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October – November 2014

NOVEMBER

Sharing experiences of work in Israel & Palestine

March GroupPax Chrsiti Executive Committee member Ann Farr has been busy taking part in talks and seminars on Israel Palestine.  At the end of October Ann helped to facilitate a KAIROS Britain training day in Newcastle .

The picture shows Ann at a meeting of the Ecumenical Women’s Group in March, East Anglia where Ann spoke of her experiences as an Ecumenical Accompanier.  The meeting was hosted at the Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St Peter. The group had  a very generous collection for Pax Christi’s work.

As part of Coventry Peace Week Ann helped set up an exhibition in the Chapel of Unity to show everyday life in the village of Bil’in, in the occupied West Bank of Palestine, as seen through the eyes of the children who live there.

Pax Christi and Remembrance

Prepare now for Remembrance events - resources here

Prepare now for Remembrance events – resources here

There is nothing glorious about war and no room for triumphalism or nationalism.  This is one of the messages that Pax Christi members have shared in recent months, contributing to ideas and resources that ensure that a peace message is central to Remembrance and First World War Commemorations

Pax Christi asked its members what tone, language and symbols are appropriate to the way we remember the First World War?  What distinctive peace message do we want to convey?  Central to the responses has been the plea that in our remembrance of all those who have and continue to have their lives taken by war we must work to end war and the causes of war. Our liturgies and acts of remembrance should be occasions of lamentation and repentance

When we begin to acknowledge the real costs of war in human, social and economic terms we also begin to see our complicity in war.  For us, this includes the UKs on-going involvement in the global arms trade, the development of new war technology such as armed unmanned aerial vehicles, Drones and the UKs policy of recruiting under-18s into the armed forces, the only country in Europe to do so today.

As an international movement for peace Pax Christi stresses the importance of reflecting the international dimension of war, past and present, as there are no boundaries in the suffering of war.  In ceremonies or litanies for the war-dead Pax Christi urge that civilians, medics, peacemakers, aid workers, conscientious objectors, journalists as well as military personnel be remembered and named.

One strand of Pax Christi’s work over the past year has been to tell the lesser-known stories of the peacemakers, including the  16,000 conscientious objectors, at least 90 of whom were Catholics. Pax Christi has information on these men which it can make available for people to research further.

A full listing of resources, prayers, homilies and visuals entitled First World War Peace Plans can be found here 

Poems from Fr Rob Esdaile can be found here 

OCTOBER

Fast and prayer at Downing Street

Fast and prayer at Downing Street

2 October Vigil of Prayer and Fasting for Peace

More photographs here

From 10.00am – 5.00pm members of Pax Christi held vigil outside Downing Street in London to pray and fast for peace in the Middle East. Pax Christi members undertook the fast to offer prayerful encouragement to the many peace talks and negotiations that are taking place at this time and as a small act of solidarity with those whose lives are destroyed by war.

In a letter sent to David Cameron prior to the day Pax Christi’s message was clear: That the government should

  • Invest resources and personnel in peacebuilding and diplomatic work to help support a regional security plan for the people of the Middle East.Military actions do not solve political problems—they are harmful short-term responses.
  • Take a lead in stopping arms sales and deliveries to the Middle East. The region is awash with weapons and we have played a terrible part in this trade over the past twenty years.
  • Support those on the ground who are undertaking humanitarian work and provide safe places for those displaced by war and violence

This event was part of a 30 day programme of prayer and fasting that Pax Christi members have participated in since 8 September – organising times of prayer, holy-hours and such like in parishes and schools around the country. 2 October was also International Day of Nonviolence.  Prayers used outside Downing Street included readings from Gandhi and
from Pope Francis.

Permanent link to this article: http://paxchristi.org.uk/news-and-events/news-reports/november-2014/