More photos to follow.
As peace can only work if it's for everyone, we were keen to make sure that the whole event was free of charge and open to all: sharing and co-operation in action.
The main focus of the event was the bandstand, featuring planned performances by local bands and artists all day, a multi-faith service for peace at lunchtime and an open-mic arrangement allowing for unplanned performances in between the other acts.
Performers on the bill included Heal the Last Stand, The Scene, Brendan Griffiths, Sophie Ballamy, Lisa Boas, Andy Hickie and anarchist performance poet Sophie McKeand, with impromptu acts from local vicar Andrew Sully who sang a song about peace to the tune of Finlandia and a busker who performed a couple of numbers. The sound system was fantastic (big thanks to Rob for this). As I was leaving a local worker called by to ask for the names of the performers having listened to them from his office round the corner all day. Local homeless people made an announcement from the bandstand supporting the event and pupils from a local school unfurled a banner they'd made about their understanding of peace.
The multi-faith peace service at lunchtime was led by Rt. Rev. Edwin Regan, the Catholic Bishop of Wrexham, and attended by about 60 people. Chair of the Wrexham Muslim Association Dr Ikram Shah read out a Dua (prayer) written by Muslim children in a Bradford primary school and Bishop Regan read out in both English and Welsh the prayer 'Make me a Channel of your Peace' (infamously quoted by Maggie Thatcher on becoming PM). This was followed by readings from many different faiths including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Bah'ai and Zoroastrianism on the subject of peace.
Out on the library field six or seven metres of fabric were decorated with messages and pictures to make a huge peace banner, while paper peace doves were covered with people's thoughts and artwork on the theme 'What is Peace?'
QUIZ AND LETTER-WRITING FOR PEACE
Visitors to the peace stall were invited to try their hand matching quotes on peace to their authors. The stall also contained information and materials for solidarity letter writing to Navy medic Michael Lyons, currently serving time in a military prison after refusing to take up arms after his application for conscientious objector status was rejected. A group of homeless people who came along to the day took a lot of interest in Michael's situation, wrote letters and sent messages of support and solidarity which will be passed on to Michael and his wife Lillian.
In an all-day peace picnic, veggie food was donated and shared, with chocolate brownies, fairy cakes decorated with peace signs, vegan flapjack and pizza among the items on the menu. The stall only finally ran out of stock at about 5pm.
FREE GIVE AND TAKE STALL
A free stall invited people to donate items they no longer had any use for and to take anything they could use. The stall arrived pretty much empty, but quickly filled up with donations of clothes, books and all manner of bric-a-brac, with a steady stream of things being taken and more arriving during the day. Leftover items were taken to the permanent free 'Give and Take' stall on Chester Market.
Off the field and upstairs in Wrexham Library, an exhibition called 'Nonviolence Works' will be running all week and can be viewed during normal library opening times.
The event was organised by local band Heal the Last Stand, The Faith, Peace & Justice Network of the Catholic Diocese of Wrexham, Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum ( http://www.wpjf.org.uk) and many friends.
Being part of this event, both in the planning stages and on the day, has been a positive (and peaceful) experience. Hopefully we can now build on the links we've made and the trust we've built to plan future events together in a spirit of peaceful co-operation.
PREVIOUS ARTICLES ABOUT THIS EVENT
peace picnic on the library green
free for all
share the earth
more free stuff
peace doves in the background
matching the quotes
homeless people support prisoner for peace Michael Lyons
multi-faith peace service
readings from different faiths
St Christopher's School display their banner
Reverend Andrew Sully sings
smiley sun 1
smiley sun 2
lovin' life friends