A People of Peace

The first performance of 'A People of Peace' by a Friend in Bury St Edmunds Meeting took place on 8 April

A moving production on the tragedy of war was given its first performance at Bury St Edmunds Meeting House on 8 April.

The work was dedicated to the veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent, who was present at the performance, and received a very positive reaction.

A People of Peace, which is described as ‘a reflection in words and music on the horror of war and hope of a better tomorrow’, was produced by Kevin Mayhew of Bury St Edmunds Meeting. It included music composed by himself and words by the well-known Christian writer Nick Fawcett.

The performance involved a narrator and soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers, with keyboard accompaniment. At certain points, the audience was invited to join in singing words of peace, to some well-known tunes.

In the production the narrator quotes words from Harry Patch, the first world war survivor who did not speak of his horrific experiences in the trenches until he was 100 years old. He said: ‘War isn’t worth one life.’

Speaking to the audience afterwards, Bruce Kent highlighted words from one of Nick Fawcett’s verses: ‘Do I just stand aghast as I think of the past, or give all for a better tomorrow?’

He added: ‘We live in a highly militarised culture and in all kinds of ways we have a job to do – to change that culture. I don’t mean pointing fingers at people, but getting people to think differently. We must get people thinking that there are alternative ways to settle conflict.’

Donations were collected after the performance in aid of Veterans for Peace. The music score and a CD are to be released later this month.

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