Reports from the Day of Prayer - Northern Region

posted 12/04/2016


Stapleford WWDP held two good services. These children singing here are the grandchildren of Vale Mylechreest, member of the National Committee.

Stapleford IMG_0841

posted 04/04/2016


This photograph was taken at Stanton Church, Hartlepool, showing the participants wearing bright colours and ruffles.

Hartlepool 04_03_2016_WDP(amd)

posted 18/03/2016


Members of Aylestone Churches joined together at the Church of the Nativity, Leicester to celebrate WWDP.

Aylestone Leicester DSCF4592

posted 18/03/2016


Some beautiful paper flowers as part of the Cuban display in Belfast.

St Colmcille's Roman Catholic Church Belfast 104_4059


WWDP service, St Colmcille’s Roman Catholic Church Belfast NI.St Colmcille's Roman Catholic Church Belfast 104_4071

posted 18/03/2016


Beautiful floral arrangement, Dromore.

Dromore image1

posted 10/03/2016

Barnard Castle

Women of all ages celebrating WWDP at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle

St. Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle BCS Girls at WWDP


St. Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle WWDP Participants 2016

posted 10/03/2016


The Holy Spirit Church, Marple entering into the spirit of the event.

The Holy Spirit Church, Marple, Stockport image

Reports from the Day of Prayer - Western Region

posted 18/03/2016

Cheriton Fitzpaine

Cheriton Fitzpaine Brownies and their colourful parrots

Cheriton Fitzpaine 001

posted 18/03/2016


WWDP in Darlaston – enjoying refreshments after the service

Darlaston west WWDP2016d

posted 10/03/2016


Olton United Reformed Church was decorated with posters which the Cuban Embassy had provided

Olton United Reformed Church WWDP1


Some actors from Olton’s service

Olton United Reformed Church WWDP7

posted 10/03/2016


Some creative bunting decorating St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Woodstock

St. Mary Magdelene Parish Church, Woodstock DSC03378


Children engaging with the day’s activities

St. Mary Magdelene Parish Church, Woodstock DSC03363

posted 10/03/2016


The Baptist Church in Ledbury really entered into the spirit and Cuba came to Herefordshire. Their photographs show their WWDP cake but also the bunting, lights and flowers which helped set the scene.

Baptist Church in Ledbury IMG_0229


Baptist Church in Ledbury IMG_0234




Reports from the Day of Prayer - South Eastern Region

posted 06/05/2016

Melbourn and Meldreth

Melbourn and Meldreth WWDP held their service this year at Melbourn United Reformed Church. The service was led by Janet Wedd.

Melbourn and Meldreth IMG_0204

posted 06/05/2016


This is a photo of Rustington  WWDP, who enjoyed their service. In fact, some said that it was the best ever.Rustington Women's World Day of Prayer (1)

posted 06/05/2016


Eastbourne  WWDP held their service in the Central Methodist Church. Girls from a local school helped by reading parts and with the Bible Study.Eastbourne 2016-03-04 17.02.31

posted 06/05/2016

Chislehurst and Bickley

Chislehurst and Bickley WWDP proudly displayed their vividly coloured parrots.

Chislehurst and Bickley PARROTS2016.IMG

Their varied bright drapes enhanced the display table.

Chislehurst and Bickley TABLE2016.IMG

posted 12/04/2016


Croydon’s WWDP service was held in Croydon Minster this year and this photo shows the east window behind the communion table dressed ready for the service.

Croydon WP_20160304_12_06_08_Pro

posted 30/03/2016


This is Kinson Methodist Church Bournemouth decorated ready for their WWDP service.



posted 30/03/2016


Hullbridge WWDP held a service and had lunch together in their village.

Hullbridge Cuba lunch

posted 30/03/2016


Thirty children from the local primary school came to Woodchester’s WWDP service. They sang and proved to be a real encouragement to  everyone.

Woodchester DSC05019

posted 30/03/2016


These vividly coloured parrots were from the WWDP Service in Thanet. The people who attended the service said that they would like to thank the women of Cuba for an uplifting liturgy of praise.

Woodchester Thanet P1000220

posted 30/03/2016


Angmering WWDP held their service at their local Baptist church. St Margaret’s school choir led the singing and three girls took readers parts.

