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Advent '23 - Making Space for Peace

Updated: Dec 1, 2023


What can peace mean this Christmas in the face of the devastating wars in Europe and the Middle East? Local Interfaith Minister Patricia Higgins says many people want to ‘act for peace’ here at home, but don’t know how.

So, Patricia is organising three events in Inishowen, to give people space to voice their concern and together explore how they can respond.  The events kick off with an Advent Peace Walk on Inishowen Head on Sun 3rd Dec at 2pm-3.30pm, starting from the Inishowen Head Car Park. workshop

She is leading an Advent Workshop : Can Peace Begin With Me in Greencastle Community Centre on Wed 6th December from 7.30-9pm.

The Advent Workshon on Wed 6th will reflect on how we seek peace for ourselves and our world: Can Peace Begin With Me?

 And on Saturday 9th December in Buncrana, she’s leading a second Advent Peace Walk along the Shorefront at 2pm, starting from The Exchange in Castle Street.

“There have been some powerful initiatives in Inishowen in response to the war in Gaza here already,” says Patricia. “These include the stirring documentary screened in Moville and a vigil held in Buncrana earlier this month.  The Advent walks and the workshop are another opportunity for people to voice their concern at this most recent war. People will also have a chance to explore what else we can do for peace in Gaza, Ukraine and other war-torn parts of the world.”

“How do we reconcile these dreadful wars with our own belief system or sense of God? By coming together, we can acknowledge the questions these wars raise for our faith.  We can be inspired by the ways people are finding to act for peace in the wider world. And we can, perhaps, find some greater peace in our own lives. That can be particularly important as we approach Christmas – feast of the Prince of Peace – because for many it’s become such a busy, stressful time.”

The Greencastle workshop on 6th December will include meditation, small group sharing, and practical guidance on responding as individuals to these terrible wars. Patricia says the workshop will close with a short candlelight ceremony “to express the hope that we can bring some light to the world”. 

The Workshop and Advent Walks are open to all, and there will be translation for Ukrainians attending the Shrove and Greencastle events.  Kiev native and Graphic Design lecturer, Hanna Skoroplias, who now lives in Moville with two of her four children, will conduct the translation. She’s worked with Patricia before to deliver bilingual events.

“Workshops like these offer a rare space to be still and to connect with what can give me most strength and support,” says Hanna. “They allow people to talk who might not have otherwise ever get the chance to hear from each other.”

Patricia Higgins is running the workshop and walks as part of her Rewilding Faith project.  “Rewilding Faith offers people ways to connect with others and with their sense of God- whatever that might be – beyond institutional churches.”

Susan McAleer, Manager of the Greencastle Community Centre, says they are “delighted to be hosting another Rewilding Faith workshop event.  These creative spaces for people to explore and share on the spiritual side of life are a great way to build a sense of community.”

For further information or to book the workshop or walks, go to: Patricia is also organising an early morning online retreat, on Tuesdays from the 3rd to the 17th of December from 6:50 to 7:10am, which can also be booked online.

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