NW NJPN E Bulletin April 2022
The April NW NJPN E Bulletin leads with a challenging opinion piece from Forces Watch. There are also articles on such diverse topics as the annual Holy Fire procession which talks place in Jerusalem the Saturday before Easter; the latest Campaign Against the Arms Trade news; a modern love story – Richard Ratcliffe’s tireless campaign to free his beloved wife Nazanin from a Tehran prison and an account of faith-based organisations working together to protect biodiversity. Ellen Teague reports on how a delegation from Latin America, including a Catholic bishop, has travelled to Europe to raise awareness and urge support for communities suffering from destructive mining and we showcase the story behind the Red Dress Project, a 13-year, award winning global, collaborative embroidery project, made by over 250 women, many of whom are marginalized and live in poverty, or refugees, or living in war zones. Michael Rosen’s latest book, Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death, and the NHS, gives a frank account of his near-death experience of Covid. All this, plus Lent resources, Stations of the Cross, including a moving liturgy in a women’s prison in Surrey, and an Easter reflection by John O’Donohue and diary dates for the next couple of months.
NW NJPN Justice and Peace E Bulletin April 2022 
Pax Christi Vacancy – Chief Executive Officer
Our Friends at Pax Christi England and Wales are looking to appoint a creative and energetic peacemaker to be responsible for developing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of our membership organisation.
If you would be interested in applying for this post, please visit https://paxchristi.org.uk/work-for-us/ for a job description and application form
Completed application forms should be sent with a covering letter to email@example.com
Closing Date: 19th April 2022
NJPN eBulletin – 20th March 2022
No words can be used to describe how we all feel about what is going on in Ukraine at present. However many times you listen to the news it is difficult to comprehend the situation, and why we are possibly on the brink of yet another World War. There are so many opinions, fundraising efforts, articles etc. that I couldn’t possibly put them all in this e-bulletin. Pretty much every company I have ever bought from on the internet has contacted me in the last week or so to tell me that they have set up either a fundraising page for Ukraine, have donated some money to the DEC Humanitarian Appeal, or will match fund anything that I care to donate. This is great, but as Paul Southgate said the other day, with everything being about Ukraine, there is a worry that other things will get missed.
On the back of this thought, our Action of the Week is about the situation in Calais. We also lead the News and Comments Section with Refugees/Migrants.
Thanks to everyone who has sent in items to be included in this e-bulletin. If possible, can you provide me with a link to the article/event on a website please. Particularly if it is a long article, the e-bulletin works much better if I can put in a few words, and then add the link, so that those who want to read it can do so on a web page.
The next edition will be out around the 3rd ApriI.
God bless and stay safe,
NJPN E-Bulletin 20th March 2022
Winning entries on ‘Changemakers’ in Columban Schools Competition
Winners have been announced in a media competition for young people on the subject
‘Anyone can make a difference: 21st Century Changemakers’ run by the Columban Missionary Society in Britain and Ireland.
Young people 13-18 years in Catholic Schools were asked to consider: Who in the world today is doing something about inequality, injustice, exclusion and environmental degradation? What can they teach us? The theme was based on a quote from young climate campaigner Greta Thunberg who has said, “no one is too small to make a difference”.
The British competition – articles and images – attracted 156 entries from 24 Catholic schools. They were judged by panels of media experts who praised the high quality of all the entries shortlisted: Ruth Gledhill (Multi-Media Editor at The Tablet), Josephine Siedlecka (Founder and Editor of Independent Catholic News), Daisy Srblin, (Director of the Catholic youth social action charity Million Minutes) and James Trewby (Columban Education Worker).
“The quality of entries blew me away and I was amazed at their energy and thoughtfulness,” said James Trewby, Columban Education Worker in Britain.
Jessica Saxon of St George’s College in Weybridge wrote the winning article about US politician and human rights campaigner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, described by Daisy Srblin as “a barnstorming piece of writing” and by Ruth Gledhill as “a powerful article.” Jessica herself says, “only action by those who are brave enough – people like AOC and the person I would like to be – can we encourage young minds to advocate for equality of everyone.”
The runner up was Mahi Sikan of Thomas More School in Bedford, who wrote about an Afghani woman on a mission to improve the healthcare of her community in very difficult circumstances. The article, “reminded us of the millions of people who do amazing work, without fame and acclamation”, according to Daisy Srblin.
Ella Bothwell of St Richard Gwyn in Flint and Scarlett Peart-Lapidge of Bishop Thomas Grant in London were joint third. Ella’s article on David Attenborough was described by Jo Siedlecka of Independent Catholic News as, “a really well written, mature piece combining a profile of David Attenborough with good summary of Catholic Social Teaching with references to Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti.” Scarlett’s focus on Margaret Mizen was described as “a powerful account, with first hand reflections on the ways in which the Mizen family, specifically Margaret Mizen, turned their grief over the murder of their son into something powerful and hopeful, and created real change as a result.”