Angmering -212761075527E18082

posted 23/03/2016


Christchurch WWDP held their service at St Joseph’s church for their service. They invited a group of children from their local primary school who read the girl’s parts and sang two hymns.

Christchurch IMG_2344

posted 23/03/2016


Twickenham WWDP held their service at St Stephens Church. They felt the success  of their service was due the help that they received from Watford Preparation Day.

Twickenham DSCF1714

posted 18/03/2016


Young and old joined together in the WWDP service at Emmanuel Church Chesham.

Emmanuel Church Chesham IMG_2662

posted 18/03/2016


St Mark’s Farnborough draped a large Cuban flag over the screen to decorate their beautiful church for their beautiful church for the WWDP service.

St Mark's Farnborough Hpim5001

posted 18/03/2016


Messy church at Ludham Methodist Church helped with the decoration for the service on March 4th.

Ludham Methodist Church P1030959

posted 18/03/2016


Pupils from the Sacred Heart Primary sang for the WWDP service at Leigh.

Leigh P1100589

posted 18/03/2016

East Hoathly

Local school children participating in the service at East Hoathly Church

Womens World Day of Prayer  - The service at East Hoathly Church lead by Barbara Aucock and introduced by Rector Phil Hodgins  04/03/16Picture by Jim Holden


Womens World Day of Prayer  - The service at East Hoathly Church lead by Barbara Aucock and introduced by Rector Phil Hodgins  04/03/16Picture by Jim Holden

posted 18/03/2016

High Wycombe

The WWDP service at Holmer Green Christ Church, High Wycombe.

High Wycombe 20160304_145447(0)

Reports from the Day of Prayer - International

posted 18/03/2016

Costa Blanca

The front table in the Church of England on the Costa Blanca was decorated with white flowers and colourful parrots.

Costa Blanca DSC04473


The church also enjoyed cookies and lemonade made to Cuban recipes.

Costa Blanca DSCN3335

posted 10/03/2016


Our prayer partners in Albania



Reports from Preparation Days - Northern Region

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Reports from Preparation Days - Western Region

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Reports from Preparation Days - South Eastern Region

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Day of Prayer 4th March 2016 - Cuba

2016 Day  of Prayer

Setting the scene

Cuba is an island nation consisting of the main island, Cuba, and numerous small islands, cays and islets, many of which are entirely covered by mangrove. It is the largest island in the Caribbean and spans a surface area of 110,860 square kilometres (42,803 square miles), about the same size as England. The United States lies 150 kilometres (93 miles) to the north with The Bahamas to the northeast, Mexico to the west, Jamaica to the south and Haiti to the southeast. The capital is Havana.

Cuba has a population of just over 11,000,000 but data indicate a decline in the birth and population growth rates. An increase in emigration has led to a high population aged 65 and over. Life expectancy is 77 years for men and 80 for women.

The climate is warm, humid and subtropical with an average temperature of 25.5ºC. Due to its geographical location and elongated shape, Cuba is very prone to hurricanes.


Cuba is an indigenous word which means ‘cultivated land’ and the earliest inhabitants were native Arawaks from Venezuela and Guyana who settled here because of the fertility of the soil. However, with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, they were subjected to hard work in slave-like conditions by the Spanish colonisers, resulting in their gradual and almost complete extinction. They were replaced with slaves brought in from various parts of Africa.

Over the centuries a new level of society emerged with the ‘criollo’ – men and women born in Cuba but of Spanish descent – who had a new way of thinking about their national identity. In 1868 a criollo freed his slaves and initiated the first struggle against Spanish colonialism. Although this ‘Ten Years War’ did not free Cuba from Spanish rule, it did inspire others to take up arms and in 1895 fighting against the Spanish army began. In 1898 the government of the USA mediated the break from Spain but Cuba now had to submit to North American interests.

Cuba became a Republic in 1902 but under its new Constitution the United States retained its right to intervene in the internal matters of the island whenever they felt it necessary. In 1934 a new treaty repealed the United State’s right to intervene but its rights over the Guantanamo naval base were maintained by lease.

1950 a dictatorship devastated Cuban society and poverty was widespread. A new movement was formed under Fidel Castro and other leaders such as Ernesto Ché Guevara and in 1959 a revolution, supported by the communist bloc, overthrew the dictatorship.

