With less than three weeks to go until #RedWednesday – 22 November – Christian groups from across the UK have said they will take part in the initiative which aims to promote faith and tolerance in society, stand in solidarity with victims of persecution, and oppose violence and oppression carried out in the name of religion.
Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which is organising #RedWednesday with support from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), is inviting people to wear an item of red clothing on the day.
#RedWednesday organisers – who chose red to symbolise martyrdom and suffering – are appealing for public buildings to be floodlit red on the day.
They are also asking people to share images of their activities on social media using the hashtag.
According to latest ACN reports, cathedrals will be going red across the UK – in Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England and Scotland.
Among those pledging to light up red on 22 November are St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh; St Margaret’s Cathedral, Ayr; St Mary’s Cathedral, Wrexham; St Mirin Cathedral, Paisley; St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich – and in Birmingham both St Chad’s Catholic Cathedral and St Philip’s Church of England Cathedral will be taking part.
Getting involved in #RedWednesday will be students from throughout the UK including Cumbria, North Ayrshire, Glasgow, Surrey and Cambridge, as well those from various institutes in London.
Meanwhile, a red bus emblazoned with the #RedWednesday slogan – “Stand Up for Faith and Freedom” – will tour central London.
It is scheduled to stop at iconic venues, including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square and Lambeth Palace.
The bus’ final destination will be a floodlit Westminster Cathedral.
There on the steps outside will be a service with Gospel music, persecution witness testimonies and speeches by Church leaders and politicians – as well as ACN (UK) National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith and CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.
Inviting people to get involved in #RedWednesday, the initiative’s coordinator Patricia Hatton from ACN said: “#RedWednesday is a unique opportunity to stand up for faith and freedom in this country and around the world and to shine a light on the persecution of Christians and other faith groups today.
“We need people to take the issue of religious freedom seriously so we are inviting parish and prayer groups, families and students to Westminster Cathedral Piazza on #RedWednesday, gathering at 6pm with music and film ahead of the prayer service.
“Please wear something red. Together let’s make a stand for faith and freedom and help Christians and others – especially in the Middle East – who urgently need our support this Christmas.”
Also floodlit in red will be England’s National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, Norfolk; Our Lady Immaculate Parish, Bournemouth; Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill; St Columba’s Church, Inverness; Farm Street Church, London; St Mary’s University, Twickenham; Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe; Lancaster University Catholic Chaplaincy; Holy Name Church, Manchester; St Joseph’s, Bromyard and St Joseph’s, Pontefract.