Clayhill Green in Epsom on October 18th 2015
small group met on Clayhill Green in Epsom on October 18th to pray for Peace
It was good to gather together and stand united to pray for peace. We are trying to make this more of an interfaith event and would welcome people of a variety of faith communities as a symbol of the struggle to establish peace between peoples who can stand together for the peace of the world that is at the heart of this initiative. This year those attending were all from the Christian tradition.
The service lasted about 20 minutes and was followed by tea and cake at Christ Church
Although it was a Christian initiative that led to the founding of the Week of Prayer for World Peace in 1974, it soon became an inter faith activity, and now welcomes everyone, of all faith traditions or none, to take part. The first Chairman,the late Dr. Edward Carpenter, former Dean of Westminster, established the guiding principle of the Week in the words “The peace of the world must be prayed for by the faiths of the world”, and this is still the basis of our work today.
For those who want to persevere with the idea of praying with people of other faiths, three thoughts may be helpful.
- First, the different prayers that we say are said by neighbours in the same town and the same street every week. In worshipping together we simply bring under one roof what happens anyway under the same sky.
- Secondly, we are convinced that there is only one humanity that prays, and only one Divinity that we pray to, whatever different opinions we may have about that one Divinity.
- Thirdly, we recognise that inter faith partnership does not itself imply agreement.
The things we agree on are many, and precious. The things we disagree on are precious too. When we stand with a follower of another faith who is praying, whenever we can agree with the prayer, we give it our interior assent. Where we cannot agree, we withhold our interior assent. It is still good to stand with that person as a friend and as a partner for peace.
Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth;
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust;
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe
(Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)