The Bishops' of England and Wales have called for next Wednesday December be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in the Holy Land. During their recent conference in Cardiff, the Bishops heard an appeal from the Bishops of the Middle East to join them in praying for peace. The Middle Eastern Bishops requested that Wednesday 22 December be observed as a "day of fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land." The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has warmly endorsed this call for prayer. The Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth and chairman of the International Affairs Department of the Bishops' Conference said: "At this time we are preparing to celebrate Christmas and the birthday of the Saviour, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. To be in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are suffering so much at this time will be a wonderful way of raising a powerful voice to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem.' May the Peace of Christ be with you as we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our Lord."