Pax Christi members will join others for a morning prayer service outside of Church House Conference Centre in London this Thursday, 1 November, All Saints Day.
The purpose of the vigil and prayer time is to call on the Church of England to take a lead on opposing the arms trade by speaking up against any hosting of arms traders in conference facilities linked to the Church of England and by taking an active lead in opposing the use of drones.
The Conference Centre at Church House is hosting a two-day 'Air Power Conference' organised by RUSI in association with the Royal Air Force and is sponsored by six arms companies, (including BAE Systems and General Atomic) all of them linked to the manufacture and sale of drones. http://www.rusi.org/airpowerconference
Pax Christi has written to the Conference Centre and to the Council of the Corporation of Church House expressing its deep concern at the association of the Centre and the Church of England with the Conference.
Members of Christian CND, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Pax Christi and Christianity Uncut will gather along with Christians and non-Christians at 7.45am for an 8am prayer service in from of the Conference Centre in Deans Yard.
CAAT have advised those concerned to send this message or one like it to the Archbishop of Canterbury:
FAO: The office of the Archbishop
Dear Archbishop Rowan,
Re: Air Power Conference 2012 at Church House Conference Centre
I am deeply concerned that Church House Conference Centre is hosting an event sponsored by some of the world's largest arms companies. This is inconsistent with the strong moral position set out in the Church of England Defence Investments Policy, 2010.
The conference focus suggests that it will be used to promote continued high military spending and the use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly known as drones), which Right Revd Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton says “reduce death to the level of a computer game”.
As President of the Corporation of the Church House, I ask for your assurance that the conference centre will never again host events which support and legitimise the arms industry.