President’s Blog: 22nd August 2022
We have just returned from a holiday/Pilgrimage in Austria and Germany with a group from our District. The primary reason for visiting was to see the Passion Play at Oberammergau, a play which is usually performed every 10 years but because of the covid pandemic, had been delayed for two years. (More on this next time!)
We stayed in Mosern, Austria, in a hotel that overlooked the beautiful Inn Valley. Beside the hotel, there is a huge bell. This is the Peace Bell of the Alpine Region. At 5pm, on the dot, the bell rings it’s message of peace, justice and conciliation, echoing right across the valley. The Peace Bell was mounted in 1997 on the anniversary of the founding of the Arge Alp Association of Alpine States as a beacon for ‘good neighbourly relations and understanding among people of diverse nationalities, cultures and religions.’
We walked to the bell early in the morning, enjoying the splendid view from its resting place. On the path leading up to the bell, there are plaques , carefully worded to provide moments of reflection and meditation and beneath the bell there is a map of all the regions of Austria
The chiming of the bell reminds the people of Austria – and its visitors – to accept the challenge to open their hearts, broaden their horizons and to work together towards making a peaceful world; one in which they want to live.
The ringing of the bell is automated so that it rings everyday at the same time. I wouldn’t like to be beside it when it rings! As it chimes out over the valley, it is a reminder to stop, listen and to pray for peace, especially for all the war-torn countries of the world and the people who are suffering. Its chiming will live long in my memory!