There have been media reports over the past week that RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk could see the return of nuclear weapons owned by the United States. Lakenheath previously hosted 110 nuclear bombs which were removed in 2008 following years of persistent protest, including by Christian CND and other faith organisations.
The Department of Defence in the United States added the UK to a list of European countries where nuclear storage facilities are being upgraded as part of a multi-million dollar programme. RAF Lakenheath is one of the bases in the UK which is still run by the United States Air Force. RAF Molesworth, which has also previously hosted US nuclear weapons, is another such base.
The US is the only nuclear-armed state to place its weapons on the soil of other states. Its bombs are currently located in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. Expanding that list to include the UK, at a time of the greatest threat of nuclear war in Europe for decades, risks being seen as an escalatory move.
The international community is clear that it does not want nuclear weapons. The majority of states are supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which adds nuclear weapons to the list of weapons of mass destruction illegal under international law. In the UK many churches have positions opposing nuclear weapons including the Church of England while Pope Francis has been a vocal supporter of nuclear disarmament.
Christian CND will be joining the protest at Lakenheath opposing the move, which has been called by CND. The demonstration is taking place at 1pm on Saturday 21 May, but we will be gathering from 1215 to pray against the move and also for efforts towards nuclear disarmament and peace around the world.
Join us as we pray against this move and continue to pray for peace around the world and an end to the threat of nuclear war.