Peace Sunday 2016 celebrated around the country – 18 January
Reports are coming of vigils, prayer services, information stalls, exhibitions and more organised by our members for Peace Sunday 2016, celebrated in England and Wales on 17 January.
In Liverpool, the Pax Christi group held a stall at the Metropolitan Cathedral, speaking with people after each Mass and inviting them to take Pax Christi literature and to sign a petition on Trident. Later in the day Liverpool Justice and Peace Commission held their annual Peace Sunday lecture with Louise Zanre of JRS as the key speaker on the Peace Day theme, theme ‘Overcome Indifference and win peace.’
In St John’s parish the children had a great time celebrating Peace Sunday. Mike Fitzsimons writes: : Our children held a Peace Sunday ‘Messy’ Church. They put together a world jigsaw and thought about war and conflict in various places before making peace flags. Next they decorated biscuits – nothing to with peace but they enjoy doing it and then eating them – biscuits for peace!
They played games then to develop trust and respect before finishing by designing and creating doves for peace.Our Faith Friends school group (a parish led club in our primary school for children wanting to get more involved in church and activities) also led a Key Stage Two Assembly on Peace (this was delayed until a week after Peace Sunday due to a OFSTED Inspection landing on us just when we were going to plan and prepare!!!). They led the prayers and also distributed the Pax Christi children’s prayer cards.
Bruce Kent spoke at Masses in the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, Rhyl, North Wales, and addressed a local meeting on the links between Trident and austerity.
Pax Christi’s Chair Anne Dodd spoke at Masses in St Edmund’s Church, Abingdon, Portsmouth Diocese in Buxton, Derbyshire more than 40 people attended a special ecumenical Peace Sunday service organised by the Justice and Peace group and also involved the children and brownies of the parish in the Sunday liturgy.
Theresa Alessandro from Leicester in Nottingham Diocese writes that the Justice and Peace group in Blessed Sacrament parish, worked with our two neighbouring parishes, St Peter’s and Mother of God, to run an event called Mercy, Justice, Peace: Opening the Door to Asylum-Seekers and Refugees. More than 60 people attended to hear speakers from the Red Cross and other groups. There was an information stand from Pax Christi, as well as the Red Cross and Aid to the Church in Need. Attendees signed their names to pledge doing something new to support asylum-seekers/refugees. In Blessed Sacrament parish, they arranged a display beneath the altar for Peace Sunday and a table of Pax Christi resources in the church porch. Pax Christi donation envelopes were available (for the first time). Bidding prayers were taken from the Pax Christi liturgy booklet resources and a peace reflection was added to the weekly bulletin.
In Birmingham Diocese, Peter Clifton spoke at Masses in St Teresa’s parish Charlbury and we received this message from Pax Christi member Brian Austin of St Peter Apostle, Leamington Spa: We would like to thank you for the resources you provided for Peace Sunday. We used them for our Sunday Masses – a penitential rite, bidding prayers and the Pax Christi peace prayer at the end of mass – and for An Hour of Prayer for Peace in the afternoon. We made up our own Litany of Confession from material taken from Pope Francis’ new year message,
Alan Gerrard spoke the morning and evening Mass in Our Lady’s Church, York and created an exhibition with materials from Pax Christi’s website.
Edmund Murphy reports that a collection for Pax Christi was held at St Hugh and St John’s Church, West Timperley, Cheshire. This was organised by the Justice and Peace Group who are members of Pax Christi.
Pax Christi member Veronica Whitty spoke at the Church of Our Lady and St Columba in Hexham and Newcastle Diocese.
In Westminster Diocese Henrietta Cullinan spoke about Pax Christi at two masses at Kingsland parish chose suitable hymns for one of these at one, and beautiful bidding prayers were produced. A collection was taken for Pax Christi’s work.
Pax Christi’s Pat Gaffney spoke at Masses at St Mellitus Parish, Tollington Park, in Westminster Diocese and handed out prayer cards and envelopes to those attending
As well as all of the above, we offer our thanks to the following parishes who have let us know that they held collections for our work: Blackfriars, Oxford, Church of Mary Immaculate & St Gregory the Great, Barnet, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London, St Maximilian Kolbe, Runcorn and many more too!