King’s Lynn Minster is filled to bursting with Year 6 pupils from the six nearby schools. They have come to join with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the culmination of his three-day visit here with a Big Sing for Peace.
They’re reflecting on issues of war and peace and focusing on Rwanda. Archbishop Justin is talking with Rwandan Richard Benda whose father was Tutsi, his mother Hutu. He is recalling what it was like to live through the genocide that ripped his country and his family apart. Richard and the Archbishop are exploring a poem he has written, their shared experiences in Rwanda and shared commitment to ‘end remembrance in embrace’.
The children are raising the roof with songs of peace they have been rehearsing ahead of the event. And during a time of gathered silence, focusing on the need for peace and peacemakers in our world, each school is letting a helium-filled dove balloon rise up to add focus to their prayers and longing for peace.
The service is now concluding with the Lord’s Prayer being prayed simultaneously in many different languages celebrating the town’s rich diversity by gathering together children and adults of all faiths and none and representing many different cultures. Around 40 per cent of primary school children in King’s Lynn use English as an additional language.