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Walk for Truce

16 November 2011 No Comment

Walk for Truce received via Julie Mansfield, Churches Together in Suffolk

Michael Bates, a Peer in the House of Lords, is currently walking nearly 4000 miles from Olympia to London to highlight the opportunities of the Olympic Truce, which was central to the foundation of the Olympic Games in 776BC, and aimed to provide a break from continual war. For 2012, we are asked to consider support, and local initiatives.

Read the letter below and visit www.walkfortruce.org .

Walk for Truce

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I write to draw your attention to an exciting opportunity to recapture the true Spirit of the Olympic Games in London 2012. Michael Bates is a Christian and has been serving as a Peer in the House of Lords since 2008. On the 22nd April he left Westminster and began a walk of nearly 4000 miles from Olympia to London to highlight the opportunities of the Olympic Truce.

The Olympic Truce was central to the foundation of the Olympic Games in 776BC, which aimed to provide a break from continual war by instituting seven days of peace either side of the games. In over 1000 years of the Ancient Games it was rarely broken. Yet, the Olympic Truce has become a purely symbolic part of the Games. Although all 193 Member States sign up to the UN Resolution on the Olympic Truce calling for “Member States to take the initiative to abide by the Truce, individually and collectively”, there is no evidence that signatories have sought put the Truce into practice.

Lord Bates has embarked upon the „Walk for Truce? to encourage the British government to be the first to take the truce seriously and to put forward concrete proposals on how the truce can be implemented. He has walked over 1500 miles and secured pledges from seven foreign governments to both sign and implement the Truce as well as gaining support from the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who expressed his desire “to make the most of that historical opportunity”. On a recent visit to Rome, His Holiness the Pope also thanked Lord Bates for all he had done for world peace.

If taken seriously, the truce offers a real chance to influence the local, national, and international communities. It can allow time for leaders to consider conflict resolution and establish dialogue in current conflicts. More immediately, the truce can provide a humanitarian window for the delivery of medical aid to vaccinate children, as was the case in the 1994 Norway Winter Olympic Games. At a local level, the Truce can also be used to tackle problems of violence, such as gang warfare and knife crime in London.

The vision of the Truce to use the Olympics to positively impact wider society is one that Christians can readily get alongside. Please consider supporting the „Walk for Truce? campaign, which can be done in a number of ways. First, please pray for Michael, for his safety and wellbeing as he continues his walk. Secondly, why not visit the „Walk for Truce? website at www.walkfortruce.org where you can leave messages of support and read Michael?s blog on the highs and lows of the walk thus far. Finally, and most importantly, please spread the news about the Olympic Truce and consider partnering with the „Walk for Truce? in petitioning the government to make the most of this historic opportunity. There are so many ways to put the truce into practice at a local level; what a difference it would make if all Christians across Britain took up initiatives to implement the Truce this summer.

For more information please do not hesitate to get in contact. Julia Spence is currently working as an assistant to Michael on the „Walk for Truce? and would be happy to help in any way.

Kind regards,

Gary Streeter MP

Chairman of the Walk for Truce Parliamentary Support Group

Email: julia.spence@parliament.uk

Tel: 020 7219 2414

Room 484, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London, SW1A 2LW

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