14 December 2006

Put some peace in your pocket this Christmas

The Methodist Church has launched an innovative booklet in health clubs, play centres and bars. Peace in Your Pocket is a thought provoking 16-page booklet the size of a postcard, and 75,000 copies are available in hundreds of venues nationwide until early January.

The booklet contains poems, pictures and thought-provoking points as it explores the issue of peace, and what it means today. It contains brief meditations for busy people, as well as pointers for those who wish to look further into the topic.

'At Christmas we speak of 'goodwill and peace to all,'' says Anthea Cox of the Methodist Church, 'but what does peace really mean today? It used to be that peace was an absence of war, but today terrorism makes it hard for us to feel at peace. And worldwide millions of people are suffering and dying from the effects of war, even when their countries are not at war. So what does peace mean in our lives, our homes, our neighbourhoods and in the world? This booklet is for anyone who is asking these questions, particularly people who would not normally go to church but who feel the need to think reflectively about peace.'

The booklet contains quotations from Desmond Tutu, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Satish Kumar, amongst others. It aims to provide readers with a few moments of calm, as well as challenging them to take further action to promote peace.

John Cooper, former president of the Methodist Youth Executive, said 'Pub chat often ends up on issues of the day, many of which concern violence and warfare. I'd love this book to help stimulate talk on the solutions rather than just dwelling on the problems.'

The booklet has an accompanying website, www.peaceinyourpocket.org.uk. There is also a text messaging service, whereby anyone can sign up to receive free occasional peaceful thoughts on their mobile phone. Users can also post messages that appear on the website as peace flags.

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