Ever hopeful

08 March 2013

THE Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Price, was recently a member of a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. They went in the hope that they might do something to encourage the task of peace promotion.

Along with the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, and others, he met Christian Aid partners, including the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B'Tselem; and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees. He also met local people, including this Palestinian (above, left).

On his return, Bishop Price spoke in the House of Lords of his hope that the recent ceasefire between Israel and Gaza would offer some measure of peace. "What is hopeful is an increasing sense among the young that this situation [of conflict] cannot last for ever," he said.

Bishop Price has long taken a particular interest in foreign affairs and international aid, and has contributed to peace-making in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Zimbabwe.

On this occasion, he told the House of Lords, he had been particularly struck by a group of ten-year-old girls in a post-trauma session who were articulating their dreams about the future: how they wanted to be doctors, lawyers, or teachers. He said that he watched, "saddened, as some could articulate their pain only through dark drawings". He wondered "what kind of humanity leaves behind a child - any child - unable to hold on to its future?" He was not making a partisan point, he said, "but a humanitarian one".

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