Report on Olympic Truce activities

salaam bird croppedEarlier this month, the Foreign Office’s Olympic Truce Stakeholders’ Group met at King Charles Street.

This brief report on activities in 2012 was presented.

You may recognise some faces.

If you have pictures of activities which you would like uploaded onto the London Peace Network site, please send them in, accompanied by captions.


21 September | Tooting Islamic Centre and St Augustine’s Church

Sheikh Suliman Gani of Tooting Islamic Centre invited Revd Dr Andrew Davey of St Augustine’s Church to mark the International Day of Peace at Friday Prayers, Salaatul-Jumu’a, on 21 September.

Over three thousand marked the International Day of Peace at Tooting Islamic Centre, London.

They exchanged greetings of peace.  Imam Gani’s khutbah, or sermon, and Dr Davey’s five-minute talk were both on the subject of peace,  of the importance of Muslims, Christians and others living together in harmony and of following their respective faith convictions and beliefs.

Over three thousand people attended.

The Little Big Peace Event

Streatham (in Lambeth, south London) has its very own peace festival!

Running 17 – 23 September, look out for inspiration, celebration, contemplation and cultivation . . .

  • Learn practical skills to achieve peace in your own life
  • Discover how people and communities around the world are working for peace
  • Meet and connect with new people in your community
  • Relax, de-stress, enjoy!

More information on events and how to get involved at

International Olympic Truce Centre Forum

Rather short notice, I’m afraid, but we are all welcome to join Dr Filis, the Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre tomorrow.

He sent us a wonderful salutation for last Friday’s event on the Millennium Bridge.

Please come to the Open Forum at the House of Helenes, Carlton Club, 69 St James Street.

The speakers include:

• Willi Lemke, special advisor to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace
• Lord Bates, member of the House of Lords, former MP
• Hugh Dugan, Founder of the US Truce Foundation
• Fani Palli Petralia, vice-chairperson of the International Olympic Truce Foundation
• Dr Filis, Director of the International Truce Centre will moderate the discussion.

The related Facebook page is here.

Dave Stewart headlines 2012 Hours Against Hate – Walk A Mile concert

Tottenham student choir on stage with Dave Stewart at the rock concert last week.

A roar of applause went up for Tottenham students after their performance of “Everybody Dreams”.  The concert, Music That Changes The World, can be viewed on Livestream.  The line-up included KT Tunstall, Jihae, Daryl Hall, MOBY, Mike Scott & The Waterboys – and Hans Zimmer spoke movingly about the plight of Roma communities across Europe.

London Boroughs Faiths Network is proud to be part of the 2012 Hours Against Hate coalition (and 2012 Hours is part of the London Peace Network – great to be in partnership), which asks you to do something for someone who does not look, live, pray or love like you – there are fantastic volunteering opportunities across the capital this summer, including those co-ordinated by Faiths Forum for London.

Congratulations to Alex Goldberg and the organising team!   Alex writes

UK NGOs promoting global tolerance are delighted by support from Hilary Clinton and International Olympic Truce

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her support for the UK NGOs who have come together to the launch a 2012 Hours Against Hate campaign aimed at brining communities together as the campaign released its Walk-A-Mile smartphone app to promote global tolerance and fitness.

Initiated by the Department of State’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal and Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith and UK NGOs 2012 Hours Against Hate is a campaign to stop bigotry and promote pluralism and respect across lines of culture, religion, tradition, class, disability, and gender.

Using social media, the initiative asks young people to pledge an hour or more of their time to help someone who does not look, live, or pray like them. 2012 Hours Against Hate highlights Secretary Clinton’s commitment to the potential of young people to change the world.

“More and more, I see communities and people turning their backs on old boundaries and barriers and finding new ways to bridge divides. That’s the idea behind the 2012 Hours Against Hate campaign,” said Clinton.

You can download the Walk A Mile app and listen to Dave Stewart’s Man to Man, Woman to Woman here.

11 thousand worldwide join Olympic Truce FB group

11 thousand worldwide join Olympic Truce FB group

In four weeks, the new Olympic Truce Facebook group has grown to over 11,000 people from all over the world.

Don McBurney, the key admin, writes,

From David Wardrop, Westminster UNA – Why are we supporting the Olympic Truce? Because in ancient Greece, the Olympic Truce enabled athletes to travel unhindered through the lands of traditional enemies to and from the Olympic Games. So, during intense physical competition, there was created the spirit of ekecheiria, the holding of hands in peace. In 1993, the UN General Assembly agreed to the International Olympic Committee’s appeal to revive the Olympic Truce, to mobilise youth in the cause of peace. So, in the Olympic Village in London, the flags of the United Nations and the Olympic Truce will fly together.

