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On Thursday 29th October, the Lawyers’ Group of Oasis of Peace UK held its annual Rueff Lecture. This annual event is held in honour of Philip Rueff, the first Chair of the Lawyers’ Group and former Chair of Oasis of Peace UK, to raise funds for and awareness of the work of Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam. By happy coincidence, this year’s event took place on Philip’s birthday, with over 85 households joining us on Zoom.

We were deeply honoured to host the Right Reverend Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, as our speaker for the evening. The Bishop is one of the UK's leading spiritual leaders whose previous roles include serving as Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen and to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

It would be a huge understatement to say that the Bishop’s very personal address, titled “My Story is Your Story and Your Story is My Story” and the discussion during the lively Q&A session that followed were well-received. We were delighted to receive so much glowing feedback during and after the event testifying to the Lecture’s power and relevance. Attendees seemed to feel that the Bishop’s call for a re-engagement of our collective responsibility for the welfare of our neighbours brought hope in these challenging times, as well as much food for thought.  The Bishop also provided us with a ‘first’ for a Rueff Lecture, with a few lines of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery…None but ourselves can free our minds", beautifully sung!     

This was our first online Rueff Lecture. We were delighted that this format enabled many to attend who might not have been able to join us for a physical event, with attendees from around the UK and abroad including residents of Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam. We are very grateful for the many generous donations. The Lecture has raised just over £20,000 to date in support of the work of Oasis of Peace UK and of the Spiritual Centre's pioneering programme to work with leading religious leaders in Israel to help them to foster a climate of peace, dialogue and reconciliation within their communities.