The war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, with terrible suffering both in Ukraine and in Russia. Elsewhere in the world conflicts rages and destroys families and societies. Here in the UK people are anxious to help but struggle to know how. This desire to reach out to all who are affected by this conflict spans the entire community – different beliefs and faith traditions, ages, and backgrounds – but there are currently few opportunities for the whole community to unite in support.
Faith and community groups across Kirklees are participating in a fast on the 10th April 2022, and the Church of England in Marsden and Slaithwaite is invited to participate – in whatever way we feel able.
Fasting is abstaining from food, and if desired drink, for a period of time. For the Fast for Peace it is recommended to fast in a way that aligns with your experience or Faith Tradition. If you have no experience of fasting then try forgoing two meals in a 24hour period. Children under the age of 16 or those with underlying health conditions are not encouraged to fast but could instead sacrifice a luxury.
As a result of the fast participants can donate the value of the meals they have skipped (or more if they’re able) to the official Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Fund for Ukraine or Afghanistan. The invitation is then to donate the money saved to the DEC appeal (www.dec.org.uk). If you would like to know more you can visit Facebook (@fast.forpeace2022) and Instagram (@fast.forpeace). The invitation is open to everyone if you would like to invite family or friends to join in too.
Fasting is common practice in many faith traditions. Often linked to prayer and meditation, this small act of physical denial helps – both individuals and communities – to focus their thoughts, whilst seeking enlightenment and/or divine assistance on behalf of others. For those of no-faith, fasting offers a chance to reflect, deepen compassion, and demonstrate solidarity for those in need.