Concord Annual Inter-Faith Peace Service
Wednesday 13th October 2021 by Zoom
Order of Service
Music will be played and images projected by Leeds Brahma Kumaris before the service begins.

A very warm welcome to you all to this Annual Peace Service, organised by Concord in partnership with Leeds Peacelink.
We welcome especially the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, the Lady Mayoress Mrs Robina Kosar, and the Leeds Children’s Mayor, Samuel Hill. All of them will be taking part in the service.
I’ll say a little more about the Lord Mayor before he speaks to us.
The Children’s Mayor, Samuel, is a pupil at Carr Manor Community School. He was the winner in an election with 12 candidates in which about 3500 children in Leeds schools voted. Samuel’s manifesto was called ‘Be yourself, love yourself, respect all others’ — which could well be the sub-title for this Peace Service. Samuel is within a few days of finishing his term of office, so we’re very glad the timing has allowed him to join us tonight.
This is the second time for us to run the Peace Service by Zoom. The service is being recorded and will be shown on our website and maybe on Youtube. If you do not want to be seen, click on Stop Video or hit Alt+V. I  want to ask you now, please, to mute your mic (Alt+A). There are symbols for these at the bottom left hand side of your screen which will show up if you hover the mouse pointer in that direction. When your mic or webcam is off, there’ll be a red line through it. Muting the mic will avoid any background noises interfering with the service. If you have a speaking role, remember to turn both mic and video on just before your turn comes, and if you are joining aloud in the prayers.
You can also find all the words of the service and fuller instructions for Zoom on our website at
I suggest you open the script in a different window from the Zoom and resize them side by side on your screen. Or, if you find it more convenient, print the script out as a hard copy.
We always begin our Concord meetings with a short period of reflective silence, and that is what we will do now.

Asghar Khan was an 11-year old boy who couldn’t speak English when he arrived in Britain from Kashmir. He was educated at  Cross Flatts Park Primary School,  Cockburn High School and  Leeds City College. He never imagined in those days that he would ever become Lord Mayor of Leeds: indeed he encountered a lot of prejudice and hostility against the Kashmiri community. But he was determined to make a difference— and he has, through his dedicated public service. For a decade he has been a much respected Labour councillor for Burmantofts and Richmond Hill and has served on many committees. It is a mark of the regard in which he is held, that his fellow councillors have elected him to be the 127th Lord Mayor of Leeds.
We are honoured to welcome him and his wife, the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Robina Kosa, to share in this Peace Service on behalf of the City.

Good evening. My name is Councillor Asghar Khan and I am the Lord Mayor of Leeds.  I am delighted to join your Annual Peace Service tonight and although we are still not able to come together in person it is still important that we have this opportunity to convey the important message of peace and unity.
Leeds is one of over 5,000 cities that participates in the Mayors of Peace programme and through this we have supported peace events such as the commemoration of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki event that was held in August in Park Place.  I was honoured to attend this event which I found very moving and I was able to lay a wreath on behalf of the city in remembrance.
Our city has a long history of peace-making, peace people and peace action, with buildings, organisations and individuals associated with peace through the ages.
We continue to be a proud diverse multi-ethnic, multicultural city in which there is a history of good relationships between different communities. We are a City of Sanctuary and compassion and have a long standing commitment to welcome and support asylum seekers and refugees fleeing from conflict and oppression.  Like so many, I was saddened by the situation in Afghanistan and the council is already working with other councils across the region to welcome families to Leeds from there.
We are also fortunate to have many beautiful churches, chapels, meeting halls, mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras and temples around the city. 
Every couple of years, Concord organises a Walk of Friendship visiting    places of worship from several faiths, enabling people to learn something of their similarities as well as differences and to establish friendships among the different faiths. I do hope that there will be the opportunity to participate in such an event during my term of office.
It is always better to light a candle then curse the darkness and I am so pleased to see representatives from different religions across the city present and lighting candles for peace on behalf of their faith communities tonight.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of tonight’s event.
I invite you now to join with me in saying a prayer of thanksgiving. It is on page 3 of your booklet. Please say the words that are in bold print.

(Join in the words in bold print at home, if you like.)

For the expanding grandeur of Creation,
worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies,
filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations:
We give thanks this day.

For this fragile planet earth,
its times and tides, its sunsets and seasons:
We give thanks this day.

For the joy of human life,
its wonders and surprises, its hopes and achievements:
We give thanks this day.

For our human community, our common past and future hope, our oneness transcending all separation,
We give thanks this day.

For our capacity to work for peace and justice in the midst of hostility and oppression:
We give thanks this day.

For high hopes and noble causes, for faith without fanaticism, for understanding of views not shared:
We give thanks this day.

For all who have laboured and suffered for a fairer world,
who have lived so that others might live in dignity and freedom:
We give thanks this day.

For human liberty and sacred rites;
for opportunities to change and grow, to affirm and choose:
We give thanks this day.

We pray that we may live not by our fears but by our hopes, not by our words but by our deeds.
Mishkan T’Filah, A Progressive Siddur, p.257
World Union for Progressive Judaism Edition

The Breaking Down Barriers Ambassadors are a steering group of young people working together to organise activitie which tackle which and bring  young people together  in Harehills.
We welcome them now to give us a presentation of what racism and peace mean to them.  The presenters include Aziza Akhtar, Kiran and Anam Hussain, and Guy Davis.Their script is also on our website.
Good evening, everyone! My name is Kiran Hussain and tonight me & my sub-team will be addressing racism and how this relates to the key concept of peace. We have three young people with me who will be speaking to you about this topic in their own perspective and words of what racism/peace means to them. First off, we’ll be showing you a short video of two people and what they think racism means to them:
**video 1 plays
On behalf of Guy, who wasn’t able to join us tonight has kindly recorded his paragraph for him to share with us.
Guy’s Paragraph:
Peace to me means the absence of violence, hate, war from others and my country. Peace to me means compassion from others and how that allows me to thrive as an individual. Peace to me means the acceptance of religious practices and people of different faiths who hold different beliefs. This relates to my role in BDB (which stands for breaking down barriers) and is an organisation that aims to promote peace and equality in the Harehills community by integrating young people from different backgrounds and faiths. By doing so, our aim is to break these barriers down and to remove the stereotypes that young people may be told about or to believe in, therefore it is important that we sustain the diverse community that Harehills is known for.

Fabehahs’s (Ali) Paragraph:
Peace. Such a small word, yet such a huge meaning. The word “peace” itself is “a state of harmony, quiet or calm that is not disturbed by anything at all.” For example, like a still pond with no ripples. But peace? How can we receive peace within ourselves? So, I guess I must be the person to say it. There are all these influencers out there who say follow your heart and dreams. But there is one problem. If your heart is in a million pieces. Which piece, do you follow? That is why I follow the statement “Peace of the mind,” which to me is the secret to life. If we have too many expectations of ourselves then we will be left with disappointments. We are all human beings, so we do not need expectations, so we can have room to grow as an individual and start breaking down barriers between ourselves and others. This leads me to “BDB”- Breaking Down Barriers. Our organization of BDB is a mixture of people from all diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. This is a huge advantage that we have mixed people as it can help us to tackle racism amongst our community Harehills. Our organization encourages peace itself and fairness within our society. Within this, we as ambassadors are also holding a youth club to get more engaged with our community physically and removing stereotypes and categorizing people from the unconscious bias, we never thought we had. We need to be careful with this since we can break these stereotypes at any second, but it can take a long time to fix. It is also important to realise that young people in our community are matured because of pain, not because of age. Some of the youth in Harehills have matured early because life showed them the worst side at such an early age. This is why I believe that it is so sad that nobody understands our generation but ourselves. It is important that we as young people are helping other young people out there, as we as ambassadors all know that adults focus on the negative part of being a teenager, drinking, sneaking out, smoking or watching TV. But they never want to acknowledge the fact that the youth do that- to distract themselves from the world they don’t want to be in.
Azizah’s (Akhtar) Paragraph:
The essence of peace is dictated by the way we run our lives. We can choose to eliminate the purposes we find reasons for war, sustaining a sense of tranquillity within our community and self. As of BDB, the youth club is based on connecting different races and communities within each other, diminishing probable reasons for cause for disruption as of occurring recently and in the past. We have seen that from our own group and within my own experience of forming this group from having to mix Romas to Kurdish people- to be able to formulate a youth project.
Experiences like these have arisen to question our initial opinion on some of the people I may have not originally approached- breaking down the security we may have built around certain people because of the things we are taught and the assumptions we hear. Having multiple backgrounds of different races, religions, experiences and so forth has permitted for social stances to be broken- while allowing us to learn and accept that we are not so different from each other. While we have a unique demeanour, allowing us individuals to thrive in our own ways, we are built in the same way with our own experiences. If we aren’t going to allow ourselves to open up to different people, then how are we going to bring change to the future? Without trying to change our mindsets (having the aspect of hate) not only diminishes the purpose we want to achieve, but also makes us
purpose here right now a questionable state as to why and what is our purpose here.
With this all we need to learn what peace means as a whole but also individually within ourselves. Peace on a wide scale is ensuring we accept those that differ from us such as skin and religion. We as a group are advancing to achieve this as to show others how people’s backgrounds do not affect who they are as a person, as it’s our decision to do what we like with the knowledge and opinions we form. Eradicating ideas such as racism not only accomplishes, but also acceptance because without acceptance there is no peace. On a personal level, peace is about acceptance. We need to accept that we humans are not perfect. We need to accept that we all make mistakes. We need to accept that only we can create peace for ourselves. If that means standing up for ourselves then so be it. If we need to fight, then so be it. If that means seeking justice, then so be it. But peace is ultimately about freedom of disturbance and acceptance.
Now, we will be showing you another video of some young children speaking about their opinions and experiences of racism.
** video 2 plays**
Kiran’s (Hussain) Paragraph:
As BDB, we have a community of Czech, Roma, Arab, Kurdish, Bengali, Kashmiri, Pakistani and Gambian young people- who are connected by our youthfulness and our love of Harehills. We are proud to go beyond the labels, challenges, assumptions and unite wholeheartedly for common causes. If we don’t, hate as fear will consume our self-created community. So many social and societal family and study issues form a shared experience: that of growing up. It is these experiences that make us human, vulnerable- at times naive, nervous and also curious. And our future is warmer, if we grow together and build for a more resilient and compassionate future. That comes with seeing the human in each of us. Who pains and bleeds, makes mistakes and learns, needs and desires. After all, it’s our Harehills, our Leeds, our city of sanctuary that welcomes so many who as they prosper and grow, must prepare to welcome new friends and neighbours and thus the cycle of compassion must continue. And we are proud to be a part of that.
Thank you.
Line by line, each of us will be reciting this poem written and tweeted by Khakan Quraishi summarising the evil and effect of allowing racism within a shared community.
Azizah: Racism curs deep
Anam: Permeates the skin
Fabehah: Delves under the layers of colonialkism and culture
Kiran: Rages through veins
Azizah: Shouts like an ignoramus
Azizah: Racism cuts deep
Anam: Whispers like a noise
Fabehah: Silent and corrupted
Kiran: Scoffs at reasoning
Azizah: Places oneself on a higher platform
Anam: Packs a punch of bigotry
Fabehah: Screams under the reign of supremacy
Kiran- Silently drowns the other with a skewered sense of democracy.
Azizah: Blindsides the vulnerable
Anam- Exploits the insecure
Fabehah: Closes in and whitewashes the truth.

To finally end our presentation, we are going to say some quotes, which mean a lot to us.
Guy- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Fabehah A- “No expectations, no disappointments.”
Azizah A- “We have had enough.”
Kiran H- “It is not enough to be quietly non-racist, now is the time to be vocally anti-racist.” Thank you for listening and joining us this evening.

CHAIR: Many thanks to all the young people who contributed to that presentation, and to Adam Aslam and the other leaders who are working with them. It is good to know that such wonderful efforts are being made to unite a part of our city that has an enormous richness of diversity. So, well done and thank you for your gift to us tonight.

 Shortly we will be lighting candles, as always from The World Peace Flame. Here’s Sue Owen to tell us about it.


Thank you once again to Concord for organising this very special and much treasured annual service for peace, bless you. Welcome to everyone and thank you for being here for the united purpose of peace.
We are as ever delighted to be here with the World Peace Flame and its simple message, for all, “one flame uniting people worldwide, in Peace.” We continue to be very proud of being home to England’s 1st WPF, here in Garforth, Leeds, and it continues to be a major peaceful influence in our community and schools.
This year we completed another major project which involved all of our 6 schools. Together we created the Garforth Schools World Peace Trail. This is a wonderful 8 stage peace trail, which is easily accessible, and has a Peace Stone for every country of the world. The children have painted the country flag and name on each stone, and every one is, quite simply amazing!! The trail starts outside the Garforth Academy High School and ends at the Diamond Jubilee Garden, which is home to England’s 1st WPF. The children also produced an information sheet for each country with some very interesting and amusing facts! It has been a wonderful community project, once again bringing all of our schools together in unity and peace. The Peace Trail was officially opened on 31st July 2021 by our local councillors and is dedicated to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We invite you all to visit Garforth and walk the peace trail.
Having the pleasure of interacting with all of our schools and our young peacemakers of the future is a real joy, and soul affirming,with each one of us aspiring to ‘Be the Peace we wish to see in the world’ and I truly believe we can all be that. Thank you. Om Shante.


CHAIR: We come now to the lighting of the candles. They are standing on a table at the Brahma Kumaris’ Centre in Weetwood. On the table is the beautiful Peace Cloth that was created and embroidered by members of Concord Women’s Peace-ing Together Group back in 2014.
RAQUEL:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Baha’i community.

CHERRY:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Brahma Kumaris community.

CELIA:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Buddhist community.

DAVID:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Christian community.

HEMA:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Hindu community.

SIMON:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Jewish community.

ANAM:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Muslim community.

TRINA:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Pagan community.

HARSIMRAN & SEVA:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of the Leeds Sikh community.

SAMUEL:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of all the children of Leeds.

LADY MAYORESS:  This candle is lit for peace and justice on behalf of all the people of Leeds.


9.    Affirmations
CHAIR: Commonwealth Day is celebrated every March. Among other things, the celebration includes some affirmations that seemed to us very appropriate for our Peace Service, so I invite to join me now in saying them together.

We affirm that every person-of whatever colour, class or creed-possesses unique worth and dignity.
We affirm our respect for the world and pledge that we will be its stewards by caring for every part of it.
We affirm our belief in justice for everyone and peace between peoples and nations.
We affirm faith and love as the foundation of all human relationships.
We affirm that we each belong to our own nation and to the whole human family: to the service of both we pledge ourselves.
We affirm that diversity is a gift to humanity and that all peoples are worthy of respect; in pursuit of which, we pledge to promote understanding and reconciliation in our communities and around the world.

CHAIR: A representative from each of the faith communities will now read some words from their own faith tradition.

         10. Readings by representatives of Faith Communities:      

Bahá’í   - Kayla Chimhanda
Oh, peoples and nations! Arise and work and be happy! Gather together under the tent of the unity of mankind!
…strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God, and seek always to do that which is right and noble. Enrich the poor, raise the fallen, comfort the sorrowful, bring healing to the sick, reassure the fearful, rescue the oppressed, bring hope to the hopeless, shelter the destitute!
Baha’I Writings

Brahma Kumari – Sarah Trueman
A Meditation for Peace
I feel peace in the soft waves on the ocean shore
In the sleeping face of a child
In a tall tree, leaves gently rustling in a breeze
In a golden red sunset.
I feel the peace that is inside me, when I accept, understand and forgive myself.
I experience peace when I find gratitude and contentment.  
At the heart of who I am is peace.
I am a spiritual being, an eternal light, unchanging, still.
I am a soul, and the core of my being is peace.
Beyond this world is my eternal home, a dimension of light and unending peace.
Here, I feel safe, secure.
In the home dwells the Supreme Soul, the One who is ever peaceful, the heart of peace for the whole world.
As I connect to this Ocean of Peace with my thoughts, I am reminded that my true nature is peace, the ancient memory of peace returns.
Then connected as one family of souls through this spirit of peace, I radiate peace to Mother Earth and to all the souls of the world.
Om Shanti, I am peace

Buddhist – Celia Chambers
Metta Sutra – The Discourse on Loving-Kindness
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and kilful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.


Christian  -   Catherine Margham
The Quaker Peace Testimony
Our principle is, and our practices have always been, to seek peace, and ensue it, and to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God, seeking the good and welfare, and doing that which tends to the peace of all. All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world. That spirit of Christ by which we are guided is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil, and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ which leads us into all truth will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdom of this world.

24.04 Quaker Faith And Practice Declaration to Charles 11, 1660

Hindu -  Hema Yadev
Dear God,
Lead us from illusion to reality.
Lead us from darkness to light.
Lead us from death to immortality

May all be happy.
May all be free of disease.
May all experience the auspicious and
May all see that which is good
May no one suffer.
Aum Peace, peace, peace! (Aum, Shanti Shanti Shanti)
Dear God,
Protect us from fear
Remove all forms of vice and sorrow
Give us those virtues that are dignifying
May peace prevail everywhere
May the people always be happy
Aum, Peace, peace, peace!
(Aum. Shanti Shanti Shanti)
We are the inheritors of a beautiful blue planet. It is our home, and right now, our only home. Human life is rare. Along with the air, soul, and water of our planet, let us strive to preserve each other. When one sees God in everyone then the sentiments of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ are born, it means, “the world is one family.” Then no one is seen to be different.
Aum. Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jewish – Helen Michael
We bless the Living God who conquers strife, who removes all hatred, and brings harmony to all creation. We praise the Eternal Being we cannot see, who binds together all creatures with unseen threads of service and of love. We honour the One who has brought us from ways of cruelty  and shown us the ways of kindness. We bend low before the majesty which teaches us humility and respect for the smallest things in creation. We glorify the Source of Peace, for peace is the gate to our perfection, and in perfection is our rest.
Eternal God, open our eyes to the beauty of the world and its goodness. Let us be servants of your peace which brings all life together: the love of parent and child, the loyalty of friends, and the companionship of animals and people. On this day, let us know such harmony and recognise your presence in it. With all creation we praise and unify your name. Amen.

From Forms of Prayer for Jewish Worship Vol 1, published by the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain 1977.

Muslim – Kiran Hussain
This remarked the spiritual poet Sadi shirazi :
‘‘Have mercy upon thy feeble neighbours that thou mayest not be injured by a strong foe.’
With a powerful arm and the strength of the wrist
To break the five fingers of a vulnerable man is sin.
Let him be afraid who shows no care to the fallen
Because if he falls who will wish to take hold of his hand.
Whoever sows bad seed and expects good fruit
Has cudgelled his brains for nought and begotten vain imaginations.
Extract the cotton from thy ears and deal justly with thy people’s needs.
And if thou failest to do so, there is a day of ethical retribution.
Remember this mantra of being :
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the category  of a man.
For said the prophet (peace be upon him) arriving to his new community in Madina “ spread peace between you and break bread as one”...

Pagan – Trina Taylor-Wallbank

A Psalm for Gaia
Written by Dolores Stewart Riccio.

The Earth is my mother, I shall not want.
She nurtures me in green pastures;
she freshens me with flowing waters.
She restores my body and awakens my soul.
Although I walk in the shadow
of changing seasons and passing time,
I will not fear death,
for the essence of life is within me,
the peace and beauty of Earth comfort me.
She teaches me to harvest her abundant gifts,
she fills my heart with compassion,
I drink from the cup of simple pleasures.
As I look to the skies with wonder
at the immensity of the universe,
I know I am blessed beyond measure
to live all the days of my life
in the bountiful house of Gaia.
Blessed Be!

Sikh – Gurmukh Singh Deagon

This Shabad is by Guru Amar Daas Ji in Raag Bilaaval
Pannaa (Page) 853 of Guru Granth Shaib JI,
Sikh World Peace Prayer
Salok, Third Mehla:
The world is going up in flames – shower it with Your Mercy, and save it!
Save it, and deliver it, by whatever method it takes.
The True Guru has shown the way to peace, contemplating the True Word of the Shabad.

