What a fantastic day we had on Saturday 17th June with the Coleshill Great Get Together and Peace Festival, here in Coleshill Town.
The day started behind the scenes with Mr. Khurram Ahmad driving off to Snowdonia, North Wales to collect a light from the World Peace Flame (in a miner’s lamp) and bring it back to Coleshill to start the Coleshill Peace Festival. At 12.30pm the Town Mayor, Cllr. Tony Battle received the flame at the Old Market Hall where all parties involved in the event shared their thoughts and aims for this occasion.
The background to this shared event is two fold. Firstly, to acknowledge the anniversary of the tragic death of Jo Cox MP, murdered in her hometown Birstall, West Yorkshire whilst trying to build community, integration, diversity and peace within her own constituency. From her sad death, her family set up the Jo Cox Foundation, which arranged a national “Great Get Together” to bring people together in love, peace and community to continue her work. Secondly, the working alliance of Coleshill Churches Together, led by Reverend Nick Parker, Coleshill Town Council and Michael Muzaffer Clarke of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK who have been building relations to improve the understandings of the Muslim faith and build better relationships within local communities, all led to this combined Coleshill event. As Jo Cox said in her maiden speech to the House of Commons, “we have far more in common, than that which divides us”
The “Wow Factor” was created with a new partnership with MKD Adventures who agreed to manage and run an eye-catching, fundraising, abseiling spectacular down the Coleshill Parish Church Tower! Everyone attending on the day was encouraged to bring food and picnics to share together in an act of both a collective sharing and unity.
The event closed with a multi-faith service held in the Parish Church which included songs, readings and poems reflecting peace and unity. The whole day was based on bringing people together to build on the core beliefs that we all share within our towns and communities, these being of peace, compassion, unity, acceptance, non-violence, and love.
By the end of the day, 21 brave super heroes had abseiled down the Church tower, raising over £1000 for the Jo Cox Foundation, the World Peace Flame had been accepted into our Coleshill community, delicious food had been shared, sun cream applied and voices heard in the church speaking of the many beliefs that link and join us all.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who assisted, gave up their time, or their money, or by embracing new friendships, or by sharing their food or just by getting together to make change in the world.
The inspiration for Coleshill’s Great Get Together & Peace Festival day was inspired by Lao Tzu’s poem:
If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours, there must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.
This is Matthew’s piece….
About two months ago I went to Red Ridge activity centre with my school and abseiled down a 20 metre rock face. Little did I know that soon I would be abseiling off a 40 metre structure a bit closer to home.
On 17th June I abseiled down Coleshill Parish Church. It was awesome! A professional group had rigged up some ropes and if you could raise £40 you could abseil down the church tower with the money going to the Jo Cox Foundation. I was sponsored £90 and altogether it raised over £1000.
When I was up on the tower about to go over the edge I was quite excited but also terrified. I think the hardest part was getting over the edge and once I was doing it I really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again. I think it is a great achievement and obviously it is for a good cause.
I suppose it’s good I’m not too scared of heights!