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Over 5,000 people at Big Church Day Out join Tearfund's call to pray for an end to extreme poverty

29 May 2018

On Sunday 27th May over 5,000 people came together at Big Church Day Out to pray a new prayer, written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, calling for an end to extreme poverty. Churches around the globe joined together in this special moment of prayer.

This year marks 50 years of Tearfund and the charity chose the date for the moment of prayer because it's the closest Sunday to the day Tearfund began (29 May 1968).

Research commissioned by the charity earlier this year found that one in two adults (51%) in the UK pray, according to a nationwide poll by ComRes2. When it comes to the most popular topics of prayer among the 27 million3 of UK adults who say they pray, worldwide issues, such as praying for global poverty or natural disasters, rank seventh on the list (24%), highlighting the challenge for Tearfund to encourage more people to pray for issues of extreme poverty.

Tearfund CEO, Nigel Harris, says: "We are delighted so many people came together to pray for an end to extreme poverty. Prayer is central to everything we do and has underpinned our work for the last 50 years. At Tearfund, we believe in the power of prayer but we also understand it's not always easy to engage in the complex issues surrounding global poverty. We can often feel overwhelmed with the vastness of our world and detached from circumstances so different from our own."

Tearfund invited Big Church Day Out festival-goers to join in the global prayer moment, led by Tearfund Ambassador and founder of the 24-7 Prayer movement Pete Greig.

The annual music festival brings together Christians from around the UK and Europe for one of the biggest events on the church calendar, featuring contemporary Christian bands and entertainment for the whole family.

Pete Greig, shares: "Ending poverty is achievable. It's a battle we can win if enough people like you and me do our bit, and especially if we pray. The bible shows that there is something incredibly powerful about standing together in unity to intercede in the name of Jesus for a broken world."

Tearfund currently works in over 50 countries around the world to help communities overcome the worst effects of poverty and disasters through a network of local partners and churches. The charity has set an aim to see one million prayers raised throughout the year to help end extreme poverty.


For further information or interview requests call Jennie Taylor on 020 3906 3120 or Tearfund Media Team on 020 3906 3131. For out of hours media enquiries please call 07710 573749.

Notes to editors:

  1. Photos depict crowds praying at Big Church Day Out. Credit: Clive Mear / Tearfund. 
  2. Poll methodology: ComRes interviewed 2,069 adults aged 18+ in the UK between 1st and 3rd December 2017. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults aged 18+ by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. 
  3. According to ONS data there were an estimated 52,095,025 UK adults aged 18+ in 2017. Research showed that 51% (26,672,652) of UK adults identified as having prayed.

About Tearfund

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters' Emergency Committee. Founded in 1968, Tearfund has been working around the world for 50 years responding to disasters and helping lift communities out of poverty. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit

Praying with Tearfund

To find out more about Tearfund's global prayer moment on the 27th of May or to download supporting resources, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby 50th anniversary prayer go to:

THE PRAYER A prayer by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Gracious and generous God, you became poor so that we might be enriched by your love, and you gave the world’s wealth and resources as a common inheritance of all human beings.

We pray you would strengthen your church to be a beacon of hospitality for the poor.

We pray that, seeing the light of Christ’s love, the nations and peoples of the world may fight not to kill, but to outdo one another in care for the poor, and in actions of gracious generosity.

Through him who for our sakes did not grasp the wealth of heaven, but instead gave all to live for us as a slave, and die for us in pain, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.


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