Just in time for Christmas, a Luton church has played host to the Bethlehem Peace Light on its annual pilgrimage to millions of homes around the world.
Collected at Dover by deep sea scout Mike Jarman, the Bethlehem Peace Light was commemorated at a special service in All Saints Church Shaftesbury Road, along with St Peter’s Church of Harefield Road, before a congregation of over 120 Scouts and supporters from parishes around the town and the surrounding area.
It is now on its way to millions of homes and locations around the world as a symbol of hope at Christmas time.
Cllr David Agbley said: “On behalf of the town and all those who live here, I am delighted to welcome the Peace Light to Luton and to see it begin its journey amongst our community.”
Madinah Mosque secretary, Maqsood Anwaar, added: “I am so pleased to be part of this international peace effort and to show how it is something that is shared by all faiths.”
Rev David Kesterton organised the service led by the Bishop of St Albans along with Deputy Mayor of Luton, Cllr Agbley, and Mr Anwaar.
Mr Jarman said: “The light started its journey on November 24 when it was lit at Christ’s Grotto in Bethlehem.
“The Austrian Broadcasting Service ORF began this huge charitable event in 1986 to help orphans and homeless children in their country.
“Within a short time the idea was taken up by Scouts across Europe, the Middle and Far East and the UK before being accepted as an important Christmas symbol by Scouts in the USA and Canada.
“It now reaches millions of people in over 100 countries.”