By Belb Webb CELEBRATIONS for Peace Sunday this year are centred on the Pope's new year peace message 'Dialogue for Peace'.
The Catholic peace movement Fax Christi have distributed copies of the Pope's message throughout England and Wales for the occasion. They have also prepared special sermon notes and liturgy suggestions on the sIogen "the dialogue of peace, a challenge for our time". The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has recommended that the day be observed with 'particular urgency' this year, with Masses for peace offered throughout England and Wales, anti vigils of prayer and fasting on the Saturday before. Among the many special Peace Sunday events planned around the country is a Festival of Faith at St Catherine's , Church, Birmingham, and at Capenhurst near Chester the Liverpool Pax Christi group are leading a vigil. At St Anne's in Leeds, a Peace Mass will have a special sermon by Dr Sheila Cassidy, and Bishop Kevin O'Connor will speak at a Peace Rally in Hull. Middlesbrough will have a Justice and Peace Study Day with Fr Brendan Soame and Fr Owen Flardwicke.
• Anglican Canon Paul Oestreicher has followed the lead of Archbishop Hunthausen in the USA and has refused to pay that proportion of his income tax which corresponds to Government spending on Britain's nuclear weapon programme.
He has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer explaining that this is an act of conscientious objection to the manufacture, possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons which he considers "To be in fundamental conflict with my duties as a Christian and a citizen".
Canon Oestreicher's letter is reproduced in full in a new Quaker pamphlet entitled "Paying for Peace" published by the Quaker Council for International Affairs, Friends House, Euston Road, London NW1, price 50p.