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St Mary's Episcopal Church, El Dorado, AR
Rector Fr. Chuck Chapman
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London the Capital City of England & the United Kingdom         Within a few years of invading Britain in 43AD the Romans had built forts and towns across the land.  They linked these outposts with a number of well constructed roads, some of which had to cross a wide tidal river (Thames).  The Roman engineers eventually picked a crossing point from generally marshy ground on the South bank (with islands of firm ground) to an area on the North Bank situated on two low hills, these hills formed the highest and driest site on the tidal river.  At this point the Romans built their bridge and before long a settlement grew up on the hills and then a City took shape, the Romans called it Londinium.  The landscape that greeted the Romans now lies deep beneath the modern city, upto 8 metres deep, the reason, every new building over the past 2,000 years was built on top of the rubble of the old.
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St. Paul's Cathedral, London        The original Cathedral was built on Ludgate Hill by the Anglo Saxons in 604A.D. built of wood it burnt down and was rebuilt on a number of occasions.  The present Cathedral was started by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 and it took 35 years to build.  The Cathedral was damaged during the Second World War with bombs falling through the roof and destroying the alter and one damaging the North transept.  A famous picture taken at the time shows the cathedral surrounded by fire and smoke and through the gloom appearing unscathed the dome of St Pauls rising dominantly and defiantly from the inferno below, a source of inspiration to the whole country in its hour of need.  In the crypt lie buried, Wren, Nelson, Wellington and many other famous British people.  The peel of 12 bells is outstanding and the choir of 38 boys and 18 men maintain a very proud tradition.
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Westminster Abbey                          Legend has it that the first Church built on Thorney Island in the Thames was built by King Segbert in the 7th Century, there is also mention of a Charter from King Offa of Mercia to the people of Westminster granting land.  We also have a Charter from King Edgar in the 10th Century for the restoring of the Benedictine Abbey.  It is also written that a substantial foundation existed in Westminster when King Edward the Confessor became King in 1042.  We do know that Edward started to build a Church here close to the previous building and it was consecrated on 28th December 1065.  Eight days later Edward died and he was buried in front of the high altar.
William the Conqueror was crowned in that Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. this Coronation began a tradition and all Kings and Queens of England (Britain) with the exception of Edward V & Edward VIII have been crowned in the Abbey since that date.
Work began in 1245 in rebuilding the Abbey. The work proceeded rapidly and by 1269 the Quire and one bay of the Nave was completed.  At this time the body of St Edward was removed and laid to rest in a Chapel bearing his name.  In 1272 Henry III died and his body was buried in the front of the high alter where Edward`s had once lain.
The complete history of this famous Abbey would take many pages to write, hence it is possibly to conclude by saying “many Kings and Queens together with famous people lie buried within its walls and therefore this one building is a unique testament to 1,000 years of the history of the British people”.

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St. Stephen Walbrook Church       A city church rebuild after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Regarded by many as Wren's most brilliant city church.  Built between 1672-80. Strong documentary evidence exists of his close involvement with the project.  The exterior looks nothing special due to originally being built in a gap between other properties and the exterior was never meant to have been seen.  On the other hand the Interior is one of London's most perfect places.
It is a cube of 16 Corinthian Columns, a large dome sits on an inner circle of eight columns.  A perfect marriage of a typical Roman Dome to that of a traditional preaching house.  It is generally thought the design of the dome was done at a time when Wren was working on the Dome of St. Pauls.  Could it have been a practice design for the much larger one just down the road?
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The Temple Church London       The following few words do not do justice to this very historic place, a further read would be recommended.
The Temple Church of St Mary is not a Parish Church it is like Westminster Abbey, a Royal peculiar.  It actually serves both Middle and Inner Temple, two of England’s four ancient societies of lawyers (the Inns of Court)
The original Church was built by the Knights Templar, an order of crusading Monks founded to protect pilgrims to and from Jerusalem in the 12th Century.
It was built in two phases first of all the Nave and Porch between 1160 & 1185 followed by the Chancel between 1220 & 1240.
Much of the Church was refaced with bath stone during the two restorations in 1825 & 1841.  In 1941 the Church was severely damaged in the blitz.
The Nave is circular approx 59ft across internally, in the Templar’s tradition (with homage to the Sepulchre of Christ) and was consecrated by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem in 1185.
The main piers are of Purbeck marble the first known architectural use of the material in London.
