Archbishop begins Middle East peace vigil at York Minster

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The Archbishop of York has launched a week-long fast and vigil for world peace.

Dr John Sentamu is planning to pray on the hour every hour, from 6am to 6pm, each day until next Sunday at York Minster.

He said the vigil, in St John’s Chapel at the Minster, would show “solidarity with the suffering people of our world, particularly in the Middle East”.

In 2006 the archbishop camped in the Minster for a similar peace vigil.

Dr Sentamu, speaking about the Middle East conflict, said: “Please stop all this butchering, it’s just gone on too long, longer than I have been on this Earth.

“I hope there’ll be peace. I hope they will stop thinking that by violence they will win the war.

“When you respond to violence with violence, you increase greater darkness on a night already devoid of stars.”

Dr Sentamu will sleep at the Minster during the vigil, but said he would not take a tent this year “to show solidarity with the homeless”.

Throughout the prayers, the archbishop is encouraging individuals to have a white linen cloth at hand to serve as a reminder of peace.

The Archbishop will use the following prayer cycle: Three Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy) are said in succession, followed by the Lord’s Prayer. This cycle is repeated three times.

In 2006 the Archbishop ended his week-long vigil by calling on the international community to renew its efforts to work for a resolution to the conflict in the Middle East which would conclude with sustainable peace.

And he asked that all parties worked towards an environment that would produce a sense of inclusion, safety and civic society in Britain.

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