An extract from a sermon Canon Peter Mullins preached on 10th July 2005 at Grimsby’s official marking of the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War:
500 yards from Russell Square Underground Station, in the great quadrangle of the British Museum, there stands a sculpture from Mozambique called ‘The Tree of Life’. After years of debilitating civil war an amnesty for arms was declared and each gun turned in was exchanged for something else, perhaps a sewing machine or a hoe. The idea is at least 2,650 years old when Isaiah prophesied that a time would come when we would not need to train anyone for war anymore: swords would be made into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. The sculpture is made from the weapons handed over in exchange for exactly such things. It has been done in the past, it is being done now, and it will be done again in the future. As those who Christ calls blessed because we hunger for justice and apply ourselves to the incredibly difficult task of being makers of peace, we need to know that that sculpture stands so close to where emergency services work to recover the bodies in London once again today.