Faith groups have promised to lead the fight against plans to renew the Trident nuclear system as they prepare to attend the biggest demonstration against nuclear weapons in the UK in a generation.
Leaders from a diverse range of Churches will be among speakers addressing the Stop Trident demonstration in central London on Saturday, 27th February, where they will join politicians from the Labour party, SNP and Plaid Cymru.
The demonstration is being viewed as the first step in a series of events aimed at engaging with ordinary people in the discussion of the ethics and legality of nuclear weapons. The teaching of many faith traditions contradicts the idea of security through nuclear weapons. Faith groups plan to gather for a short time of prayer at Hinde Street Methodist Church, London, before walking together behind the banner, ‘No Faith in Trident’.
At a rally to be held in Trafalgar Square following the march, faith leaders will present a multi-faith statement on nuclear weapons, which appeals for an end to world division in terms of nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states.
It calls on all states to make good their commitment to negotiations on the universal, legally verifiable and enforceable elimination of nuclear weapons.
‘We call on all nuclear weapon states to join in this endeavour,’ it reads. ‘We urge these states and the international community to develop a robust plan of action that will lead us to a world free of nuclear weapons.’
Those presenting the faith statement in Trafalgar Square include the Bishop Emeritus of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon; the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell; Vice President Designate of the Methodist Church, Rachel Lampard; Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, Paul Parker; Vice President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Mohammed Kozbar; and representative of Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Community, Rev Nagase.
The service and faith participation is co-ordinated by the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Methodist Peace Fellowship, Christian CND, Pax Christi, Quaker Peace & Social Witness.
Organisers of the march said it would send a strong message of growing support against renewing the nuclear weapons system.