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By: Anne O’Connor
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:48 am

At the end of a week in which the largest arms fair in the world took place in London, about 70 Justice and Peace activists, many from the host dioceses of Shrewsbury and Wrexham, attended the NJPN quarterly meeting in Chester on Saturday 14 September. Keynote speaker Vijay Mehta shared his vision for world peace, outlined in his book The Economics of Killing: How the West fuels wars and poverty in the developing world, and introduced the peace programme 4D which stands for Disarmament, Demilitarisation, Development and Democracy.

Using a short film made by Uniting for Peace (www.unitingforpeace.com) which charted war since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and featured peacemakers such as Gandhi and Rev Martin Luther King Jr it explored ways of advancing non-violent initiatives. One such idea is Peace One Day, celebrated every year on 21 September.

Founded by film-maker Jeremy Gilley just twelve years ago it has achieved a UN backed resolution for an international Day of Peace with the ultimate aim of making every day a day of peace and non-violence. Jeremy’s commitment and enthusiasm, evident in the film clip, is outstanding. I have shared his story with school and Confirmation groups to encourage and inspire young people. The theme for this year’s Peace One Day is Who will YOU make peace with?

It challenges and invites us to take personal responsibility to become peacemakers in whatever way we can. Do try to mark the day in your parishes or at home – go to www.peaceoneday.org

The overwhelming theme of the Chester meeting, in spite of all the problems in our world today, was one of hope. We all came away heartened and revitalised.

Read the full report here.