Monday, November 03, 2003


A note from Steve Alston of St Ethelburga's reminds me to include this summary of their work:

"In 1993 a terrorist bomb exploded in Bishopsgate just 15 yards from St Ethelburga’s church. One man was killed and 51 others injured in the blast that caused widespread damage to surrounding buildings.

The devastation to St Ethelburga’s church seemed so total that it seemed this might be the final chapter in the history of a church which had survived the Great Fire and Blitz and served the City of London since mediaeval times. Closer inspection of the bombsite showed there was much that could be saved or reconstructed, and in 1997 the new Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, proposed a new role for St Ethelburga’s as an innovative Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.


* Our vision for St Ethelburga’s flows from reflection on an act of violence which did great damage to the church, an act which was one of the episodes in a conflict in which religious divisions have played a major part. As Christians, we are deeply sorry for all violence done in the name of Christianity.

* We recognise that Christians are called on to be peacemakers. We also recognise that while historically, religious feelings have at times led to frightening violence, all the world’s great religions call on their followers to work for reconciliation and peace.

* In this spirit, we seek to work with other Christians, and with people of other faiths and none, for the better understanding of conflicts, whether violent or not, and towards the peaceful transformation of conflict.

* We offer St Ethelburga’s as a space within which the different narratives of conflict can be heard, and where conflicting positions can be explained and examined, realising that the honest recognition of differences is a necessary condition of reconciliation.

* We aim to make known and where possible to develop further ways in which faith communities can contribute to the transformation of conflict, to the peaceful resolution of differences and to the re-building of communities.

* Valuing the global role of the City of London and our own location within the City, we hope to benefit from the international knowledge of the business community as well as to help business to engage positively with local, national and international conflict.

Comment on this post: FaithInSociety

No comments: