Peace Light 2020

Date: 23rd Nov 2020 Author: Peter Tomlin

Each Advent season, the Scout International Peace Light travels from Bethlehem around the world. Towns and faith communities hold services for receiving the light and for sending it forth.

Please see below the message from Fr Jonathan, the National Catholic Scout Chaplain for the UK, about this year’s virtual Peace Light:

 

“As COVID has prevented many from gathering in person to receive the Peacelight of Bethlehem, I invite fellow Scouts and all people of good will to join me online as darkness falls at 5.00pm GMT on Saturday 28th November for a kindling of lights.

This will take place on Zoom. 
ID: 960 9163 3796 
Password: wT7C4c.

Please have a candle or lamp with you ready to light at the appropriate time. Members of the Scout (and Guide) Movement are encouraged to wear their scout scarf (neckerchief).

As you prepare, please have a think about where you would like this light to bring hope and for whom you would like it to promise peace.

We should be joined by Scouts from each of the six regions of WOSM and there will be a short reflection from friends from many of the religious traditions present in Scouting.

I will be at St Edmund’s Church in Godalming, which looks out on Charterhouse School, where Baden-Powell was as a teenager.

In my time in Scouting I have had the privilege of working closely with Scouts of many religious traditions, and none, from many countries, and from my home County of Surrey, and I am pleased that many will come together (virtually) to kindle a flame of hope and peace in the darkness of despair and conflict.

This is an informal gathering for adults. Any people under 18 should be accompanied by their parent or guardian. It is supported by Surrey Scouts, the National Catholic Scout Fellowship and others.”

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The Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) – and was part of a large charitable relief mission – Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad.

Since 1986 there has been co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe, such that the light is passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years, on to North America, Mexico and Canada.

Each year, a child, the “Peace Child,” from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem. The light is then flown to Austria and distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who carry it, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services.

Scouts and Guides then carry the light to other churches, hospitals and places of public, cultural and political importance – to anybody or group that appreciates the significance of the “gift.”  In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbachov, the former King Hussain of Jordan, European Union President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strasbourg, the United Nations Troops in Kosovo and Ground Zero, New York USA.

For more information click here

I want the public to know how Scouting continues to open young people’s eyes to a world of extraordinary promise and possibilities.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls