Poppy field

Prayer for Peace

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Saskia Scott Lay Chaplain

In November we at St Bart’s were very blessed to have The Revd Bruce Hyde, along with the men’s group from the Parish of Bull Creek-Leeming, come to our East Perth site to do a service and a sausage sizzle. It was a beautiful service which brought a much-needed sense of stillness and peace to St Bart’s in the midst of this very troubling time in terms of international conflict.

Reflecting with some of the residents before and after the service really brought home the sadness and waste that is war, not just for the people who lost their lives, but also for those left behind. We also reflected on how meaningful it is to be able to commemorate all who have experienced war, especially when our own loved ones are included in that number. Most of all, the Remembrance Day service was a chance to pray and to hope for peace - for ourselves, our loved ones, and for the world.

As Christmas approaches, I find that same longing for peace stitched into the Advent season. I think of the promise in Isaiah chapter 2 verse 4: 'And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore'. Later in Isaiah we hear of a 'Prince of Peace' who will rule over the world in peace forever. In Advent we look forward to the coming of Christ Jesus, trusting that He is that Prince of Peace, and longing for the day when weapons might be repurposed in the service of life and growth.

At St Bart’s we have the privilege of acting as the hands and feet of our Prince of Peace, to give a measure of peace, and of hope, to those who live here. Our annual survey of residents revealed this year that St Bart’s is a stabilising place for people – most residents go from feeling they are in crisis mode to feeling much more stable once they move into our accommodation. The vast majority also agree or strongly agree that St Bart’s is a safe place to be. This is wonderful because we know that a sense of safety and stability are crucial for helping people rebuild their lives.

On another note, we have been SO grateful in this lead up to Christmas for the amazing generosity of the Anglican parishes around the Diocese of Perth as we have started receiving donations for our hamper appeal. These hampers help people feel loved and cared for, and that is absolutely priceless – so thank you to all who chipped in, your support is such a gift.

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