Following the revolution the USA imposed an embargo on Cuba and in 1961 there was a complete breakdown in relations between the two countries when Cuba’s first democratic socialist government was elected.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, followed by the great political and economic changes in socialist countries today, had a devastating effect on Cuba, which had been supported politically and economically by the countries of the socialist bloc. This was made worse by the trade embargo that the United State’s government maintained over the country.

However, there is hope for the future: on 17 December 2014, both governments, under President Raul Castro in Cuba and Barak Obama in the United States, announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. The trade embargo is still in place and talks continue over a range of issues. It will be important to keep up-to-date with the current situation as we approach March 2016.

Education and Health

Although the educational system was established in 1522, when the first schools for primary education were opened, most Cubans did not fully access education until 1961 after the revolution when a literacy campaign was initiated. Now people are able to study free of charge from primary school right through to university. The Faculties of Medical Sciences, in which a considerable number of women enroll each year, are outstanding.

Currently in Cuba women are in the majority in the educational system, not only as students, but also as educators at all levels.

Cuba has a health system with numerous programmes of prevention, health promotion and early diagnosis for all ages and conditions.

Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. Research into the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is given high priority although it is difficult to obtain raw materials and some medicines from overseas. Cuba has the highest ratio of doctors per head of population in the world. Health specialists travel to many places where doctors have never been seen before. Hundreds of young people from all over the world take up scholarships to study in Cuba. Cuba’s principle is that everyone who needs medical attention is treated free of charge and without discrimination.


Since 1940, when the second constitution of the Republic was approved, the family, maternity and marriage have received the protection of the State and both spouses have absolute equality of rights. The traditional model of the family, governed by European Christian canons, has been altered by new legal issues, such as divorce and separation. Family life has been affected by many shortages and the limited access to housing for new married couples. Some church groups, as well as the Woman and Gender program of the Council of Churches of Cuba, carry out training programs that contribute to the strengthening of the multiple models of the Cuban family.


After the revolution, the government of Cuba restricted religious practice leading to an atheist state. In 1990 the constitution re-established the lay character of the State and guaranteed religious freedom. This enabled people to return to the public practice of faith. Many congregations had survived through the extraordinary work of women who had taken on the leadership when so many pastors had been conscripted or had emigrated. In most Cuban congregations today women have high level roles.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination, reflecting the Spanish history. During the 19th century a number of Protestant churches were established and now there are over 60 denominations.

The Council of Churches in Cuba brings together most denominations and among its various programmes is one for integral education of women and the family.

Islam Judaism, Spiritualism and New Christian Religious Movements with fundamentalist tendencies are also present.

The Situation for Women

Although discriminated against in the past, Cuban women today play an important role in society, family and church although there are still some elements of a patriarchal culture in all levels of society.

After the revolution in 1959, women were active in building up a new society and improving their education and professional training. In 1961, the Federation of Cuban Women was formed, to demand the rights of women, children and the family.

Today more than 46% of persons employed in the public sector are women; women constitute 68% of the technically and professionally qualified labour force and 39% are managers. . According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Cuba occupies 4th place in the world on the scale of countries with the most women in their Parliament.

Nevertheless, it is still primarily men who occupy key positions in economy, politics and religion.

For more information on Cuba see our magazine ‘Together in Prayer’ and our CD Rom containing a Powerpoint presentation on Cuba with script. All our resources are available to purchase at your local preparation day or direct from the office.

Together in Prayer Magazine 2016

Prayer Resource

Prayer Resource

Together in Prayer 2016 - £2.50

Together in Prayer 2016 - £2.50

Print Order Form Here

Our History

This logo was designed for the 1982 service

coloured logo 1

The design comprises arrows converging from the four points of the compass, four figures kneeling in prayer, the Celtic cross and a circle representing the world and our unity through all our diversity.



The origins of Women’s World Day of Prayer date back to the 19th century when Christian women in the USA and Canada initiated a variety of cooperative activities in support of women’s involvement in mission, at home and abroad.

