World Peace Flame Unveiled In City Centre Park

Local News

The Lord Mayor of Leeds has unveiled the UK’s first city centre-based World Peace Flame in Park Square, Leeds.

The Park Square World Peace Flame, which symbolises peace, unity, and freedom, is contained within a specially designed and locally handcrafted replica miners’ lamp. The city centre project was made possible through a crowdfunding campaign run by volunteers from the Garforth Peace Project.

The first World Peace Flames were lit in 1999 and have become increasingly popular worldwide as a secular symbol of peace creation. Communities wishing to have a World Peace Flame work together to design, fund, and build each monument. While funded by the Garforth Peace Project, the Park Square Peace Flame will be maintained by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service.

Organisers say that any flame lit from a peace flame becomes another peace flame. Members of the public will be able to collect free tealight candles from Central Library, together with further information on the initiative.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite, said: “Leeds is a culturally diverse city that actively uses city diplomacy to promote peace and unity, thrives as a City of Sanctuary, and I’m proud to say, is a member of Mayors for Peace.

“Therefore, I was thrilled to unveil the first World Peace Flame to be hosted in a UK city centre. This locally crafted and thought-provoking monument will be a fabulous addition to an already beautiful part of the city and complement the existing peace trail well.

“I look forward to people learning more about peace and to taking energy from the flame to work towards a better, more peaceful world.”

The World Peace Flame in Park Square becomes the fourth such flame in the UK. Two of the three other UK flames are in the wider Leeds area, with a third located at Snowdonia in Wales. The first Leeds Peace Flame, located in Garforth’s Diamond Jubilee Gardens, was lit in 2017, followed by a second, placed in the Scholes Peace Garden in 2018.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite was joined at the ceremony to unveil the World Peace Flame by several distinguished guests, including Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Kuldip Kaur Bharj, OBE DL, Sue Owen and Fi Murray of the Garforth Peace Project, Maggie Brizzi and Mona Fairholme from the World Peace Flame Foundation, and Councillor David Blackburn, chair of Peacelink Leeds, along with staff and children of several primary schools. Music for the event was provided by the Garforth Community Choir and Garforth Ukulele Players.

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