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From the Vicarage July 2017 

JEMMA SANDER-HEYSas published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life


Rev Jemma Sander-Heys
Team Vicar, Great Yarmouth Minster


'Peace and Reconciliation'


This year, local schools in the region prepared a display for their religious studies lessons, which formed part of the RE Celebration in the Minster
The theme was 'Peace and Reconciliation’  There were a lot of beautiful doves in the displays, and many pictures of people holding hands, and poems about friendship... but actually as one walked round the display, it became apparent what a difficult subject 'Peace and Reconciliation' is to tackle
In order to help pick up on that reconciliatory and peaceful theme, we invited members of the local mosque to attend and see the displays, and it was lovely to walk round, with a couple of vicars and an Imam, and listen to the children tell us about their work

But it had taken a lot of planning to ensure that both the Diocese (via the Bishop) and the Mosque, and the schools, were all happy with this simple visit; and more planning to ensure that the event could not be misconstrued... in short it was a realistic taste of just how difficult peace and reconciliation is to achieve.  It takes risk, to approach 'The Other' risk not simply because of how one may be received by them, but actually how one may be received by the members of one's own community
The children of our church school, St Nicholas Priory, had been thinking about the brief Christmas truce during WW1, and how the commanding officers had worked to stop the peace and get on with the fighting, perhaps in fear of 'losing morale'... today we think of the still fragile peace in Northern Ireland, and the tensions across Europe - how every act of friendship in one direction, may be construed simultaneously as an act of betrayal or aggression in another direction
Peace is not easy, reconciliation is costly... and in truth, only One has ever managed to reconcile people from all sorts of backgrounds and all across the world, Jesus Christ, loving us and calling us to love Him, and himself dying for that costly reconciliation. We are called to follow in his paths of peace

peace display 2017

Revd Jemma and Imam Shams hear from Alderman Swindell about their Peace display


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