Nobel Peace Prize-nominated preacher to visit Sunderland

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A WORLD-famous preacher is set to visit Wearside.

Father John Dear, an internationally-renowned pastor, peacemaker, retreat leader and author, has dedicated his life to travelling the world teaching the “non-violent message of Jesus”.

The American Jesuit priest, who is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, has also penned a series of best-selling books on his pacifist beliefs.

Now, as part of a new tour of the UK, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee will visit St Joseph’s Church, in Sunderland, next month.

Father Simon Lodge, who helped organise the event, said it is likely to generate a lot of interest.

“John’s visit will be the launch for a series of nationwide initiatives and courses based on the non-violent teachings of Jesus that will be taking place in the future,” he said.

After serving as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest inter-faith peace organization in America, Fr Dear embarked on a long-running campaign against war, injustice and nuclear weapons.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, he was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Centre in New York, counselling thousands of relatives and rescue workers.

He has travelled to the war zones of the world, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, given thousands of lectures on peace across America and served as a pastor of several churches in the high desert of New Mexico.

In 2008, Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated Fr Dear for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The key to changing the world and pursuing justice and disarmament is to allow the God of peace to disarm our hearts, make us instruments of peace, and lead us together on the road to peace,” said Fr Dear.

Fr Dear will appear at St Joseph’s Church, in Sunderland, on Thursday, September 6, at 7pm

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