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Peckham: Service for Peace, a year on from the riots

"I refuse to believe this is a lost generation" says XLP founder and leader Patrick Regan OBE, as Christians and youth ministries continue to work for peace and hope in the inner city ...

The summer riots of 2011 left many feeling uneasy: the violence and destruction that seemed to flow through the streets of Brtain's inner cities stunned whole neighbourhoods and created a climate of despair. However, as the streets calmed, and the clean up began, stories of courageous communities coming together to support one another in the aftermath started to emerge.
 
On the 14 August 2011, more than 500 people in Peckham, one of the most severely affected areas, came together at All Saints Church in Blenheim Grove to come alongside those who had lost children to gun and knife crime, and to pray for peace in their communities. The evening heard from Simon Hughes MP, Commander Tony Eastaugh and Patrick Regan, alongside other community leaders who had organised the event.
 
This year, on 5 August, XLP in partnership with SFJ and All Saints Church Peckham are hosting a second Service for Peace, one year on, to restate their commitment to peace in the inner city.

Those attending will hear about the challenges young people growing in the inner city are facing, alongside the inspirational stories of brave young people who have rejected gangs and rioting as an option, as well as celebrating the achievements made this year to bring peace to inner-London estates.
 
Patrick Regan will be speaking at the service and said: “Last year's Service for Peace was incredibly moving; people laughed and cried as some of the most heart-rending, emotional and uplifting stories were told, displaying the best attributes of community. The service this year will continue to pray for peace, but we will also look at ways, we as individuals and organisations can bring hope for the future to our communities and young people – giving them something to live for.

"If your life is shaped only by a combination of poverty, poor housing, family breakdown, educational failure, crime, gangs and unemployment, then you can easily see why young people lose any hope for the future – this is why some people have written off this generation. However, I refuse to believe this is a lost generation.
 
The Service for Peace is being held at All Saints Church in Peckham from 7 to 8.15pm, with a drinks’ reception in the church from 6pm.

To find out more about the event and XLP, visit www.xlp.org.uk

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