2015 is the 20th anniversary of the Peace Light Service at St. Paul’s Church.
This year’s Service is on the 14th December.
Come along to this service and take a light from the peace light to burn
during the christmas time.
Watch out for full details nearer to the time, here on the Website and on the Newsletter.
The Peace Light
Now in its 28th year, the Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was
originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) –
and was part of a large charitable relief mission – Light into Darkness,
for children in need in Austria and abroad. Since 1986 there has been a
great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries
which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe, such that the
light is passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years,
on to North America, Mexico and Canada .
Each year, a child from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to
delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of
Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout
the Continent. Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to other
churches, hospitals, old people homes, prisons, and places of public,
cultural and political importance – to anybody that appreciates the
significance of the “gift”.
In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former King Hussain of Jordan, EU President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strazbourg, the UN Troops in Kosovo and continues to be taken to Ground Zero, New York.
St Paul’s involvement started 20 years ago. An Austrian girl scouter
brought the light to Dover from Austria. Special permission was obtained
from a ferry company to carry the light on the ferry across the channel.
A small service of welcome at Dover docks and the light was carried by
various scout groups for onward transmission. Our light was processed
from the docks to the church. Several times we had to stop as it was so
windy and we huddled round the lantern. On arrival at the church we lit
our own candle. From these small beginnings we now have a service in
candle light with representatives from Scout, Guides and local churches
and our lighted candle for the Christmas time. Lanterns are also lit
for anyone who wants to burn in their own homes over the Christmas time.