At the start of August Christians around the country joined others in remembering the devastating bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The bombings left hundreds of thousands of people dead and countless more injured and dealing with the consequences. Those who survived the bombing, known as Hibakusha, have been at the forefront of the campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world to ensure that no other city has to suffer such a terrible ordeal.
Despite the continuing Covid-19 situation, commemorations were able to take place around the UK on Friday 6 August and Monday 9 August. Christian CND held it’s annual Remembrance Service in Maldon Quaker Meeting House, which included the lighting of a candle sent from Hiroshima as part of a long-standing relationship initiated by the late Beryl Lankester, who was always keen to mark the dates.
Christian CND Exec Member Martin Tiller joined others in addressing the annual Remembrance Service in Coventry Cathedral while Patricia and Michael Pulham joined our friends from the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship for their Zoom Vigil, which included moving contributions from the Marshall Islands and a reflection from Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes.
Elsewhere a vigil took place in Dunbar on August 8, led by the Rev. David Mumford and supported by members of other churches in Dunbar.
The words of Pope Francis were read, calling on humanity to reject war for ever and to ban nuclear weapons and a Friend from East Lothian Quakers read the Quaker peace testimony. Thanks were given for the recent United Nations Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons and prayers were said that our nation would sign up to the Treaty.
The vigil ended with prayers for peace between countries.