The atmosphere was wonderful and illustrated so well how people of different faiths and cultures can join together in friendship and work together for peace. Well done to our pilgrims who made it all the way from Newport and Cardiff to be with us.
The service was very moving with contributions given by three schools, including St Teilo’s High School who had driven down from Cardiff and were asked at the very last moment to contribute with the Peace Prayer of the Baha’i faith revealed Circa 1910 to Abdu’l Baha. Several faith traditions contributed to the blessing of the lights (Christian, Yungdrung Bon, Islamic and Jewish) and also took part in the service. We are grateful to Lama Khemsar Rinpoche who took time out of his busy schedule to be with us and share his Tibetan blessing for the pilgrimage.
The new imam at Swansea University, Sheikh Hassan, stood in front of the altar and recited passages of peace from Sura’s (Al-Hujurat 49:13) and (Al-Anfal 8:61) in the Holy Qur’an. Tarrick El Hosaini stood at his side to give the English translations. I found this especially beautiful and very moving. Father Luke Holden of the Greek Orthodox Church chanted 1Corinthians 13 in Orthodox style… possibly the first time for some Catholic, Anglican and non Conformist Christians to have heard it delivered in such a meaningful way.
Much warmth and humour was shared by all clergy and faith representatives.
A little reminder to you all that the book to accompany the pilgrimage ‘Sharing the Light’ is now on sale for the special price of £5 during the pilgrimage. It will cost £6 after that. The book takes the reader on a journey through Gower’s sacred landscape and explains the influence of the Celtic Saints, the Knights of Saint John, holy wells and springs and Gower’s Pre-Christian Sacred Sites. The story of how the pilgrimage unfolded is also explained along with how the blessed lights of the World Peace Flame, the Light of Saint Brighid and the light from the Shrine of Saint David were collected for the pilgrimage.
I will look forward to seeing some of you again at the service of thanksgiving and prayers for world peace that will take place this coming Sunday to mark the end of the pilgrimage. This will take place at St Rhidian & St Illtyd’s Church in Llanrhidian and will begin at 4pm. Our pilgrims are expected to arrive at approximately 3.15pm.
Details of Sharing the Light, the book that Pam mentions can be found here. Archbishop Rowan Williams has supported the work of Peace Mala over the years and writes of the Walk for World Peace,
“The challenge of making and keeping peace is a task far too great for any one faith community to tackle on its own, and the deeply impressive work of the Peace Mala network over the last ten years has consistently reminded us of this. It has been a privilege to be involved with this vision, and I pray every blessing on all it continues to do and on all who are joining together (for this pilgrimage).”