Just a very short news-letter this month. Back to normal in September.
As in the last two years we shall be holding a vigil with boards and leaflets in the town centre. This will replace our stall which is normally held on the first Saturday of the month. We would welcome helpers to hold the boards and give out leaflets.
Please note that this will be a silent vigil. If a member of the public approaches to ask about our action, then please respond quietly, or pass your board to someone else and step aside to talk to them. Obviously if you are handing out leaflets, you will engage in the normal way.
In the evening we shall hold our usual candlelit commemoration by the river in Canbury Gardens (near the bandstand). The Mayor, Yogan Yoganathan, has agreed to attend and to say a few words.
Please bring white flowers to float on the river, plus lanterns to line the path.
We were all very sad to hear of the death of Bruce Kent, in June, after a short illness.
At the time of his death Bruce was a Vice-President of both CND and Pax Christi, and President Emeritus of Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW).
Long term KPC/CND members will remember that in the Cold War years of the 1980s, as General Secretary and then Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Bruce was a leading spokesperson for disarmament and peace. During this time the Campaign grew from 2,000 to 100,000 national members and from about 30 active local groups to nearly 1000.
He had been ordained in the Catholic Church in 1958, but retired as a priest in 1987 due to the tension he felt representing a Church where many of its leaders thought his position in CND was too political.
Bruce was an active supporter of many organisations in the peace movement. He felt strongly that there was insufficient knowledge of the work of the United Nations, and believed that all schoolchildren should be given a copy of the Preamble to the Charter (We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war ...). In 2001 Bruce founded MAW, inspired by the 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace conference.
He never stopped campaigning, and he was always willing to get on a train to the other end of the country to address a meeting.
For a detailed biography, see http://bruce-kent.com/
The KCRS AGM was held on 6th July. This was a formal meeting to conform with legal requirements for this type of charity, and also to report on progress with the first family to be supported. This subject is of interest to KPC/CND, as participants in and supporters of the group.
There was a delay in meeting the conditions necessary to welcome the first family to be supported, partly due to Covid, but also due to the very high property rents in this area making it difficult to find suitable accommodation for them. Eventually the group was offered a suitable property at the local authority rate in the Berrylands area and the family (a couple from Syria with two children) moved in in November 2021. Much support and finance was needed: English lessons, interpreting, familiarity with the area, how to access schools and health care, provision of furniture and household goods, school uniforms and a basic income until universal benefits could be arranged.
The Group envisages they will soon be able to start to support a second sponsored family as the level of financial and practical assistance to the first family begins to decline as they settle in, so it is now becoming necessary to resume seeking funding from local organisations such as KPC/CND, and there will be appeals sent out soon. We donated £100 for the first two years, 2018 and 2019, so hopefully we will be able to continue this level of funding. KCRS also welcomes regular funding and donations from individuals - look at www.kcrs.org.uk if you could help with this.
Newsletter Editor for this issue: Gill Hurle
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this edition are not necessarily those of Kingston Peace Council/CND