Glastonbury 2012 – A Celebration of Harmony and Healing

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Glastonbury 2012 - A Celebration of Harmony and Healing

Inspiring Unity through Diversity

On April 21st 2012, Glastonbury reconnected with its ancient spiritual past in a celebration of the many faiths, paths and beliefs upheld in the town.

William Knight, Mayor of Glastonbury during 2011 - 2012, worked with Morgana West of the Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre to create an event that underpinned the rising awareness of the diversity that lies within the town. While the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts laid fallow, 2012 saw people from many faiths, paths and beliefs unite in Chalice Well Gardens to mark the significance of ‘Unity through Diversity’. A key focal point for the day was The Glastonbury Unity Candle and, following its lighting at 8.30am to coincide with the time of the new moon, it was carried in its lantern on a flower-bedecked bier throughout the town by more than fifty representatives of different Glastonbury faith organisations and beliefs.

Beginning at the Pilgrim Reception Centre, its journey throughout the town saw it spending time at different venues until reaching its final destination at Chalice Well Gardens.

The Venues

At Chalice Well Gardens

Unity Bowl

In the late afternoon, more than fifty different faith and belief representatives gathered in Chalice Well Gardens to welcome the Unity Candle and to share a simple ceremony. Each representative had been given a half-sized Glastonbury Unity Candle and a small blue glass bottle, these they had brought with them: the bottle containing water collected from a place of their own choosing in and around Glastonbury.

Each person was invited to pour the water into a glass bowl, especially engraved with the words Glastonbury 2012, Harmony and Healing. Each lit their own Glastonbury Unity Candle from the flame that had journeyed around the town and following a declaration of their faith, their path or their beliefs, they offered their own blessings on Glastonbury, its people and on out into the wider world

The Silent Minute

The Silent Minute followed. The original 'Big Ben Silent Minute' was a peace prayer initiated by Wellesley Tudor Pole, a Major in the British Army and the founder of the Chalice Well Trust. During World War II, all over Britain and the Commonwealth, millions of people joined together every evening at 9.00pm just before the news, to the chimes of Big Ben, to pray for peace.

To close, people merged into the centre, creating a jumbled mix of diverse and colourful energies. Each person present filled a smaller bottle with the blended waters and each was gifted with a small box containing branches of the 1952 - 2010 Glastonbury Holy Thorn. (See also The Glastonbury Thorn) The remaining water in the bowl was taken by representatives from the Chalice Well Trust and the White Spring and poured respectively into the waters of both places.

"We all have to live alongside one another no matter what our belief or faith. This was a day where everyone in the light of the Tor could feel at one. The key message of Glastonbury 2012, was one of Harmony and Healing. In this time of war, natural disasters and economic uncertainty, Glastonbury has become a haven of spiritual healing for thousands of people from all beliefs and faiths. Glastonbury is a Great Healer from a Physical and Spiritual point of view." - William Knight. Mayor of Glastonbury, 2012

Following this event, ‘Unity through Diversity’ became an accepted catchphrase in the town. The Glastonbury Candle began to be referred to as The Glastonbury Unity Candle and Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre responded by adding ‘Unity’ to its name.

External Links

Glastonbury 2012: A Celebration of Harmony and Healing - Inspiring Unity through Diversity
Photo set on Flikr by Elfy Clifford Photography

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