100 Days of Peace is a Justice and Peace initiative supported by the
three dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster.
held their launch on October 7 in Westminster Cathedral, and three
days have been lined up for parishes, October 15 (Westminster),
October 22 (Southwark) and November 5 (Brentwood).
It was also launched at the Justice and Peace annual day at the Cathedral Hall
on Saturday 15 October.
Archbishop Vincent greeted the gathering and led the opening prayer,
reminding us that the schools had had their own launch in the Cathedral the
previous week and encouraging us to spread the idea of peace on the streets of
London to all parishes. The aim of the
day was to empower parishes to plan
their own peace events in the lead up to the 2012 Games.
Pat Gaffney explained the concept of a culture of peace: remembering
peace people in our areas, planting peace gardens, and marking local efforts
towards reconciliation, so that war and militarism do not define our
outlook. James Parker explained the
opportunities that More Than Gold offered for churches to get involved in
celebrating the Games, such as offering hospitality and organising ‘Big Screen’ Festivals.
Margaret Mizen of the Jimmy Mizen
Foundation, shared with us her memories of her son, tragically killed at the age of 16 in South London by an angry
boy, and outlined what she and her husband have tried to do since, in visiting
schools and prisons to preach the futility of anger and hatred. Participants
concluded by moving out of the
Hall and walking to the St Francis
statue behind the Cathedral, to offer prayers for peace for the world and peace
for the streets of London, singing the
St Francis peace prayer, ‘Make me a Channel of Your Peace’.
Two exciting resources were launched: the first, a booklet
of ideas and resources, is aimed at churches and parishes of all denominations,
and encourages groups to work in partnership with others in their area, whether
on a sports or cultural or environmental event
The 100 Days of Peace Events and Resources Planner is available from the
Justice and Peace office for postal costs only, or downloadable from the Peace
Legacy website (www.peacelegacy.org.uk)
The second resource is a specially
commissioned song which was ‘premiered’ at the annual day. Composed by a teacher from Crewe, Matthew
Plant, at the request of the Justice and Peace Commission, it was sung and
recorded by his pupils at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Crewe. It is likewise downloadable from the Peace
Legacy website. Sheet music will shortly
We strongly urge ALL parishes and schools
to start planning their peace event for 100 Days of Peace.