Friday, 28 May 2010

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel Vigil in Birmingham

On Thursday 3 June at 1pm, a local network of Christians will hold a vigil in the grounds of St Phillips Cathedral, as part of a ‘World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel’.

The event is being coordinated by the West Midlands Christian Network for a Just Peace for Palestine, a group involved in advocacy and campaigning, and affiliated with the new national campaign, ‘A Just Peace for Palestine’.

The ‘World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel’ is an initiative of the World Council of Churches, who have invited all those “who share the hope of justice” in Palestine/Israel to “take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness”.

Revd. Ray Gaston, Interfaith Enabler in Birmingham for the Methodist Church, says that the vigil will stress the need to “build bridges not walls”. “We will be saying that ‘it is time for Palestine’ – time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace, and time for equal rights.”

The vigil will be a mixture of prayer, silence and reflection, responding to the call of Palestinian Christians in the ‘Kairos Palestine’ document, published last year, for Christians worldwide to “help us get our freedom back” and “help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love”.

While the vigil is organised by Christians, the reflections will be led by women of the three faiths of the Holy Land:

· Salma Yaqoob – a Muslim and a local councillor, anti-war and community activist. Salma was one of the leaders of the Birmingham campaign against the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2009.

· Barbara Payman – a Jewish woman and member of a local Reform Congregation. Barbara is a trustee of the interfaith charity Spirit of Peace that works closely with The Jerusalem Peacemakers, an interfaith network working for reconciliation in the Holy Land.

· Shari Brown – a Christian and the Coordinator of Restore (a project of Birmingham Churches supporting refugees). Shari recently spent three months as an Accompanier with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

Event contact: Revd. Ray Gaston, Interfaith Enabler, Birmingham Methodist Church, Tel. 0775 11 55 124 or email

Website for the World Council of Churches’ ‘World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel’

Website for the ‘A Just Peace for Palestine’ campaign