Chalice Lighting Words - 17th July 2016

Tony Finlay was in St Andrews on 17 July, so he arranged for his words to be read by Jane Aaronson

 The City of St Andrews is associated with the apostle Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, (as well as several other countries). His relics are reputably buried within its cathedral's precincts. The city's ancient University has been noted, more recently, for its School of International Relations which explores the issues of conflict and peace including the broader challenges that arise in the areas of peace building, reconciliation, and post-conflict reconstruction. The School of International Relations was instrumental in enabling ‘The St Andrew's Agreement’ which was a stage in the Northern Ireland peace process that followed the multi-party talks held in St Andrews in October 2006. The Agreement recognised that peace between conflicting communities can be achieved best through discussion, comprise, diplomacy, and the renunciation of violence.

 The Chalice is lit today in the hope that the lessons of peacekeeping learnt from the ‘St Andrew's Agreement’, and other studies emerging from the School of International Studies, can be applied to other areas of conflict throughout the world. My thoughts today are with the citizens of Nice, Edinburgh's twin city, who witnessed a horrific and indiscriminate attack on innocent people of all ages last Thursday. I am also concerned for the safety and wellbeing of long-standing friends in Istanbul, following the attempted army coup in Turkey on Friday.