‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God’ (The Bible. Matthew 5:9).
‘An eye for an eye, only ends up making the whole world blind’ (Gandhi).
HOM: Taking responsible risks
One part of the GCSE religious studies course we study is the ethics of war and peace. When I last taught it, it was with the background of the unfolding conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Now it is the Middle East.
Once again, our senses have been bombarded by imagery which has been truly disturbing, and it is important to make sure students are not overwhelmed by this and to look for signs of hope and ways in which people can help.
The Wychwood community have both students and staff who are feeling the impact of the conflict personally. And so we have sought to provide moments of silence in assembly time, when we as a united community can acknowledge and mark the suffering wrought upon so many in the conflict.
In addition, we will be seeking to support charities who are bringing aid to those who are suffering and hoping that through our international friendships made in Wychwood and the forthcoming peace conference, we will be nurturing the peacemakers of tomorrow.
A prayer for peace:
God of peace, bearer of hope,
we seek your help
for the peoples of the Middle East.
Quiet the clamour of war
and guide us towards peace.
Where there is hatred and division
sow seeds of calm and openness.
Where there is destruction
help us to rebuild.
Where children are crying
bring an end to tears.
Shelter your peoples and protect them
Guide them and keep them from harm.
Show us how to break down the barriers of history and fear
and breathe whispers of hope.
Amen (Linda Jones/Cafod).