At 5pm on Sunday 20th November, as the dark nights begin to draw in here in Scotland, communities along the Firth of Forth and around the world will gather to spread lights of hope and vigilance for those besieged in Aleppo.
The initiative is the brain child of Revd Dr Harriet Harris, Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh. In her words,
Our intention is for the coastlines of East Lothian and Fife to be lit up, leading out from Edinburgh, and also that beacons of light could spread around our coastlines, inland, and to anywhere in the world.
The beacons can be as simple as lighting a candle in a window, though we are also hoping for a fair few community gatherings, with the churches being integral to this vision. We have already heard from people in other parts of the UK and in other countries who intend to join in. In this way, a path of light might well reach from here to Aleppo, or at least to Syrian borders, and spread hope, and may even help save lives.”
A number of SEC congregations are joining in, both coastal and inland, together with congregations from the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, and communities on Iona, Cumbrae, the Orkneys, Chile, China and elsewhere around the world.
The Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Revd Dr John Armes said,
I shall be lighting a candle for Aleppo on 20th November and I encourage everyone to join me. It makes a huge difference when you know people are praying for you. If each candle is a prayer and each prayer a determination to help, we can be part of a flood of light showing the people of Aleppo that we care about their terrible suffering. May the whole of our coastline be alight with hope for the people of Aleppo on 20th November.”
Visit alightforaleppo.org for more information and to donate to Oxfam, Medicin Sans Frontieres, Caritas Internationalis and the Society of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, who all work in the region.