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Shared Prayer At The Menin Gate In Belgium

On Friday 3 October 2014, three national church leaders met in Ieper-Ypres to pray for peace. Pastor Steven Fuite, president of the United Protestant Church of Belgium, Pastor Dr Manfred Rekowski, president of the Protestant Church in Rhineland, and Canon Professor Jack McDonald, president of the Central Committee of the Anglican Church in Belgium, spent the whole day visiting war cemeteries, in particular Tyne Cot (where 11,950 Allied and 4 German soldiers are buried) and Langemark (where 45,528 German and 2 British soldiers are buried). In each cemetery, prayers were said and a declaration of peace read out. Particularly affecting was the active participation in the Lord's Prayer by the large number of visitors who happened to be present in Langemark at the same time as the church delegation. After lunch in Ypres, the group processed to the Menin Gate for a formal wreath-laying and prayer service in the presence of Carl Decaluwé, governor of West Flanders. The day finished with a service in the Protestant church in Ypres, followed by tea. Jack McDonald will also be representing Belgian Anglicans at the major international commemoration of WW1 in Ypres on 28 October. The permanent ministry of the Revd Brian Llewellyn, our chaplain in Ypres, is a constant and valued presence much appreciated by visitors and pilgrims.

Information from Canon Professor Jack McDonald