On New Year’s Eve in York Minster, One Voice hosted the official launch of Hope08 in the North of England.
The stage was set, the lighting and PA installed and the bands were ready. At 8pm the doors opened with a good crowd outside, but very quickly they were all in to hear ‘The Strides’ and ‘Gleam of Dawn’ start the programme which was interspersed with prayer and worship.
The strap line of Hope 08 is “Do more, Do it together, Do it in Word and Deed”. Whilst the main event was taking place in the Nave, prayer was going on in the Chapter House along these Hope 08 themes. Various ministers lead these half house slots of themed prayer, and also personal prayer was taking place in the crypt. In the corridors were prayer stations which brought an added focus to the evening.
At 9.30pm Andy Hawthorne from Hope 08 and the Message Trust took the stage and inspired the crowd. He talked about going all out this year to bless our nation and be the church in action. There was a great responsiveness from the crowd as he spoke.
Afterwards YFriday took the stage and lead worship with enthusiasm and professionalism. With Bible in hand the lead singer Ken enthused the crowd and everyone was joining in.
The Christian Aid Café really helped make the night and it certainly did some business!
Dave Casswell, joint chair of One Voice lead us in prayer as midnight approached, and then when the bells sounded the atmosphere became party-like and everyone carried on enjoying themselves for a good while afterwards.
To see so many people in York Minster on a new year’s eve and all focussed on touching our nation was a powerful image. Then we inspired each other to make 2008 a year of Hope, now we go to make it happen.