International Peace Light makes a journey from Bethlehem to Grimsby

We are privileged at Rock Foundation, to have received one of these Lantern’s on Wednesday 14th December to our site at Caistor, and to our main office on Heneage Road on Friday 16th. The aim is to keep the lanterns alight around the world until December 25th.

In its 36th year, the Peace Light from the Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company, ORF (Linz). It was part of a large charitable relief mission called, Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad.

Since 1986 there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries, which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe. The light has been passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years, on to North America, Mexico and Canada.

Each year, a child from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout the Continent.

Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to other churches, hospitals, old people homes, prisons, and places of public, cultural and political importance – to anybody that appreciates the significance of the “gift”. In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbatshow, the former King Hussain of Jordan, EU President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strazbourg, the UN Troops in Kosovo and continues to be taken to Ground Zero, New York.

Did you know that…

Jelly Babies were launched in 1918 in Sheffield, UK as Peace Babies to mark the end of World War I. Production was suspended during World War II due to wartime shortages and the fact that the name had largely become ironic. In 1953 the product was relaunched as Jelly Babies. When passing the Peace Light on Peace Babies are offered as a sign of peace.


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