Pax Christi in peace service at Aldermaston

Bishop Thomas McMahon, vice-president of Pax Christi and Bishop of Brentwood Diocese, joined people from other faith traditions at a peace service at the faith gate of the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment this morning (15 February).
The day began early for many who took part in blockades of the many gates of Aldermaston, the site which builds and maintains nuclear warheads for Trident. The closure of the gates prevented many workers from entering the site for several hours.

Bishop McMahon read a poignant passage from Thomas Merton which included the words: "Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master us.  Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and destruction".

On 17 February, Ash Wednesday, Pax Christi members will again protest the UK's nuclear weapons programme at its annual Ash Wednesday liturgy of repentance at the Ministry of Defence in London.  The traditional symbols of the day, ash and charcoal, will be used in a peaceful procession and vigil outside the MoD.

This liturgy which has been taking place for more than twenty-five years, attracts support from Christians around the country. 

Both actions come in a week with Pax Christi UK and Pax Christi France issued a joint statement calling on their Governments to abandon their nuclear weapons programmes and set an example to others in this year, when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference takes place in New York in May.

According to Pax Christi, the UK and France, two of the nuclear weapons states, are in breech of their obligations under Article VI of the NPT which challenges them to engage in genuine actions for disarmament.

Ash Wednesday Gathering: meeting at 3pm in Embankment Gardens (near Horseguards Avenue and MoD buidlings)

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