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Last Updated:  Sunday, 23 February, 2003, 11:13 GMT
Prayers for peace after Bishop's plea
The Bishop of Oxford
The Bishop has spoken out against war
Prayers for peace have taken place across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire after the Bishop of Oxford spoke out against war.

Last week, the Right Reverend Richard Harries declared a moral case had not been made for war and that UN weapons inspectors needed more time.

The Church of England leader has previously supported British involvement in Afghanistan, the Falklands War, the Kosovo War and the Gulf War in 1991.

But he has said that, as far as the current crisis is concerned, the criteria for a war have not been met.

On Sunday, the Bishop asked for churches to be opened to everyone so that special prayers could be read for the Iraq crisis.

Special prayers were also selected by the Right Reverend Harries for the servicemen and woman who have been deployed to the Gulf.

'Crucial role'

One of the prayers chosen by the Bishop is The Collect.

The Right Rev Harries said: "It reminds us that God has created us all, of whatever nationality, and that we are all made in God's image.

"It encourages us to discern God's hand in all his works and God's likeness in all his children."

Alison Webster, social responsibility advisor for the Oxford Diocese, said that the region's churches had a crucial role to play at such times.

Meanwhile, an Oxford academic has debunked the basic concept of a "just war".

Dr David Smith, from the Whitfield Institute in Oxford, says such a concept is outdated for the 21st Century.



Oxford bishop says 'no war'
16 Feb 03 |  England
Rt Rev Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford
07 Jul 02 |  Breakfast with Frost

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