02 February 2007

All Christians invited to service before anti-Trident demonstration

Hinde Street Methodist Church in central London will host ecumenical service at 10:30 on 24 February.

Christians joining the anti-Trident demonstration in London on 24 February are invited to an ecumenical service beforehand. Hinde Street Methodist Church Ð just north of Oxford Street Ð will hold an ecumenical service at 10:30 and all are welcome.

'Trident is a major concern for many Christians,' says Anthea Cox, Methodist Church Coordinating Secretary, 'and we want to create a space for Christians to share their concerns about the renewal of Trident. The demonstration is a wider event bringing together many groups. We want to enable people to put it in a Christian context by coming together for a short service before we go to join the gathering demonstration. It will also hopefully provide a practical benefit as people will have come from all over the country, and Hinde Street will offer a chance to pause and reflect before going out to make their voices heard in calling on the Government not to replace Trident.'

Over the Christmas period, The Methodist Church distributed the booklet Peace in Your Pocket to hundreds of bars, health clubs and play centres. The booklet addressed peace issues, and invited readers to consider how we can all play a part in building peace. The United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church recently produced a resource, Peacemaking: a Christian Vocation which also calls upon the churches to engage with issues of peace and justice.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have spoken out frequently against the replacement of Trident, and are supporting the goals of the demonstration on 24 February. Says Anthea 'we all seek peace in our own lives, and we also want to see it in the world. Issues like Trident are complex, and different people at the demonstration will have their own reasons for opposing its replacement. But Christians will bring their own faith to their reasoning on nuclear weapons, and so we invite all to Hinde Street to be together in prayer and worship.'

Graham Sparkes of the Baptist Union says 'The Christian gospel is all about peacemaking. Our calling demands that we resist the continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, however risky that path may be. Our churches have spoken clearly against the replacement of Trident. I hope many will make their voices heard as we seek to witness for peace in our violent world.'

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