A new enlarged Chancel was begun in 1220 and Henry III attended its consecration in 1240
Although totally refaced the exterior is faithful to the 13th Century design
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London Eye                        Opened in January 2000 as a part of the Millennium celebrations it is 135mtrs high and is the worlds highest observation wheel.  The fourth tallest structure in London. It is 35mtrs taller than Big Ben, 30 mtrs taller than St Pauls, three times as high as Tower Bridge and a third taller than the Statue of Liberty.  The 360` rotation will take approx 30/35 minutes.  The wheel has 32 fully enclosed capsules holding up to 25 people each. From its highest point passengers can see 25 miles in each direction on a clear day.
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Horse Guards Parade      The former tiltyard or jousting field of Whitehall Palace, used for the ceremony of Trooping the Colour each June to celebrate the Queens official birthday.  The Horse Guards building by which one enters the parade ground from the direction of Whitehall was reconstructed in 1750 prior to which it was the gatehouse of the Palace of Westminster.  The horse mounted guards who stand duty under two archways either side of the clock tower stand guard for just one hour at a time not all day.  The soldiers belong either to the Life Guards (red tunics & white plumes) who formed the bodyguard for Charles I or the Royal Horse Guards (blue with red plumes) who grew out of a regiment formed by Cromwell.  Both regiments now belong to the Household Cavalry which provides the Queens Bodyguard on all state occasions.
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Houses of Parliament       The present building occupies the site of the old Royal Palace.  The oldest surviving part of this palace is Westminster Hall (some of the walls dating back to 1097/99).  In 1840 Sir Charles Barry with the help of his eccentric assistant, Pugin began building the neo Gothic new house which still graces Parliament Square.  Although it was badly bombed in 1941 the Commons Chamber was completely destroyed, the new one was opened in 1950.  As you look at the palace from the square the commons are on the left and the lords on the right.  Standing a little to the left of the building is Westminster Hall.  This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft wide and 92ft high, it was built in 1097 by William II and modernised by Richard II in 1399.  It was here that Charles I was condemned to death in 1649, Edward II abdicated in 1327, Oliver Cromwell was installed as protector and the Guy Fawkes conspirators sentenced to death.  It was the centre of London life, a very public place in which to have sentence passed. it remains lofty, beautiful, impressive and empty, the oldest part of the palace and the most lovely.
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River Thames                     One of the longest rivers in England at 215 miles in length, it flows from its source near Cheltenham to the sea through some of the most beautiful countryside before becoming the main artery that the wealth of Britain has been bourn.  No river can have influenced a nations destiny more, from Roman times to the present day. 
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Westminster Hall                This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft long and 92ft high.  It was built in 1097 by William II and modernised by Richard II in 1399.  It was here that Charles I was condemned to death in 1649.  Edward II abdicated in 1327.  Oliver Cromwell was installed as protector and the Guy Fawkes conspirators sentenced to death.  It was the centre of London life, a very public place in which to have sentence passed.  It remains lofty, beautiful, impressive and empty, the oldest part of the palace and the most lovely.
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Cabinet War Rooms         In 1940 as the bombs rained down on London, Winston Churchill, his Cabinet, his Chiefs of Staff and intelligence chiefs were meeting below ground in a fortified basement in Whitehall, later to be known as the Cabinet War Rooms.  They offered shelter in which to work, sleep and live for as long as necessary.  When the war ended the lights were switched off and the rooms left silent and untouched for many years.  The rooms were in operational use from 27th August 1939 to the Japanese surrender in 1945 the war cabinet held more than 100 meetings in these somewhat cramped rooms.  Without doubt some of the most important decisions of the Second World War were taken here. 
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Buckingham Palace         Until the 18th Century the original site was occupied by Buckingham House which was bought by George III in 1762.  When George IV acceded the throne in 1820 he commissioned John Nash to build a palace fit for a King on the same site.  Much of the original structure and decoration survives to this day.
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The British Monarchy
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10 Downing Street            Has been the official residence of the Prime Minister since Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister lived here in 1732.  The street was named after its builder, Sir George Downing.  The iron gates were erected for security reasons in 1989.
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Old Sarum                         Such a historic place covering an area of approx 56 acres. Important due to its prominence above the countryside below.  First remains indicate a Iron age camp, followed by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, then the Danes who pillaged the area in 1003.  In 1070 William the Conqueror reviewed his troops on the plains below.  The site really moved forward just after William departed.  The Episcopal See was moved from Sherborne to Sarum and a new Cathedral and Castle where built on the site.  However by 1220 the area was becoming too small for the requirements of the community so a new Cathedral was planned nearby.(New Sarum or as it later became Salisbury) stones from the old Cathedral where carried away and used in the construction of the new Cathedral. 
