On a day of rain, we were pleased to see the rain ease and stop about 1 hour before our event in the Peace Garden, Barshaw Park, Paisley was due to take place. We feared that the bad weather would affect attendance but we still had 45 people attend. We met in the car park of Barshaw Park beside the Rowantree Cafe, Glasgow Road, Paisley and set off together to walk the 400 yards along tarmac surfaced pathways to the walled Peace Garden. As we walked we sang and carried lights.  Upon reaching the garden we surrounded the fire pit and with a backdrop of twinkling lights strung along the greenery of the wall before which we assembled we began with the traditional silent prayer then I welcomed everyone and introduced those faith reps who would speak briefly to us to tell us what peace means in their faith tradition.   The weather stayed dry throughout and it was nice to hear words of wisdom spoken by all our faith reps present. Meanwhile the fire flickered and burned steadily throughout in the midst of the company which created a lovely atmosphere.  Interspersed with the short remarks was a couple of poetry readings and we had a song to close the event in the garden after I had thanked everyone for their attendance and participation and invited them to withdraw to the Roweantree Cafe for hot soup, bread and other light refreshments.

Afterwards – about 50 mins – we again walked together singing songs back to the cafe and enjoyed another 45 mins of fellowship, food and singing. I had two separate recording artistes present! It was wonderful and everyone said how much they had enjoyed the event. I received a plea from some to make it an annual event. It could have been an absolute wash-out because of the rain but we got lucky.

Speakers included reps from Scottish Pagan Federation (and Druids), Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Baha’i, Quaker, Muslim as well as someone from the Peace Federation.  We also had members of the CND, Friends of Barshaw Park, the Green Party, plus two Renfrewshire Councillors (one SNP and the other Independent). There was good representation from both Renfrewshire Interfaith Group and East Renfrewshire Faith Forum and also The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Douglas Yates

This event was supported by East Renfrewshire Faith Forum and Friends of Barshaw Park. Photo by Duncan Macintosh.