Pentecost Festival started in 2008. In collaboration with Christian organisations and local churches, the streets of London were filled with over 100 events. Five years later and Pentecost Festival has attracted tens of thousands of people to events across the capital. The Festival has seen the Church leave the building and creatively connect with society. The Festival has included a variety of events in coffee shops, parks, theatres and night-clubs, as well as iconic venues such as Leicester Square, the O2 arena, Marble Arch and even a boat on the Thames. The Festival has also featured on BBC ONE.
Pentecost Festival Director Andy Frost, from Share Jesus International based in London, writes about the true meaning of the event and explains how Christian communities will be celebrating in the city.
Pentecost is both a Jewish and Christian festival. As Christians, we celebrate Pentecost as the birthday of the church.
We remember that although there are many different expressions of Christianity, we are one church.
Churches have always held special services to celebrate the birth of the Church and the empowerment that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Over recent years many more churches in London have hosted community events that help to relay something of the ‘Good News’ message with people who may have no faith.
As disciples spoke in different languages, Pentecost is an opportunity for the diverse range of churches in London to speak collaboratively into culture through art, music, fashion, film and dance. These community events are ‘birthday parties’ that welcome one and all.
Pentecost is a reminder that we can all receive the Holy Spirit and know God no matter what our status, age or ethnic and cultural background.
Parties will happen across London and many of the events will be listed on the Big Birthday Party website.
In previous years there have been multicultural dance celebrations, ethical fashion shows, free running demonstrations and film premiers.
Personally, Pentecost is not just an outward celebration but a reminder of God’s presence as the Holy Spirit gives me a deep peace even in the hectic pace of London.