Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Christian reconciliation charity marks 50th anniversary with service

A THANKSGIVING service was held in Nettlebed to mark the 50th anniversary of a charity.

A THANKSGIVING service was held in Nettlebed to mark the 50th anniversary of a charity.

The Christian International Peace Service or CHIPS, based in Bix, was started by Roy Calvocoressi in 1966. He died in 2012.

His widow Elfrida organised the Sunday service at St Bartholomew’s Church, which included hymns, readings and prayers and was attended by about 60 people. Mrs Calvocoressi, who lives in Bix, gave the thanksgiving and Tilly Martin, a trustee of the charity, read the sermon.

The charity’s focus is reconciliation. Its workers live and pray with people in areas of tension and currently run peacemaking ministries in both Ghana and Uganda.

Josh Grear and Alexandra Cameron run a hub project on the Angell Town estate in Brixton, which has the highest number of murders and teenage pregnancies of any London ward.

Their experiences were shared through speeches read by Ray Guthrie, from Caversham, and Lucy Higginson, who works at the charity’s office in Chadwell in East London.

Mrs Calvocoressi said: “Josh hangs out with the boys, who are anything from nine years old, and is trying to reduce the number of them joining gangs by getting them interested in football.

“Alexandra has joined a boxing club on the estate. With disputes CHIPS tries to take both sides.

“We are following the way Jesus came and made peace by not just believing but going out there to help people and being prepared for the fact you will suffer as a result.”

After the service guests enjoyed wine and canapés. Mrs Calvocoressi said: “Friends made the canapés and I was selling copies of my book,

A Spirituality of Peacemaking
. People were so generous. We raised £710 for CHIPS.”

The charity is part of the Community of the Coventry Cross of Nails, a universal symbol of peace.

Since its inception the charity has run centres in Ireland, India, the Philippines and Cyprus.

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