St Francis of Assisi, Petts Wood

For it is in giving that we receive.

What is Pentecost?

Difficult question, but here goes


Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
The second most important festival in the Christian year. 

Pentecost is often seen as the “Birthday of the Church” since this is when the disciples of Jesus first proclaimed the Gospel after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit and the start of their mission in the world.

It is named after the Jewish festival (Shavuot) on which this event happened, which is celebrated 50 days after Passover. The name comes from the Greek pentekoste, “fiftieth”. Pentecost for Christians accordingly falls on the Sunday 50 days after Easter. The alternative name of Whitsuntide comes from the custom of converts presenting themselves for baptism on this day dressed in white.

Priest or vicars often wear robes with red in the design as a symbol of the flames in which the Bible says the Holy Spirit came to the early disciples.

The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit include the dove, the wind the breath of God and flames 


The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit this is the way Christians understand God and the Holy Spirit bit.

The apostles were celebrating this festival when the Holy Spirit descended on them.

It sounded like a very strong wind, and it looked like tongues of fire.


In the Act of the apostles, it tells us how they found themselves speaking in foreign languages, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

People passing by at first thought that they must be drunk, but the apostle Peter told the crowd that the apostles were full of the Holy Spirit.


Pentecost is a special day for all Christian communities, but it is emphasised particularly by Pentecostal churches, which preach and believe in the direct experience that the Holy Spirit is available to believers during all of their services.


The central Christian belief that God is three in one – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is at the heart of Christian teaching about the nature of God and is central to the preaching and the teaching both at this time and on the following Sunday, Trinity Sunday. It is the belief in the divinity of Christ and the reality of the Holy Spirit which separates the traditional Christian faith from other diverse religions.