The International Peace Light returns to the Isle of Man for the fourth consecutive festive season, thanks to support from the Steam Packet Company.

The ferry company first made special arrangements for the lit flame to be transported from England in 2014, and next month it will return for a Peace Light Service to be held at St George’s Church in Douglas.

It will arrive on December 20th, with the service taking place on Saturday, December 23rd at 11.00am and The Rt. Revd. Peter Eagles, Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, attending.

Every year since 1986, a child from Austria has travelled to Bethlehem and kindled a light from the Eternal Flame inside the Church of the Nativity. The Light is then flown to Austria, where it is distributed to international delegations at a Service of Dedication and Distribution.

Thanks to cooperation between the Scouts and Guides in many countries, the Light has travelled throughout Europe, America, Canada and Australasia. When the Light reaches each country, Scouts and Guides take it into the community, distributing it to churches, old people's homes, residential homes, hospitals, prisons and other places of public, political or cultural importance.

As in previous years, local Scouts and Guides will light their own flames from the Light and distribute them around the Island.

Guy Thompson, Island Commissioner for Scouts, said: We were very grateful to the Steam Packet Company for helping to bring the Bethlehem Peace Light to the Isle of Man. It has meant a huge amount to the local Scout and Guide associations and the communities who received a flame from the Light.

‘We are delighted the Steam Packet Company once again kindly agreed to help, ensuring the symbol of peace can be shared around the Island.’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Although transporting a lit flame presents some logistical issues for us, we are pleased to once again be able to assist with transporting the International Peace Light, bringing this longstanding symbol of peace to the Isle of Man.’