mrs Kelly.

“Refreshments were provided by the ladies of Central Methodist church, with beautiful cakes baked by Pamela Edwards, one of the church members and also a committee member for the World Day of Prayer.”

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The services were planned each year by a committee. Originally, there were 20 members on the committee, but recently there have been an average of only four members at each meeting.

Blessed Trinity Year 8 pupils at the service

As the years have passed, the committee has got older and despite pleas for new members, no one has come forward and it has been decided that the committee will disband."I joined the committee in 1974,” Linda added. “I was the youngest on the committee then and I'm still the youngest! The average age is over 80 now. The current committee have been very loyal, and we've struggled on.

"Some members have also given long service, our chairperson, Ita Thomas, has been in post since 1988. I'm very grateful for all the service they have given over the years. Also we have had a lot of regular attenders over the years and I'd like to thank them for their loyal support.”The World day of Prayer will continue as West Burnley churches usually hold a service each year.