These activities centred around the following areas:
Concern for women and children – In spite of strong opposition from all-male mission boards, from 1861 onwards women founded numerous and effective women’s boards for foreign and home missions, whereby they could work directly with and for women and children

The role of prayer in mission work – Since 1812 women had encouraged one another to engage in personal prayer and to lead communal prayer within their mission auxiliaries and associations. This emphasis on prayer led to annual days and weeks of prayers within individual denominations.

1887 – Presbyterian women called for a day of prayer for Home Missions and Methodist women called for a week of prayer and self-denial for foreign missions.

1891 – A Baptist day of prayer for foreign missions began.

1895 – A day of corporate intercessions for mission was initiated by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Anglican Church of Canada.


By 1897 the women of six denominations formed a joint committee for a united day of prayer for home missions.

In 1912 The Women’s Boards of Foreign Missions called for a united day of prayer for foreign missions.


1908 – Women founded the Council of Women for Home Missions that took responsibility for joint work with immigrants and other social issues and for preparation of the joint day of prayer.

1910-1911 – Women celebrated 50 years of women’s missionary activity by organising a series of talks across the United Stated that provided a powerful experience of ecumenical cooperation, local and global networking, prayer and information sharing and biblical reflection.


Efforts for unity continued and in 1922 two separate united days of prayer, one in Canada and one in the United States, came together with a common date – the first Friday of Lent. In the second half of 1926 the women of North America distributed the worship service to many countries and partners in mission. The response worldwide was enthusiastic and WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER came into being.


It was in 1928, at an international missionary conference in Jerusalem, that Scotswoman Grace Forgan first learned of the world day of prayer and brought the news to these islands.



Grace Forgan


The first services were held:
1930 in Scotland.
1932 in England
1933 in Wales
1934 in Ireland

The Second World War was a time of great growth – drawing women together in prayer and fellowship.

In 1941 the WWDP office in London was bombed and all property and records destroyed. There was no loss of life and minutes recovered from members enabled the bare bones of the first 9 years to be preserved.

Often the planning committee in London met in an air-raid shelter but every year Orders of Service were produced and supplied to the rest of the country. This is now part of the work of the National Committee.

It was not until the reforms of the second Vatican Council that Roman Catholic women were able to take a full part in the day of prayer and in 1967 the day was celebrated at a special service in Westminster Cathedral, by invitation of Cardinal Heenan.

In 1969 the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations encouraged Roman Catholic women worldwide to participate in WWDP and to make this possible WUCWO moved their own day of prayer from March to May.

In 1982 the service was prepared by the women of Ireland, both north and south.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are now over 3,000 branches holding 5,000 services every year. Last year 275,000 copies of the order of service were printed.

It is from such roots as these that WWDP has taken its present shape – a worldwide ecumenical movement of Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.

