On 11th May 2024, APF joined with others around the UK to protest and raise awareness of the siting of US nuclear weapons again on UK soil after their removal 15 years ago.  The demonstration at the gate of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk (where construction is underway to receive the new missiles) saw a group of local people declare the area a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’.  As part of the event, Christian CND and APF held a brief worship service. The text is below.

We pray together: CALL US, Lord Jesus to seek your way of peace and proclaim it to the nations. A peace that seeks security through love, justice, cooperation, and respect. A peace that has as its ultimate security our trust in and love of God.

ALL: Nuclear Defence declares our preference for security rather than life – SILENCE

ALL: Nuclear Defence declares our enslavement to fear rather than freedom – SILENCE

ALL: Nuclear Defence declares our preference for risking all life on our planet rather than facing our fears – SILENCE (words of Jerry Hughes, SJ)

Reading: Psalm 33 v 10-18

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (NIV)

1) Let us raise our voice

for the sake of the planet,

for the earth we love

to be free from fear;

we will take a stand

for our friends and neighbours:

neither bomb nor gun

shall infect us here.

2) Let us join the march

for the sake of our children,

and a future hope

that can still be theirs;

we will walk the miles

with a mind to make it;

we will sing our songs,

we will breathe our prayers.

3) Let us set our goals

for the sake of the needy;

let us persevere

though the road seems long;

we reject all faith

in the stockpiled weapons;

we will speak the truth

to the rich and strong.

4) Let us plead our cause

for the sake of the nations;

with the Lord’s great love

still at large today;

we will wear the badge

of our clear commitment,

as we tread the path

on the pilgrim way.

5) Let us trust in God

for the sake of the Kingdom;

let us take the cross

into every place.

We will look to Christ

for his fruitful Spirit,

building peace on earth

by his boundless grace.

Christopher Idle


For supporting the manufacture of arms including weapons of mass destruction through the payment of our taxes FATHER FORGIVE US

For the unrelieved suffering and hardship which money spent on arms could heal FATHER FORGIVE US

For threatening to commit genocide by holding nuclear weapons as a deterrent and supporting those of others FATHER FORGIVE US

For half-heartedness in hearing, living and sharing the way of peace – FATHER FORGIVE US

For dividing the world into good and bad and treating human beings as enemies and objects of hatred or scorn – FATHER FORGIVE US

We ask forgiveness for turning neutral science

to destructive purposes in nuclear weapons,

and for the profits made from making and keeping them,

Teach us just and healing ways to use our skill and ingenuity. God of peace, hear our prayer.

We ask forgiveness for clinging to our fears

in missile silos and secret weapon stores

hoarding the power of death for the planet and its people.

Teach us just and generous way to care for each other. God of peace, hear our prayer.

We ask forgiveness for growing weary in the work of peace,

for becoming distracted, disheartened or forgetful,

for losing touch with your desire for peace on earth.

Teach us hopeful, humble ways to work with you. God of peace, hear our prayer.

Statement from Rt. Revd. David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

In a time of conflict it is important that those of us committed to peace do all that we can to help de-escalate the situation. As part of that, we are called to speak out when actions are taken which threaten to exacerbate international tensions. The return of nuclear weapons on British soil represents a very dangerous development; one that must not go without challenge or protest.

Holy God, let your steady hand guide the nations to renounce all weapons, especially those of mass destruction. Eternal God, in whom the whole family of earth is one, breathe your spirit into our hearts and with humility, let us work and pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and peace on earth. Amen

Together we say:

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth.

Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace.

Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe. Amen

By The Sword

Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 

This word is still suspended like a sword

Above our heads who have refused to hear it,

Too sharp and clear for us, too bright and hard,

Too close to home for anyone to bear it.

Our swords are long since beaten, not to ploughshares

But into guns and tanks and bombs and planes,

And darker weapons still, and hidden fears,

And still the sword of Damocles remains.

What would it take to turn us to your wisdom,

Make us pursue the things that make for peace?

A radical conversion to your kingdom,

A casting out of fear, a deep release

Of trust and hope until that prayer is true:

None other fighting for us, only you.

Malcolm Guite