Nanak knows no other than the Lord, the Forgiving Lord. ||1||

Sikh Prayer for the Environment. (Page) 8 of Guru Granth Shaib JI,
Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.
Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.
According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.
Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows
O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them! ||1||

10.  Interlude: Buddhist Chanting
CHAIR: Jay Simpson and David Midgley, who are members of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in Holbeck, a Temple in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, have made a recording of themselves chanting three mantras. We’re going to watch it now.

Mantra of Tara, the female Buddha of Compassion, to bring swift help whenever needed and overcome obstacles:    OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

Mantra of the Medicine Buddha, to bring healing and success:    TAYATA OM BEKANDZE BEKANDZE MAHA BEKANDZE BEKANDZE RANDZA SAMUDGATE SOHA

Mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha), to bring spiritual understanding.    TAYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHAMUNIYE SOHA

CHAIR: Our thanks to David and Jay for that. David (who is on our Concord Executive) can’t be with us tonight because he is heavily engaged in organising The Kinder Leeds Festival, which was launched on Sunday. There is a lot going on in a festival of kindness, compassion and wellbeing, and this Peace Service is one of the elements listed in the festival programme. You can find out more by looking at the website

We’re going to have two prayers now: read by Cynthia and Hema.

(Join in the words in bold print at home, if you like.)

Cynthia Dickinson reads a prayer about the pandemic:

         We grieve for those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic; for those separated from family and friends for months at a time; for livelihoods adversely affected, and for those whose mental and physical health have suffered. Be alongside them in their sorrow, and as the world returns to some sort of normality may they not be forgotten. We give thanks for the heroic efforts of those who are working tirelessly in research and in the medical profession to bring healing and comfort to those affected by the coronavirus, and for those who are supporting the vulnerable and the lonely.
         Make us more compassionate and loving people to care for each other as you would have us do. Amen.

Susan Gale – Methodist Peace Fellowship.
In the Week of Prayer For World Peace 2021-2022 booklet.

        Hema Yadev reads a Hindu prayer for peace

Dear God,
May the heavens be peaceful.
May space and the sky be peaceful.
May peace spread over the entire Earth and pervade the waters.
May peace glow in all herbs and vegetation.
May there be peace in the Absolute.
May there be peace everywhere and always –
Peace and nothing but peace.
May peace grow within in us.
Aum, Peace, Peace, Peace.
Aum, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

12.  Chair’s final comments

CHAIR: Our service is nearly at an end. This is an opportunity for me now to say a big thank you to a lot of people who have made this service possible:

Normally at the end of a Peace Service we would have a group photo of all the participants. We obviously can’t do that on Zoom. However, if everybody would turn on their camera at the very end we might be able to make a collage.

During his time as Lord Mayor, Cllr Khan has chosen to support Leeds Hospitals Charity, with a particular focus on raising awareness and funds for renal and diabetes services, and we hope that you will all make a contribution by giving a donation to the Lord’s Mayor’s Charity Appeal.
You can donate online to the Lord Mayor’s Charity at, or send a cheque payable to ‘The Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal’ to:

The Lord Mayor’s Office, 1st Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

So finally some words of challenge and blessing:


13. Chair reads a prayer of blessing:

God, keep our tongues from causing harm and our lips from telling lies.
Let us be silent if people curse us; our souls still humble and at peace with all.
Open our hearts to wise teaching and give us the will to practise it.
May the plans and schemes of those who wish us harm come to nothing.
May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you,
O God, our rock and our redeemer.
May the Maker of peace in the highest bring this peace upon us and upon all the world. Amen.

Adapted from Shabbat Morning Service in
Forms of Prayer, The Movement for Reform Judaism

CHAIR: Our service is ended.
Go in peace. Now please make sure your camera and mic are on and give us all a wave, speaking words of peace in whatever language you choose:

Shalom, salaam, shanti, peace be with you.


Special thanks to Jay Anderson for hosting the Zoom meeting, and to Manish Patel, Susan Balmforth, Valerie Bowker and David Goodman of the Brahma Kumaris for background music and images and the setting up of the candles.