Old Sarum---old refers to a former Iron age fort and Sarum is the abbreviated form of the Latin name
Salisbury
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Salisbury                       A town where there is no need to go looking for interests in dark corners, it is all around.  The city dates back to the 13th Century when it was decided to move the Bishops seat  from Old Sarum.  The Cathedral foundations were begun in 1220 and the city started to grow.  Salisbury was built on a grid or chequer system which left space between the blocks.  Cathedral close is the most beautiful in all England and the list of buildings with interest is unending.  The first sight of the Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture.  Its spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England, the nave measures 198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.
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Salisbury Cathedral          The first sight of the Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture.  Its spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England which imposes almost 6,000 tons of stone on the four pillars of the crossing.  The Nave measures 198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.  Foundations no more than 4 feet deep on a bed of gravel, the main building was begun in 1220 and completed in 1258.  The Cloisters and Chapter house being finished in 1280.  It was never a Monastic institution but staffed with Secular Clergy called Canons.  This arrangements continues today.  Canons would be away in their parishes for most of the year, just coming back to the Cathedral for short periods of time.  The present houses round the close are built on the sites of the former Canons Houses.
It is interesting to note that the main wall round the Cathedral close was granted by licence from Cdward III and is reputed to be built from stone from the original Cathedral at Old Sarum started in 1075

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Canterbury             A very ancient city with more than 2,000 years of history and the site of Canterbury Cathedral.  There were Belgic settlements here pre-Roman time and Julius Caesar took the area by storm in 54B.C. after their conquest in 43A.D. the Romans established a centre here called Durovernum.  In 597 St Augustine arrived on his mission to spread Christianity in England and built his first cathedral.  Something like half the Medieval walls which encircled the old city on the Eastern side still remain.  They date from the 13th & 14th Centuries, they were partly built on Roman remains.
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Canterbury Cathedral   The Cathedral of course dominates the city, the original was built by St Augustine but nothing remains.  In fact nothing pre-Conquest does remain.  A little while after the Conquest a new Cathedral was built by Lanfranc, the first Norman Archbishop.  Since that time there have been many additions, the oldest remaining part of the Cathedral is the crypt dating from 1100.  Only one English monarch is buried here, Henry IV, who lies with his Queen Joan in Trinity Chapel.  The tomb of Edward, the Black Prince is close by and described by many as the most magnificent in England.  In Trinity chapel you will also find the shrine of St Thomas a Becket, Archbishop from 1162-1170 when he was murdered by four knights of Henry II after a long and bitter feud.  The nave completed in the early 15th Century is 187ft in length, 71ft in width and 79ft in height.  The tall central bell tower which dominates the external views of the cathedral dates back to 1498 and is certainly one of earliest large brick structures in England.  Viewed from inside all but the top 50ft is visible.  130ft above the floor level is the magnificent fan vaulted ceiling, the South window is a splendid example of 12th Century art and the whole Cathedral is alive with stained glass, despite the Civil War and the Second World War damage.
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St. Augustines Abbey     The ruins of St Augustines Abbey are probably one of the most important ecclesiastical sites in England.  An Abbey was first built here in the time of the saint but was subsequently torn down more than once.  The 7th Century remains tell us much of the life in an early Christian monastery, buried in the grounds, St Augustine and many of the early archbishops of Canterbury.
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St Martins Church Canterbury           St Martins “the oldest church in continuous use in England” is hard to contest, although the small Chapel at Escomb near Durham also lays claim.  We do know as fact that St Augustine set up his mission here when he arrived from Rome in AD597.  However it is written by the Venerable Bede that a Church dedicated to Martin had been built in Roman times approx AD90 to the East of Canterbury.  It is also written by Bede that Queen Bertha the wife of the Saxon King Ethelbert of Kent had worshipped here prior to the arrival of Augustine.
Archaeological evidence in the neighbourhood does seem to confirm this thesis.
Therefore we can safely say that an original place of worship was founded on this site in approx AD90 which was eventually demolished and a new church built over the Roman remains in approx AD560.
The exterior is a tapestry of different building materials, Roman tile, ragstone, flint, brick and any other material that came to hand on the day.
