Congregational Federation (CF) were among the tens of thousands of Christians across Britain who united to pray as part of the National Day of Prayer and Action on 22 March, responding to an earlier call made by Presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE) for church communities to “light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.”

More than 71,500 people viewed the online call to prayer from CTE’s Presidents, and stood together in solidarity and faith, as candles were lit in thousands of homes at 7pm that day. The hashtag #candleofhope became Twitter’s second most trending hashtag in the UK that evening, as social media was flooded by images of people sharing their #candleofhope. They were encouraged to pray #prayersofhope and to show acts of kindness to those around them while adhering to government health advice.

The overwhelming response to this national call to prayer came after churches across the UK were advised to cease gathering after an increasing number of COVID19 cases. CTE General Secretary Rev Dr Paul Goodliff urged them to “become a different sort of church”, seeking creative ways to serve their communities, support one another and worship and pray together.