Bethlehem Peace Light to arrive in St Helens

St Helens Star: Bethlehem Peace Light to arrive in St Helens Bethlehem Peace Light to arrive in St Helens

COMMUNITIES are being invited to turn on their storm lanterns and keep the Bethlehem Peace Light burning from the week before Christmas until Twelfth Night.

On Tuesday, December 17 the Peace Light will arrive at St Anne and Blessed Dominic’s Catholic Church in Monastery Lane, Sutton, when an ecumenical service will be held led by parish priest Father Peter Hannah and ministers from other Sutton churches.

Children from the Sutton primary schools, St Anne’s, Willow Tree, Sutton Oak, Robins Lane, Eaves and Sherdley will create a peace choir and sing at the service alongside the Celebration Choir together with Scouts who will help distribute the Light.

Primary school pupils have taken on board the Peace Light concept, and each of the six schools will be represented at the service by two Peace children, chosen for their behaviour, community spirit and contribution to peace in their schools. They will help in distributing the Light and will take it into the Mayor’s parlour.

St Anne’s would like as many people as possible to join in and pass on the Peace Light to others, particularly the lonely or sick, and to take it into elderly people’s homes and hospitals.

The aim is to keep the Light burning throughout Christmas until Twelfth Night on January 6.

To take part you will need storm or hurricane lanterns, preferably oil burners, and with a back-up lantern to keep the Peace Light burning by lighting the second one from the first and refill the first with oil and light it from the second when that begins to run out.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “The idea behind the Peace Light is that no single person is responsible for peace. It is up to everyone to work for peace, accepting the Peace Light and passing it on to others.

The Peace Light is going into churches of all denominations.”

The Tuesday, December 17 service at St Anne’s and Blessed Dominic’s Church begins at 6.30pm.

On Wednesday, December 18, from 10am until 4pm a Peace Light community day will be held at Sutton Village Church, Herbert Street.

People are being encouraged to call in for a cuppa and mince pie. Sutton schools’ choirs will sing throughout the morning.

What is the Bethlehem Peace Light?

NOW in its 28th year, the light was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company, as part of a large charitable relief mission, “a light in the darkness”, for Children in Need.

Since 1989 there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries, which has allowed the Peace Light to travel across Europe.

Following 9/11, when it reached Ground Zero for that first Christmas after the destruction of the twin towers, many more countries became involved, including the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Each year a child from Austria, chosen in recognition of his or her bravery or outstanding work in the community, is appointed the Peace Child.

He or she is flown to Bethlehem to collect the light, which is kindled from the eternal flame burning in the grotto, where Jesus was born.

The Peace Light is taken to Linz and onto Vienna to await the Distribution Service to the World.

Following the service, couriers from many countries travel back home with the Light passing it on to others on the way.


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