Past themes and writers of the order of service - 1927 – 2014

Pray Ye Therefore
Mary Hough, USA
Breaking down Barriers
Mrs M H Lichliter, USA
That they may All be One
Florence G Tyler, USA
That Jesus may be Lifted Up
Helen Kim, Korea
Ye shall be My Witnesses
K W McArthur, Canada
Hold Fast in Prayer
Helen Tupper, India
Follow thou Me
C C Chen, China
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Mrs J W L Hofmeyer, S Africa
Bear ye one another’s Burdens
Baroness van Boetzelaer van Dubbeldam, Holland
On earth, Peace, Goodwill
toward Men
Laura Jorquera, Chile
Thou art The Christ,
The Son of The Living God
Mabel Shaw, Africa
The Church, a World Fellowship
Alice Henderson, New Zealand
Let us put our Love into Deeds –
and make it Real
In Quietness and in Confidence
shall be your Strength
Muriel and Doris Lester, England
Thy Kingdom Come
WWDP Committee of Shanghai, China
I am the Way
Emily Werner, New York and a group of refugees from France & Germany
That they may All be One
Georgina Harkness and Mary Benjamin Mays, USA
God wondered that there was
no Intercessor
From statements of 150 nationals and repatriated missionaries from over 100 countries
That ye should show forth the
praises of Him who hath called
you out of darkness into His
Marvelous Light
WWDP committee of England, Wales & Northern Ireland
The things that make for our Peace
Mabel Shaw, Central Africa
Make level in the desert a
Highway for our God
Isabel Caleb, India
The World at Prayer
Jessie Bader, Welthy Honsinger Fisher and Helen Smith Shoemaker, USA
The Lord is thy Keeper
Women of China
Faith for our Time
Michi Kawai, Japan
Perfect Love casteth out Fear
Else Niemoeller and Hildegard Schaeder, Germany
Christ, our Hope
Migrants, Sharecroppers and Native Americans, USA
Walk as Children of Light
Women of Africa
That they may have Life
Sarah Chakko, India
Abide in Me
Jorgelina Lozada, Argentina
One Flock, One Shepherd
Cook Christian Training School, Phoenix, USA
Who shall Separate Us….?
Serena Vassady, Hungarian in exile
The Bread of Life
Women of Australia
Lord, I believe
Women of Egypt
Labourers together with God
Women of Canada
Forward through the ages,
in everything give Thanks
Sue Weddell, USA
For God so Loved the World
Violeta Cavallero, Uruguay
More than Conquerors
Women of South Korea
Let us Pray
Madeleine Barot, France/WCC
What doth the Lord Require?
Pearl McNeil, USA
You are My witnesses
WWDP committee of Scotland
Of His Kingdom there shall be
no end
Queen Salote, Tonga Islands
Bear Ye one another’s Burdens
Rathie Selvaratnam, Ceylon
Growing together in Christ
Women of Sierra Leone, Ghana, S Africa, Congo, Zambia and Kenya
Be of good courage!
Women of Jamaica, Egypt, USA, Philippines and Guyana
A New People for a New Age
Women of Jamaica
All Joy be Yours
Women of Europe
Alert in our time
WWDP committee of New Zealand
Make us Builders of Peace
Women of Japan
Become perfectly One
Women of Egypt
Education through Living
Women of Mexico and S America1977
Love in Action
Women of the German Democratic Republic
Community Spirit in
Modern Living
Women of Canada
Spiritual Growth
Women of East Africa
Responsible Freedom
Women of Thailand
The Earth is the Lord’s
Native American women, USA
The people of God – Gathered
for Worship, Scattered for Service
Women of Ireland, North and South
New persons in Christ
Women of the Caribbean
Living water from Christ,
our Hope
Women of Sweden
Peace through Prayer and Action
Women of India
Choose Life!
Women of Australia
Come and Rejoice!
(Centennial anniversary of WWDP)
WWDP International Committee
Open Doors
Women of Brazil
Lord, teach us to Pray
Women of Burma
A Better Tomorrow,
Justice for All
Women of Czechoslovakia
On the Journey Together
Women of Kenya
Living wisely with Creation
German speaking women of Switzerland, Austria and Germany
God’s people: instruments
of Healing
Women of Guatemala
Go, See and Act
Women of Palestine
The Earth is a House for
All People
Women of Ghana
God calls us to Respond
Women of Haiti
Like a Seed which grows
into a Tree
Women of South Korea
Who is my Neighbour:
Women of Madagascar
God’s Tender Touch
Women of Venezuela
Talitha Kumi – Young Woman
Stand Up!
Women of Indonesia
Informed prayer,
Prayerful action
Women of Samoa
Challenged to Reconcile
Women of Romania
Holy Spirit, Fill us
Women of Lebanon
In Faith, Women
Shape the Future
Women of Panama
Let Our Light Shine
Women of Poland
Signs of the Times
Women of South Africa
United under God’s Tent
Women of Paraguay
God’s Wisdom Provides
New Understanding
Women of Guyana
In Christ there are many
members but one Body
Women of Papua New Guinea
Jesus said to them:
“Let Everything That Has Breath
Praise God”
Women of The Bahamas
How Many Loaves Have You?
Let Justice Prevail
I Was A Stranger And You Welcomed Me
Streams in the desert
Do you know what I have done to you?
The Bahamas

Current year and future themes and writers

7TH MARCH 2016

Artworkgraphic-150px Cuba

Receive children. Receive me.
(Service prepared by the Christian women of Cuba)

The World Day of Prayer worship service has a special annual theme which is developed by women of a different country each year. A national committee then prepares an order of service on that theme.

Receive Children, Receive Me
Am I Being Unfair to You?
All God’s Creation Is Very Good
Come – Everything Is Ready
Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk
Build on a Strong Foundation