WPF news from Leeds

Earlier this year 5 primary schools took part in the Garforth Peace Art Project. The children were invited to offer out the hand of peace and friendship from each school and present what peace means to them and what they can do for peace.

Our future is in wonderful hands it seems. Between them they produced over 550 pieces of inspiring artwork. Below is a selection from East Garforth, Strawberry Fields &  St Benedict’s primary schools. Thank you amazing inspirational children and all of their teachers.

This should whet your appetite to get involved.

Since its installation in April 2017, the W.P.F. in Garforth has been embraced in a truly amazing way.

First Peace Assembly at East Garforth Primary School November 2017

All of our 5 primary schools, and 4 full year groups of our high school, have all enjoyed  Peace Assemblies, with insight into the history of the peace flame and ways to bring peace into their lives on a daily and ongoing basis.

We have given out over 3,000 tea light candles lit from the W.P.F. to the school children and staff of all schools.

The schools are delighted with the message of peace and kindness and wish to continue to work alongside us with ongoing projects.

On 28th April 2018 we celebrated the first anniversary of the Garforth W.P.F.

1st Anniversary 28th April 2018 of Garforth WPF with local schools

This was a very well attended event in the Miner’s Welfare Hall.  It included participation from local schools and school children who gave readings and reflections on what peace means to them.

Our local councillors attended along with Garforth in Bloom members, and many members of the community, including the community choir.

The event proceeded to the Garforth Peace Flame, where a new plaque was unveiled and a dedication and minutes silence for peace was honoured by all. Local press covered the event.

Peace Assembly Ninelands Lane Primary School March 2018

We have regular dedications at the peace flame, including its local anniversary, its global anniversary, U N International Day of Peace, Remembrance Sunday etc, all of which include our local community. It is also included in Garforth in Bloom’s annual judging.

In Armistice week, 8th November 2018, the first Garforth Annual Peace Lantern Walk was organised.  We invited all schools to create a peace lantern and with the help of Strawberry Fields Primary school Head Teacher Mrs. S. Mumby, and staff, along with Mrs. R. Binns from East Garforth Primary, we were able to create a wonderful peaceful gathering.

Over 300 children/parents attended, from most of the schools, with readings for peace at the school followed by a wonderful walk and peaceful procession to the Garforth Peace Flame, where everyone dedicated a minutes silence to peace and Armistice Day. The event was helped by local police and Garforth in Bloom Volunteers, who all said how beautiful the procession of light looked all the way along our Main Street!  A beautiful event and the feedback was amazing, so Garforth is really looking forward to this annual event.

Our local community continue to visit the Garforth Peace Flame and enjoy the peace and beauty of the flame and the garden along with taking a piece of peace away with them, (in the form of the tea light candles in the monument) or lighting them around the monument.

Kindness box at the peace flame

Peace and kindness has also been inspired by our younger generation, when in summer 2018 a young girl placed a treasure box of kindness near the flame. This box contained small gifts with the invitation to take one and leave another, such a beautiful idea and it has really expanded.  With more youngsters becoming part of it. The kindness box is now an everyday feature of the Garforth Peace Flame.

We are very active with the W.P.F. and have been for over 15 years in and around Leeds. It has been in our local church since 2014, it is used at the Annual Holocaust Service every January in Leeds Town Hall, it is part of Leeds City Council Peacelink Group and present at Hiroshima & Nagasaki Service each August.

It is also displayed at the Royal Armouries each year for Armistice week, the only museum in the U.K to display it as a live exhibit, since 2010.

For over 15 years it has, and continues to be, the centre piece of the Annual Concord Interfaith Peace Service, held at the Civic Hall, with the Lord Mayor and representatives of all the faiths in Leeds.

The WPF on the Garforth War Memorial

In 2018 it spent the whole year on display in York Minster as a dedication to peace and as part of the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1.

It was part of an Interfaith Peace Vigil in Bramley, Leeds, which involved many places of worship, and it was placed on the Bramley War Memorial on Remberance Sunday in a dedication and representation of Peace.

It was also placed on the Garforth War Memorial on the same day for the same purpose.

The WPF at Diwali.

The W.P.F. is also embraced by the Brahma Kumaris  who invite us every year to their Diwali Celebration, with the peace flame as a main focus, it was at one of these events they were inspired for their amazing  Bangalore Peace Project in 2014 attended by Savitri, and which had over 3,000 students and included the lighting of the W.P.F. for the first time in India. (taken from their website)  It is also part of their  new year eve’s celebration, as well as incorporating it themselves with their work for peace.

Also as part of L.C.C. Peacelink Group, we are looking at becoming a City of Peace here in Leeds.

It is widely supported and promoted by the Garforth Community, it features in the local library, and local community café and Miner’s Welfare Hall. Garforth is very proud and supportive, of England’s 1st World Peace Flame.

We are delighted at Garforth’s embrace of this special flame and we are also having a huge influence on our nearby villages too……

Therefore, on Saturday 15th December 2018 a WPF monument was established in our nearby village of Scholes. Their team engineered and constructed the beautiful monument fuelled by the inspiration of Parish Councillor Dr. Stella Walsch and The Garforth Peace Flame.