News Release

‘Love’s Pure Light’: Church of Jesus Christ Hosts International Ambassadorial Event in London

Performers from TV and stage focus on Christmas theme for global attendees

Dean of the London Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ivan Romero-Martinez, Ambassador of Honduras (L) with the Ambassador of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Desra Percaya, at the international ambassadorial event hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ, London (12 December, 2023).© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

London-based diplomats gathered at the elegant 116 Pall Mall building in the heart of the UK capital’s St. James’s district, for an evening of reflection and entertainment, with the focus on Jesus Christ as ‘Love’s Pure Light’ on 12 December 2023. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted the event, supported by the Dean of the London Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ivan Romero-Martinez, Ambassador of Honduras, who was accompanied by his wife Mrs Mirian Nasser-Romero.

The 90 guests also included government leaders, other elected officials, leaders of charities, and religious influencers. Revd. Dr. Andrew Teal, Chaplain, Fellow & Lecturer in Theology at Pembroke College Oxford, offered the invocation.

Actress and West End leading lady Savannah Stevenson enthralled the audience with a series of Christmas numbers. She was joined for a duet of ‘The Prayer’ by Britain’s Got Talent contestant and cancer doctor Bambang Atmaja. The musical line-up comprised pianist Jack Tyndale, Co-Director of Maison Musicale, with Moses Siregar; London-based harpist Imogen Ridge; and violinist Emily Harrison and cellist Adam Cubitt, each from the Royal College of Music. The Ambassador of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Desra Percaya, thrilled fellow members of the diplomatic corps with a saxophone accompaniment to the song of hope and overcoming, ‘You Raise Me Up’ sung by embassy staffer Marlon Gabriel.

The evening’s theme was taken from the Christian carol ‘Silent Night’ that references Jesus as ‘Son of God, love’s pure light.’

Elder Robert F Schwartz, Area Seventy from the Europe North Area, focused on the theme of light for his keynote address. “In this celebration of ‘Love’s Pure Light,’ I hope to reflect together on what it means to let light prevail, to contain darkness, and to harness the power that light can bring if we let it,” he said. “Light here includes the light of reason, the light of humanity, the light of our laws and traditions, and the light of God.”

He added, “As we move forward into a new year, our prayer is that we and our nations may bask in and share the light of truth.” Elder Schwartz concluded, “May we collaborate together on efforts of care and belonging. In my capacity as an ordained minister for my Church with such a duty, I bear witness that Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world.”

Responses to the evening were positive. “The music was wonderful, the dinner was excellent, the decorations were very beautiful,” said Mrs Mirian Nasser-Romero. 

A London-based business executive remarked that it was “a night for the ages, never to be forgotten. The evening was just perfect…there were simply so many highlights.”

The dozens of diplomatic guests at the special evening included H.E. Barbara Montalvo Alvarez, Ambassador from Cuba; H.E. Rafael Ortiz Fábrega, Costa Rica Ambassador; H.E. Ambassador Rocio del Valle Maneiro Gonzales, Venezuela; and H.E. Ilir Kapiti, Kosovo Ambassador. Bolivia was represented by Juan Carlos Crespo Montalvo, Chargé d’Affaires; H.E. Madam Rita Tani Iddi, Ghana’s Deputy High Commissioner attended; Nigeria was represented by the High Commission’s Director of Political Affairs, Osunnaiye Taiwo.

Other senior opinion leaders at the event included Lord Daniel Brennan and Lady Pilar Brennan; and Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Preety Hudd, and her Consort, David Hudd.

The event’s theme artwork was a piece by Kelsy and Jesse Lightweave titled ‘Choirs of Heaven,’ displayed as guests entered the room and featured on the programme and invitations. The special selection of artwork and nativities on display included a high-quality print of the work ‘In the Stable’ by Argentinian Latter-day Saint artist Jorge Cocco.

The ‘Love’s Pure Light’ event was organised by Elder Don Stapley and Sister Kathy Stapley, diplomatic outreach representatives for the Church of Jesus Christ in London, with Malcolm Adcock, Director of International & Public Affairs in the London office.

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