What should we all do? Create new pictures, sculpture, poems, photos and ideas in the spirit of ekecheiria, the holding of hands in peace. Share them with each other through this Facebook Olympic Truce community. In a few days, we have attracted friends on every continent. Now, together we can take the message of the Olympic Truce round the world. Start sending your wonderful ideas to us and let’s hold hands in peace with each other in the spirit of peace.

Everyone invited – All The Bells on Millennium Bridge Friday 27 July 8am

Stop press: Facebook event page  All The Bells | Millennium Bridge | Olympic Truce.

Stop press: We have received a salutation from the Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre in Greece!

The London Peace Network invites you to a very special event on the Millennium Bridge (across the River Thames between Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral) on Friday 27th July at 8.12am – for three minutes.

The Olympic Truce flag will be flying from the bridge from 7.30am – please aim to arrive before 8am!

It will be fun – and it will also raise awareness about the Olympic Truce, the Millennium Development Goals and all the London Peace Network activities this summer.

We’ll be part of a huge national event, All The Bells, and we will hear the sounds of the big London bells, including Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral, ringing all around us.  A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The event will be filmed, so that everyone who participates will be able to download the video afterwards. We are reserving places for those who prefer not to be filmed.

Please pass this invitation on to your networks and let us know if you will be joining us – particularly if you are bringing a large group.

The flyer includes several links for further information, but please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions and to let us know how many people you are bringing.

All-day marathon reading of Homer’s Iliad – Sat 21st July

As the Olympic Torch arrives in London, The Readers of Homer warmly invite you to take part in the marathon reading of THE ILIAD which will take place on July 21st from 10am to 8pm at the Hellenic Centre in London.

200 readers of all ages and backgrounds including Athletes, Diplomats, Journalists, Artists, students and children will gather to read and sing Homer’s great epic, one after the other, in the languages of the world. The event will be enhanced with on-stage projection of the text in English and related images, music interludes and melodies from the musical ensemble Daemonia Nymphe, on reconstructed ancient Greek Instruments by Nicholas Brass and a homeric feast.

Their common aim will be to add their voices to the international Olympic call for truce and permanent peace, just a week before the official opening ceremony of the 2012 Games in London, promoting the human values and ideals which originated in Greece thousands of years ago, and still reverberate there, in Homer’s land, despite the current crisis.

Come along to listen, or register to read some of the Iliad here.

Britain Tastes Great!

As the world looks at London over the next few weeks, HOPE not Hate is inviting us to celebrate modern Britain – a kaleidoscope of colours and cultures.  Get together with your neighbours, schools, places of worship, community organisations and plan a delicious meal.  Britain Tastes Great is looking for dishes that define modern Britain – add your own to the ultimate collection of recipes that proves Britain Tastes Great!

For the really adventurous, people can host their own event. This can be a house party, a picnic in the park or in the local community centre. We’ll be encouraging churches, mosques, temples and local sports centres to open their doors to the local community and share food.

There’s a pull-out supplement in the Daily Mirror today, with news from the Ramadan Festival, Dine@Mine and the Imperial War Museum.

And a new website is now up – lots of recipes, a map of events and much more – Britain Tastes Great.

Southwark – City – East End – Walworth

The sun shone on one of the many inter faith walks co-ordinated by the South London Inter Faith Group this weekend.  This one started at Southwark Cathedral and took in Bevis Marks Synagogue, East London Mosque and Kagyu Samye Dzong.  Here are some photos.

Rose petals were strewn on to the River Thames from London Bridge.

Entering Bevis Marks Synagogue, which has the longest unbroken history of worship of any synagogue in Europe.  One of the congregation welcomed us in and told us the history of Judaism in the UK, the Sephardic tradition and about the congregation today.

Entering the London Muslim Centre, which stands alongside East London Mosque.

Inside East London Mosque, where we were given a warm welcome.


Olympic Truce debated at UN Forum today

Truce campaigners David Wardrop of UNA Westminster and Gurbakhsh Garcha of UNA Lewisham holding the latest London Peace Network flyer under the Olympic Truce flag today.

The UN Forum in London today held a panel debate on the Olympic Truce, “Can we turn a fine ideal into a living reality?”  The panelists were Wilfried Lemke, adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Dame Margaret Anstee DCMG, former UN Under-Secretary-General, Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive, British Red Cross and Honey Thaljieh, Founder, first Palestinian women’s national football team.

Dowload the flyer here.

War and Peace Festival kicks off today

Paradise Street opens today at the Waterloo Festival

Staged in an air-raid shelter beneath the church, the Waterloo Festival kicks off this evening with a theatre production set in WWII and an opening concert in the church.

Drop-in art workshops, a community fête, a Festival Eucharist celebrating different faith traditions, a world première of Orlando Gough’s Love is Strong as Death, a symposium and much more on the theme of War & Peace continues over six days.

