The Big Sing for Peace with Archbishop Justin

Published on: 1 September 2018

It was Saint Augustine who is reputed to have said: "Those who sing pray twice".

We saw plenty of people singing their prayers during the Football World Cup! Corporate singing has the ability to bond people across all sorts of boundaries and goes deeper than just the physical experience – singing together is an activity which connects our heart, soul and mind.

Ephesians 5:19 says: “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” and we see the same thing in Colossians 3:13–16: the encouragement to sing comes on the heels of bearing with one another, forgiving one another, putting on love, being at peace as one united body of Christ, and teaching God’s Word to one another.

On Friday 9 November the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will visit King’s Lynn. An important component of his time in the town will be a large-scale event in King’s Lynn Minster involving local children in a memorable and meaningful musical event – ‘The Big Sing for Peace’.

When Archbishop Justin is in King’s Lynn, we will be just two days away from the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War, and this, combined with his passion for and expertise in reconciliation, lie behind the shaping of this event. Longing for peace and striving for it is something all human beings can share whatever their background: it will be very special to celebrate the town’s rich diversity by gathering together children and adults of all faiths and none, and representing many different cultures.

Emma Scarisbrick, Headteacher at St Michael’s C of E Academy, says: “The Big Sing for Peace is an opportunity for children in King’s Lynn to come together to understand a common aim for peace and what it means to us; from our past history and for our futures. Singing together is a positive and empowering act which provides us all with messages of hope and unity.”

The Minster will be filled with Year 6 pupils from the six nearby schools and academies who will come together to raise the roof in song. The Archbishop will respond in words, sharing inspiring stories of some peacemakers he has met in his travels across the globe and talking with the children briefly about reconciliation in its many forms. The event will end with a dramatic symbol of peace which we hope those present will remember for ever!

“King’s Lynn includes a strong migrant community, so we trust that God understands our prayers during the event which will be written in languages totally unknown to me!” comments The Revd Canon Christopher Ivory from Kings Lynn Minster. “For over a third of members of our schools and academies, English is not their first language, but in the schools and especially in the Minster, there are no divisions, we are at one, united in a common purpose with a common mind. That’s how it should be everywhere. Whatever the divisions of the past, the future is in singing together.”

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Overstrand remembers World War One

Tim Bennet looks at how the parish in Overstrand is playing its part in remembering those from their community who lost their lives in WW1.


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Harleston champions of peace

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We will remember them

To mark the centenary of World War One, Revd Keith Dally, Priest-in-Charge of the United Benefice of Kings Beck, set out in 2014 to research the names on the Rolls of Honour of the six Churches of the Benefice – Banningham, Colby, Felmingham, Skeyton, Suffield and Tuttington.


Meeting Edith – peace and turmoil combine in Norwich Cathedral

As many will know, WW1 national heroine Matron Edith Cavell is buried in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, a place she loved, having grown up in the village of Swardeston. Edith was born in the vicarage there in 1865. Janet Marshall, takes up the tale.


Reconciliation: The desire of my heart

Susanna Gunner shares Archbishop Justin's passion for reconciliation and offers an invitation to pray with him for peace in Norwich Cathedral this November.


A prophet for peace

Bishop Graham says: “I always get Sami to speak to our pilgrimage groups since he is engaged in peacemaking between Palestinians and Israeli Settlers. Scarcely anyone else is attempting such dialogue.” Sami shares his personal view of a Christ-centered peacemaking approach.


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