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Faiths unite in Epsom to welcome symbolic flame from Bethlehem
Different faiths united to celebrate the arrival of a light symbolising peace at Christmas time which travelled to Epsom all the way from Bethlehem.
More than 100 people gathered in Epsom's marketplace on Sunday as the 7th Epsom Methodist Scout Group brought the Peace Light to the town.
The symbolic flame is kindled in the grotto where, according to tradition, Jesus was born and is then taken on a journey across Europe and America.
Although it has been coming to Epsom as part of its route since 2004, this is the first time it has been used as the centrepiece for a multi-faith event in the marketplace.
Adam Worley, Epsom's business development manager, said: "It was fantastic to see the community making use of the town in this way, with shoppers taking 30 minutes out from their last-minute Christmas shopping to think about peace.
"I look forward to this event taking place next year."
John Padwick, Chair of Churches Together in Epsom, added: "Meeting with people of different faiths in a joint commitment to peace has been great - especially at Christmas time."
Local Scout Leader Neal Dallen said the event shows the importance of the scouts as an organisation.
He said: "Scouts, since the inception of the Peace Light, have played a vital role in transporting it.
"As an international movement with no country, class or creed barriers we are in an almost unique position to be able to do this. In addition our whole ethos is towards peace and unity throughout the world. There are only six countries in the world that do not have scouts".
The event was organised by the scout group, representatives from Churches Together in Epsom and Ewell and various other faith communities.
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