The Church is known in all English speaking Christendom as St martins - the mother church of our Motherland and the Whole Anglican Communion
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Cambridge                             Cambridge is one of the most important and beautiful towns not only in East Anglia, but also in Britain and even Europe.  The quality of its buildings in particular those belonging to the University and the particular atmosphere caused by the felicitous combination of river and gardens have given the city a place in the itinerary of every visitor to this country.  The history of Cambridge began many hundreds of years before the first college was founded, a Celtic settlement had arise on Castle Hill 100 years prior to the Roman conquest.  At the foot of the hill was a ford across the River Cam.  It is thought the Romans built a bridge here.  The site of Cambridge became of great strategic and commercial importance.  With the departure of the Romans the town continued to spread to its present position on the East Anglian side of the river.  The coming of the Normans only increased expansion they even rebuilt the Castle.  Then in the 13th Century saw the founding of the first Cambridge College, Peterhouse College, established in 1281 by the Bishop of Ely and moving to its own hostels in 1284.  So was established the first College and the consequent increase in the importance of the city as a seat of learning and a centre of communal life.
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Kings College, Cambridge                    One of the most outstanding buildings in Britain and the finest Gothic building in Europe.  It was begun in 1446. its unusual dimensions, 300ft long, 80ft high and 40ft wide, prepare the visitor for its extraordinary system of spatial relationships.  The effect of the interior is breathtaking. the shafts on either side of the chapel lead the eye up into the roof where the profusion of delicate fan vaulting appears to be made of lace rather than stone.  The organ case (1606), screen and choir stalls (1536) stained glass windows (1515 incidentally the year the chapel was completed) act as a perfect foil to the magnificent roof.  Does this give meaning to look upwards to heaven for the splendours that are above.  
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York                                           The fascinating townscape of this walled city illustrates much of its nearly 2,000 years history.  York possesses in its Minster the largest medieval church in Northern Europe, the general scale of its building is small and human.  Even today York seems more medieval than almost any other English town.  The compact core is a treasure house for anyone interested in history, architecture or ancient crafts, and is best seen on foot.  The Romans called the place Eboracum, and built a fort in AD.71.  Under the Angles, York was capital of their Kingdom of Deira.  King Edwin was baptised here by Paulinus, who became the first Archbishop of York in 634.  The Danes captured and burnt York in 867 and it was their capital in England for nearly 100 years, they called it Jorvik and it is from this that the present name derives.  There is nothing left to see of Anglo Saxon and Danish York, but the use of the word gate for street is a reminder that the Danes did settle here.  The Norman's found a thriving little trading centre and burnt it in 1069 during their frightful ravaging of the North, and then rebuilt the walls, expanding them to take the present 263 acres.  Medieval York is everywhere, not least in the web of narrow streets.  The Shambles and Stonegate are two of the best preserved examples.  Too the East of the Minster is the half timbered St William's College.  Three of the nine Guildhalls still survive.  All the city walls are medieval rebuilt on the Roman and Norman foundations in the 13th Century.  A 2.5 mile footpath on the walls gives a circular tour of the city.  In the middle ages, York was England's second city a great religious and commercial centre.  A lovely city with much to see and enjoy.
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Web Link to Historic York

York Minster                    The Minster is York's chief glory, appropriate to the dignity of an Archbishopric, built between 1220 and 1470, it contains England's greatest concentration of medieval stained glass, principally from the 13th and 14th Centuries.  The two most famous windows being the five sisters and the magnificent 15th Century east window, the largest in the world.  The Ministers length is 518ft and is 241ft wide at the transept.  The central tower rises 198ft and is the largest lantern tower in Britain.  The 14th Century Chapter House with seven lovely window walls has no central support for its conical roof, just the great buttresses on the eight sides.  The Choir was completed by 1400 and its great climax the east window with 2,000 sq ft of ancient glass by John Thornton of Coventry was finished in 1408, the massive towers came last.
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Ampleforth Abbey                 Home to the largest Benedictine community in Britain.  This order of monks did not settle in Ampleforth until the early 1800s, but can trace their history back to Westminster Abbey in much earlier times.
Fr Sigebert Buckley was the last surviving member of an order dissolved in Westminster during Elizabeth I reign.  In 1607 he started a new community in France and a new Monastery was established by 1615 where he passed on the traditions of the English Monks.  Unfortunately they where expelled from France in 1792 during the revolution.  After some years they eventually arrived in Ampleforth in 1802.
