The Christmas Truce

The Christmas Truce

When the UK Public Affairs National Council discussed the idea of preparing an audio visual presentation of “The Christmas Truce' for every stake to commemorate that famous event they had no idea how successful it would be.

Bro Martin Cook, UK National Director said: “The story of ‘The Christmas Truce’ has Universal appeal and who better to recreate that event and tell that story than us, the Latter-day Saints? It was our desire to invite MPs, Mayors and local civic leaders to have an experience with the Holy Ghost in our chapels in order to create a new level of good will towards the Church throughout the UK. The story of that Truce 100 years ago is the message of the Gospel today, the Brotherhood of man and Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.”

In December 2014 Latter-day saints across Great Britain shared in that same moment when almost 14,000 people attended one of the 41 Christmas Truce performances held across 30 participating stakes. More than 2,500 non-member friends attended and joined in the Christmas carols. Several Members of Parliament participated at various venues.

The Chorley stake saw as many as 1,500 attended over two nights, including 400 non-member friends. The Rt. Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, attended and read a letter from one of the servicemen in the trenches to his loved ones back home.

In the York Stake where 750 attended, including more than 100 non-members, Brother Mark Taylor commented, “The chapel was full right through to the stage. We had a number of VIPs who carried out readings including Colin Northridge MBE (Chairman of the RBL North & East Yorkshire), Councillor Helen Douglas (York Council) and David Wilkes  (Former British Armed Forces head chaplain). Max Newton (British Red Cross) and a number of York Interfaith Group board members and their guests also attended. The feedback was phenomenal and they all were so impressed with the quality of the production.”

“This Christmas-based event has been the most successful event for non-member participation and bringing people into our chapel,” reported President Simon Hill of the Bristol Stake Presidency, where 800 people attended including more than 100 non-member friends.”

The story continues across Great Britain including the tiny Porthmadog branch in Wales where 4 non-members joined the 20 members who participated.

Guests and friends attending these performances were moved by this extraordinary reminder of World War 1 in the special centenary anniversary year in 2014.