The original Big Ben Silent Minute was a peace prayer initiated by Wellesley Tudor Pole, a major in the British Army and the founder of the Chalice Well Trust, Glastonbury.
During World War II, all over Britain and the Commonwealth, millions of people joined together every evening at 9.00pm just before the news, to the chimes of Big Ben, to pray for peace.
In the dark days of war, the Silent Minute became a vast network of Light and Hope in the hearts of all people of goodwill. It had the blessing of King George VI, Sir Winston Churchill and his Parliamentary Cabinet, and it was also recognised by the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Silent Minute was observed on land, at sea, on the battlefields, in air raid shelters and in hospitals. With Churchill’s support, the BBC, on Sunday, 10th November 1940, began to play the chimes of Big Ben on the radio as a signal for the Silent Minute to begin.
Major Wellesley Tudor Pole said :
"There is no power on earth that can withstand the united co-operation on spiritual levels of men and women of goodwill everywhere. It is for this reason that the continued and widespread observance of the Silent Minute is of such vital importance in the interest of human welfare."
Dorothy Forster revived the Silent Minute in 1994 and registered it as the Big Ben Silent Minute Charity. With the help of the trustees, Dorothy organised millions of people to pray at a given time world-wide, creating a powerful thought for world peace.