Advocating for Peace

Celebrating International Day of Peace (21 Sept 2007)


St Andrew’s on the Terrace decided to join millions of people around the world celebrating and promoting peaceful relations at home, school, work, in the community and internationally.   They linked in with other Wellington-based organisations that were promoting the Day.

The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations in 1982 in order to “devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways”.

What was/is the objective of your campaign?

By getting involved with International Peace Day, St Andrew’s hoped to raise community consciousness about the need for peaceful action in all aspects of our lives.

Who was involved in the initiative?

Promotion of International Peace Day in Wellington was very much an inter-agency initiative, with action led by the Peace Foundation.  Many Wellington parishes got involved including St Andrew’s as well as other agencies.  Where possible and Peter and Paul suggest linking in with other groups, which saves re-inventing the wheel, and also builds a groundswell of support that is stronger than one agency or church acting alone.

What things did the parish do to help achieve its goal?

  • Chalked peace messages on the pavement
  • Created windmills that were “planted” in the church’s window box to act as a visual anchor for people passing the building
  • Distributed 400-500 peace leaflets outside the church during the lunch period
  • Put signs on the street outside the church
  • Listed our event/activities with the Peace Foundation for placement on their website

What did the campaign achieve?

The issue was made more “visible” to the wider community through the various public initiatives.

How did people from the congregation get on board with the project?

Initially, St Andrew’s declared itself to be a “Peace Church” through a formal resolution of its church council.  This established a platform on which the congregation could become involved in related activities.  An email list is used to keep those interested in social justice issues up-to-date with various initiatives that are going on, and the parish newsletter is also used to communicate with the congregation.

Information for this case study was provided by Paul Barber and Peter Cowley, of St Andrew’s on the Terrace (Wellington) social justice group.