UK: Pax Christi UK organises Ash Wednesday gatherings of prayer and resistance to nuclear weapons
In the cities of Glasgow, Liverpool and London, Ash Wednesday (14 February 2018) will be marked by Christian peacemakers making public the invitation to repentance and change, with a special focus on turning away from current Government policies on nuclear war preparations.
In Glasgow the witness will be held at the Faslane Trident Naval Base. In Liverpool a service begins at St Luke's, the city's bombed-out-church and will continue with a procession through the town centre. In London a prayer gathering and symbolic acts of witness will take place around the Ministry of Defence Building in Whitehall.
This year the acts of witness will recall the words of Pope Francis, from the November 2017 Vatican Conference on nuclear disarmament: "the threat of their (nuclear weapon) use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned. For they exist in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race"
In London participants will also highlight the success of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and call the UK Government to sign up to the Treaty. 122 white ribbons, representing the countries who supported the Treaty and 73 black ribbons, representing those who have not signed, will be tied to the railings around the building. Among those joining the London gathering are students and staff from Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa and members of peace groups from South Korea.
Ash Wednesday gatherings of prayer and resistance like this this began in London in 1982 and have continued annually. In past years the Ministry of Defence building has been marked with blessed ash and charcoal as a part of the witness, inviting the Government to change heart and policy on nuclear weapons and to seek security through justice and pursuit of the common good.
- Liverpool. Gather at St Luke's church, city centre, 12 noon. organised by Pax Christi Liverpool. Further details here
- Glasgow: Gather at Faslane South Gate at 2.45. organised by the Glasgow Catholic Worker. Further details here
- London: Gather in Whitehall Gardens at 3.00pm organsied by Pax Christi, the London Catholic worker and Christian CND. Further details here
- A copy of the liturgy to be used is available here
- Independent Catholic News https://www.indcatholicnews.com/
- Pax Christi http://paxchristi.org.uk/