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Bringing words of peace to life through music


Peace Direct supporter Helene Richards recounts a performance of The Peacemakers recently put on by The Billingshurst Choral Society, in aid of Peace Direct.

  • Published

    8 February 2014
  • Written by

    Helene Richards

A moving and exciting evening’s music took place at St Clement Dane’s Church in London last month as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival. The Festival is open to any choir wishing to participate, and we were given a performance of Karl Jenkins’s powerful work, The Peacemakers. Jenkins used the words of numerous iconic peacemakers, such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi and the Dalai Lama as well as text from different religions and pertinent poetry.

The Billingshurst Choral Society, founded in 1986 by George Jones who is still their conductor, sang with great feeling and energy. A choir of a hundred voices in such a beautiful space was very stirring.

The church, originally built by the Danes in the 9th century, survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was in such a bad state by 1680 it was demolished and rebuilt by 1682. Unfortunately it did not survive the bombs of 1941 and, apart from the walls and tower, was destroyed. In 1953, appeals to rebuild it were put in motion and today stand a truly ornate and beautiful church, dedicated to the RAF.

The proceeds of the concert were shared between the Brandenburg Festival and Peace Direct and the organisers also ran a collection in aid of the charity. This was the first venture of this kind for Peace Direct and Ruth Tidy, who was responsible for the charity’s presence, was pleased with the result. Peace Direct are actively looking for other musical events that are willing to help fundraise for Peace Direct’s vital work – if you can help please get in touch with [email protected].


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