The order at its peak, during the 1960s, had a roll call of over 160 Monks, this has unfortunately decreased to half this number today.
In 1803 a new monastery school was opened which today educates over 600 pupils.
The College church designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is of greenish stone and was completed in 1961 in the Romanesque style.
Today the hospitality apostolate offers retreats and courses to thousands of visitors who come to Ampleforth each year
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Rievaulx Abbey                     The spectacular remains of the first Cistercian Abbey in Northern England. situated in the unrivalled peace and serenity of a beautiful wooded valley on the banks of the River Rye. sheltered from the moors rising above.  Walter L`Espec granted this site in the wilderness to a group of Cistercians in 1131.  From these small beginnings began a crusade which ended with the building of this Abbey.  Its grandeur outlined in the remains of the buildings.  Completed before the end of the 12th Century records indicate that under the Third Abbot (Aelred 1147-1167) the community consisted of 140 monks and over 500 lay brothers.  By the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 this large community had dwindled down to just 22 monks.  The buildings are now looked after by English Heritage.  The Church Nave dates back to at least 1135 and the Choir is a particularly fine example of 13th Century work. 
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Durham            It is not only the lover of architecture who will be thrilled by Durham.  It is one of the most visually exciting cities in Britain.  The magnificent Norman Cathedral and the Castle stand proudly on a sandstone hill almost enclosed by a steep banked wooded bend of the River Wear.  It is a scene well worth looking at from every vantage point.  The best views are obtained from the railway station, Prebends Bridge, South Street, Silesgate and also Palace Green.  The Castle was built in 1069 by the Norman invaders and the town grew up under the Castle walls between the two river crossings at Elvet and Framwellgate.  Durham is not a large city but is a centre of local government and education (Durham University was created as the third university in England by an act of Parliament in 1832)
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Durham Cathedral                        The Cathedral was founded as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert.  When Viking raids forced the monks on Lindisfarne to flee in 875.  They carried with them the body of the saint, they reached Durham in 995 after time at Chester le Street and Ripon.  In Durham the coffin seemed to become rooted to the ground and the spot for the new shrine was revealed in a vision.  By 998 they had built a church (nothing remains of this early building) it quickly became a place of pilgrimage.  The Bishops became Prince Bishops of Durham giving the city the right to raise armies, own nobility, coinage and courts.  All these privileges were ended in 1836.  The present Cathedral Church of Christ and blessed Mary the Virgin was built between 1093 and 1133 to a plan of Bishop William of Calais.  He died but the work continued under Bishop Flambard.  It is possibly the finest Norman building in Europe.  St Cuthberts body was brought to his shrine behind the high altar in 1104.  The Cathedral was the first in Northern Europe to be covered with stone ribbed vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse arches in England.  There are few monuments because of a long held rule that no one should be buried in the shrine of st cuthbert.  From the South side aisle a door leads to the monks dormitory, a great timbered hall 194ft by 39ft where some of the Cathedrals prized possessions can be seen, they include St Cuthberts illuminated manuscripts.  In front of the font is a line of marble, the nearest point that women were allowed to get to the altar.  Almost no amount of time is to long to spend in this unique place of worship. 
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Coventry                                            Probably owes its origins to the erection in the 7th Century of an Anglo Saxon convent.  However it was the later Benedictine Abbey founded by Leofric, Earl of Mercia in the 11th Century that gave the town its impetus to grow.  It was granted its first charter in 1553.  The mechanization of the 19th Century brought the manufacture of sewing machines and bicycles right into the city.  The Daimler company produced the first English motorcar in 1898 and the car industry increased rapidly, giving rise in turn to aircraft production.  It was the aircraft production Germany came to bomb in 1940, it was a cold November night in 1940 when much of the city was wiped out by a devastating fire bombing air raid, thousands of people killed and injured, the Cathedral was also destroyed, leaving only a tower and a spire standing.
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Coventry Cathedral                      In 1951 an open architectural competition for a new Cathedral was held and won by a design by Basil Spence.  A new Cathedral was born, started in 1954 it was finished in 1962.  Today thousands of visitors are drawn to the new building, acclaimed as one of the most striking examples of modern architecture.  The nave is 270ft long and 80ft wide with the focal point a superb 75ft high tapestry designed by Graham Sutherland and woven in France.  The theme reconciliation and unity by all people from whatever religion of whatever creed or colour, the rising of hope from the ashes of war.
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