Full details here.

Boris backs London inter faith walks this weekend

London’s Mayor is backing a series of inter faith walks being held across South London this weekend to showcase the multi-faith character of the capital.

The Mayor says,

“I am delighted to lend my support to the South London Inter Faith Walks in this summer like no other for London.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games offer the most wonderful demonstration of togetherness, and it will be a joy to see athletes and visitors from all over the world, of all faiths and none, coming together in our capital where we are almost unique in being able to offer them all a home from home.

That is something to celebrate and for which we can all give thanks, and I can think of no better way to do so than by joining one of these Inter Faith walks in that same spirit of togetherness and sporting endeavour.”

Coordinated by South London Inter Faith Group and organised by local groups, each event is free and open to anyone of any faith or none. Participants will spend about an hour in up to eight different places of worship and can drop in and out at any part of the day. Participating boroughs are: Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon, Lewisham, Bromley and Greenwich

Sarah Thorley, organiser of 15 previous south London walks says,

“Come and join in! Meet and walk and talk with your neighbours. Now is your chance to enter all those mysterious buildings you’ve never quite dared to go into.

Visit temples, churches, mosques and synagogues all in one weekend.

See for yourselves the genuine inter faith cooperation that exists.”

Details of the walks in your area are listed here.

Send in photos of your walk to be added to London Peace Network’s Gallery.

Create your own animated film – deadline 20 July

Truce Arts will help you create your own animated film.

A Truce can mean many things – shaking hands, calling a halt to hostilities, putting down arms – but at heart it is about pausing and reflecting on what is really important.

Think of a moment of reconciliation in your favourite film, song, story – and make your own version of it in animated form.

Create original digital artwork and share it with your friends, family and the rest of the world!

Truce Arts invites you to join them in thinking about the various ways that Truce can be understood and identified in all of our lives.

Get your work displayed on public screens

Entries submitted by Friday 20th July will be considered for inclusion in our video package to be displayed on public screens around the UK in the run up to the Olympics.

Have a look at the artwork created by our three Truce artists; Janette Paris, Grennan and Sperandio, and Soda, and the young people they have worked with in London.

Be inspired

Take inspiration from events in your own life, your favourite movies, comics, books or video games and create your own artwork which will be displayed on the Truce Art Project online gallery.

Every piece of work you submit is eligible to be shown in the Truce Arts online Gallery. The best artwork each fortnight will become our ‘lead image’ and be displayed prominently on our homepage.

Download the toolkit to get going.

Get busy ;)

Great opportunities to deliver Iftar to homeless people during Ramadan

The Ramadan Festival is gearing up – lots of info and ideas on how to make the most of this special time of year.

Ramadan is a time of giving, of charity, of sharing, of remembering those in need and reaching out.

Email to find out more about the training days and how you can help run soup kitchens in

  • Tottenham
  • Streatham
  • Sutton
  • Enfield
  • Wembley
  • Marylebone

Visit the Ramadan Festival site for full details of all the other opportunities during the time of the Olympic Truce.

Join your local inter faith walk July 14th or 15th

One of the very best ways to meet  local people from different religious traditions – and none – is walking and talking together and discovering the unexpected.

South London Inter Faith Group has encouraged and supported a coordinated set of inter faith walks this year immediately before the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

There will be walks right across the southern part London during the weekend 14th and 15th July 2012. Local groups have chosen the Saturday or the Sunday, or both, depending on local factors.  Download a map showing (almost) all the walks. Find the individual maps below.

The aim is to use this time when the global spotlight is on London to celebrate the multi faith character of London and to demonstrate the inter faith collaboration that is taking place.

If there’s one in your borough, download your map below and join in!  Spread the word to friends and local communities.

Here are the flyers and maps for all the participating boroughs:


City of London and Southwark





Lambeth – Saturday

Lambeth – Sunday



Waltham Forest


Richmond – will be posted soon.

Community Champions | news

Community Champions | news.

HOPE not hate is launching a competition to find the champions of our communities – the unsung heroes who bring communities together and make life better for ordinary people.

These might be people who through their work – like a youth worker, teacher or doctor – help to break down barriers between communities. It might be people who give up their spare time through voluntary and community work to contribute to making their communities a better place. It might be someone who uses their position in a place of worship to reach out to people of other faiths and of none. It might be someone working with refugees or a teacher who helps children from different cultures to get along together; or it could be a parent who gives up their spare time to help young people from different backgrounds to play sport.

Every community has them and, now, HOPE not hate would like to acknowledge them too.

HOPE not hate is asking supporters to nominate the people in their community who they believe warrant the term of “community champion”.

The most inspiring will be invited to a HOPE not hate award night at a top London restaurant in early autumn.

Let’s say thank you to those who make life better for those around us.  Nominate your Community Champion.