The large numbers of Christians who will be joining the anti-Trident nuclear weapons demonstration in London on 24 February 2007 are being invited to an ecumenical service beforehand. Hinde Street Methodist Church - just north of the famous Oxford Street shopping centre - will host the gathering for worship at 10.30 AM.
‚ÄúTrident is a major concern for many Christians,‚Äù says Anthea Cox, Methodist Church coordinating secretary. ‚ÄúWe want to create a space for them to share their concerns about the renewal of Trident. The demonstration is a wider event bringing together many groups. We want to enable people to put it in a Christian context by coming together for a short service before we go to join the gathering demonstration.
She added: "It will also hopefully provide a practical benefit as people will have come from all over the country, and Hinde Street will offer a chance to pause and reflect before going out to make their voices heard in calling on the Government not to replace Trident.‚Äù
Over the Christmas period, the Methodist Church in Britain distributed the booklet Peace in Your Pocket to hundreds of bars, health clubs and play centres. The booklet addressed peace issues, and invited readers to consider how we can all play a part in building peace. The United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church also recently produced a resource pack, ‚ÄòPeacemaking: a Christian Vocation‚Äô which calls upon the churches to engage with issues of peace and justice.
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, Catholics and a number of Anglicans have spoken out frequently against the replacement of Trident, and are supporting the goals of the demonstration on 24 February.
Ms Cox says: ‚ÄúWe all seek peace in our own lives, and we also want to see it in the world. Issues like Trident are complex, and different people at the demonstration will have their own reasons for opposing its replacement. But Christians will bring their own faith to their reasoning on nuclear weapons, and so we invite all to Hinde Street to be together in prayer and worship.‚Äù
Graham Sparkes of the Baptist Union added ‚ÄúThe Christian gospel is all about peacemaking. Our calling demands that we resist the continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, however risky that path may be. Our churches have spoken clearly against the replacement of Trident. I hope many will make their voices heard as we seek to witness for peace in our violent world.‚Äù