Bethlehem Peace Light comes to Luton and then goes round Britain
For the last 20 years, Luton has been at the heart of UK participation in ‘Peace Light,’ a lit flame brought from Bethlehem and distributed all over the world by Scouts and Guides as an symbol of peace around Christmas.
At All Saints Church, Luton, people of different faiths gathered for the service at which the light was received and from which the light was sent out. Bishop Alan was there too this year, the first time he has taken part. Every year the light is collected from Christ’s Grotto in Bethlehem by an child from Upper Austria for transportation to millions of homes across the world. This gesture for international peace touches the lives of countless people. This year, a Firefighter Cadet, Thomas Flachner, from Hochburg-Ach, Upper Austria where the composer of the carol ‘Silent Night’ Fritz Gruber was born, lit this year’s flame at Christ’s Grotto in Bethlehem.
At All Saints, a congregation of over 120 Scouts and supporters from parishes around the town and surrounding area was gathered. The flame then went on its way to millions of homes and locations around the world as a symbol of hope at Christmas.
With Bishop Alan were Luton Deputy Mayor Cllr David Agbley, Secretary of the UKIM Madinah Mosque Mr Maqsood Anwaar and Revd David Kesterton, Vicar of All Saints.
Bishop Alan said:
“This annual event is an important symbol for world peace. The light from Bethlehem travels to very many countries and is given a place of honour at Ground Zero in central New York. In the UK it is taken by Scout volunteers to all parts of our nation to bring a sign of hope and joy to people everywhere. You can’t get a more touching gesture than that.”
Cllr Agbley said,
“On behalf of the town and all those who live here, I am delighted to welcome the Peace Light to Luton and to see it begin its journey amongst the young people of our community. May this light be a sign of the peace and understanding we all long for in our town and beyond.”
Madinah Mosque Secretary, Anwaar added,
“I am so pleased to be part of this international peace effort and to show how it is something that is shared by all faiths.”