Jelly Babies are perhaps my favourite sweets. They were first introduced at the end of the 1st World War as a celebration of peace. They were first called ‘Peace Babies’. Their introduction marked a new beginning (because they were babies) and they showed that life was returning to normal and could be fun again (because they were jelly sweets).
In 1989 each of Bassett’s six ‘babies’ was given a name and an identity – do you know what they are? Bassett’s packaging tells us all about them:
“Pink Baby Bonny wears a nappy and frilly bonnet. She is always crawling into mischief! Boofuls is soft-hearted and cries a lot, even when he is happy! Bumper is orange, wears a bum-bag, and bumps into things! Bubbles has her hair in a ponytail and is yellow. Bigheart is grey and always puts his friends first. Brilliant is the red leader of the gang.”
Peace is enjoyed when people of different ages, interests and appearances live together in harmony. (Wouldn’t a bag of jelly babies be dull if the sweets were all one colour and flavour!)
We are all unique, all special. You are special and I am special. Being different from other people makes our world and our communities special. Real peace, is peace that respects our differences, real peace in our homes and communities is built on respect and care for each other even though we are different.
On August 3rd and 4th we commemorate the start of the First World War – we remember all the people who died and we honour their loss and the sacrifice that they and their families made. We do not celebrate war, rather reflect on the courage of many, the honour and valour shown, and perhaps above all the terrible loss of war. No one really wins a war, everyone loses.
Peace built on justice is our goal. We pray for an end to all wars, we pray for just peace for areas of conflict in our world. We pray that everyone will take the risks necessary to bring about lasting peace. We pray this, for our own families, our own communities, our town, our city and our nation. And perhaps at this time for countries torn apart by strife – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and so many other places that fail to make our news headlines but where strife is endemic, destroying all that people hold dear.
We pray for them as we remember the sacrifices made in the past in the cause of peace.
Next time you pick up a Jelly Baby, rather than biting off its head, please suck it slowly, and as you do so, pray for peace, for justice and for hope in places of conflict in our world.