DESPITE the wind and a rain, a community gathered for a service to remember those who have died in conflicts and to pray for peace.

The peace and reconciliation service was first held in Bettws in 2002 following the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York.

It is held annually, and remembers the victims of other attacks and other atrocities and aims to encourage peace around the world.

Pupils from Newport High School, Milbrook Primary School, Monnow Primary School and Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael, gathered at Bettws Shopping Centre for the annual peace and reconciliation event which is organised by Bettws in Bloom.

They were joined by members of the congregation from St David's Church, St David's Lewis Church and Bettws United Reform Church.

South Wales Argus:

One of the event organisers, Bettws in Bloom chairperson Ann Royle, said: “We are very happy, we were very lucky with the weather.

"The children always come and take part and I think that is so important. They come every year and it helps them understand what is going on in the world."

Paul Manship, a teacher at Monnow Primary School, said: "We have been coming since 2002. It gives pupils a sense of community and turning them into citizens of the world, that is essential."

The service began with the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful which was followed by a reading from St Matthew’s Gospel by pupils from Newport High School.

Members of the Bettws in Bloom Community Choir sang two songs and the service and a wreath laid to remember the dead and as a token of peace.

Canon Henry Davies, of St David’s Church, Bettws, also helped organise the day.

He said: "It is an important occasion.

"We have done it every year and we pray for different places this year, there is so much conflict in the world today."

Members of the Royal Naval Association, Royal Welsh Comrades Association and the Merchant Navy Association were also part of the service as well as Royal Air Force cadets.

Standard bearers were also present at the service and took part in the minute silence to remember the victims.

A bugler sounded the last post as the gathered crowd fell silent.