People taking part in last Saturday’s Christian bloc at London’s national peace march for Gaza continued to support international calls for a ceasefire. Marchers urged the UK Government to address the causes of the current conflict by promoting dialogue for peace.
Representatives of Pax Christi, Westminster Justice and Peace Commission and London Catholic Worker joined Catholic and Anglican clergy, religious and members of many London churches at St Charles Catholic Church in Ogle Street. Walking behind a banner, “Christians stand with Gaza”, they joined the march from Portland Place to Downing Street.
One Catholic priest from a central London parish said, “It was good to walk in the company of so many fellow Christians in a procession of people who in had one aim – to call for a just peace.”
There were also large demonstrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff and more are planned 17-18 February. Supporting the Edinburgh march, Pax Christi Scotland said, “Why do we want a ceasefire? Because innocents are the victims. In the name of God, stop this.” On Sunday 18 February, Revd Munther Isaac, pastor of the Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, West Bank, will give a reflection at a vigil in Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London, themed, “Christ under the rubble: A Vigil for Gaza”. He said: “I am traveling to the UK to call the Church to be the Church, and to act in costly solidarity towards an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. This is a moral obligation. This is not the time for neutrality or soft diplomacy.”
On Ash Wednesday, Pax Christi members have organised a peace witness at London’s Ministry of Defence, plus anti-nuclear weapons public prayers in Liverpool and other cities. The London liturgy will include prayers, readings and symbolic actions that focus on war and nuclear weapons. The “witness and prayer against war” is supported by Christian CND, Columbans in Britain, London Catholic Worker and Westminster Justice and Peace.
Also on Ash Wednesday, a Litany of Reconciliation will be held at the cathedral ruins in Coventry. There will be a walk of witness for peace, repentance and reconciliation in Liverpool and a national online service organised by Pax Christi England and Wales.