Elijah Gilbert of Richard Challoner School, New Malden won first prize in the images section for his collage of people of inspiration. His image ‘The Shatter of Inspiration’ showed a shattered glass with a different illustrations of influential people in each shard. Elijah says, “the people in the larger shatters have done an outstanding amount of things that one can be inspired by.” These include Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai and Vanessa Nakate. Daisy Sriblin said, “I love the thinking behind this image, reminiscent of stained glass in a Church, but featuring contemporary figures like Obama, Marcus Rashford and Pope Francis; visually it’s extremely striking, and an original and thoughtful idea.”
Second place went to Katherine Fawole of St Paul’s Academy in London for her Gouache painting of Greta Thunberg. “It communicates one of Thunberg’s most powerful quotations,” said Daisy Srblin, “and I particularly love the earthy colours, reminding us of our roots and our obligations to the planet.” Josephine Siedlecka described it as “a really striking image.”
Oliver Lafite of Richard Challoner School and Paulette De Jose of Holy Cross School in New Malden came joint third. Oliver drew footballer Marcus Rashford as ‘superman’, saying “this is a man that has a lot of money and instead of being rich he wanted to help others in need.” Josephine Siedlecka felt, it had “a simple and very clear message which works very well without words.”
Paulette produced a mixed media piece focusing on four ‘changemakers’ around the words, ‘Be the Change you want to see in the world.’ The four are: Amanda Gorman (a racial justice activist – bottom right), Molly Burhans (an environmental activist – bottom left), Jamie Margolin (an LGBTQ+ rights activist – top left) and Jaclyn Friedman (a feminist – top right). Paulette says, “in my opinion, these people are very inspiring, considering that they are confident in what they believe in and are fighting for it as well as relying on their faith to encourage and help them.” Daisy Srblin commented: “I love the blend of diversity, featuring famous voices like Amanda Gorman, and raising awareness of less well known but equally important advocates like Jamie Margolin. The diversity of using mixed media also demonstrates how change makers themselves use different means of advocacy, all of which are important. The faith motivations of the featured individuals is also a thoughtful observation.”
The Columbans thanked all the young people who entered the 2022 competition and the judging panel.
Former Columban competitions have focused on Climate Change, Migration and ‘Tackling our Throwaway Culture’ and Racism.
Links from the Columban website about all the winners and their entries:
Winning articles on ‘Changemakers’ in Columban Competition
Winning images on ‘Changemakers’ in Columban Competition
NW NJPN eBulletin March 2022
The NW NJPN E Bulletin for March 2022 leads with current reports about the Russian attacks on Ukraine. As we know, the situation is constantly changing with new onslaughts daily. The Archbishop of Liverpool has launched a major appeal offering practical support for the Ukrainian people with collection points in churches across the diocese plus ways to contribute financially – look out for similar humanitarian responses in your local area. Bruce Kent has made a stirring speech calling for an end to nuclear weapons, redoubling our efforts to build peaceful ways to resolve conflicts, supporting those who don’t want to fight and offering a safe haven for refugees. There are links to the winning entries (print and image) in this year’s schools competition organised by the Columbans on the theme ‘21st Century Changemakers’. Brazilian Bishops are protesting government plans to take over more indigenous land and the denuding of the Amazon rainforest. Also included in this issue are Lent resources and an Easter story plus diary dates for the forthcoming months.NW NJPN Justice and Peace E Bulletin March 2022 
NJPN Urgent Action – 27th February 2022 – Ukraine
NJPN Urgent Action 27 February 2022
The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Due to the Networking Day yesterday, and catering for a visiting Priest in our parish, I realised quite late on that I would not have enough hours in the weekend to produce a full e-bulletin.Instead, there are actions here to do with arms to Yemen, and the situation in Ukraine, which is unfolding even as I write this. The likes of which looks as if it will have ramifications on the whole of Europe, if not the world.
I was privileged to be part of two prayer sessions for Ukraine on Thursday and Friday. The first organised by Christian CND, and the second by Fellowship of Reconciliation, Methodist Peace Fellowship and Church and Peace. Ann Farr read the beautiful Coventry Litany of Reconciliation on Thursday, and I thought it apt that I include it here today.
More prayers sessions will follow on Fridays at 7.30pm. See the Fellowship of Reconciliation website to register for these.
Action of the Week
Lobby your MP for Yemen on the 10th March
Next month sees the seventh anniversary of the war in Yemen, which began on 26th March 2015.
It is a war that has been fuelled by British arms exports, with sales worth more than £20 billion made to Saudi Arabia since the conflict began. It is also a war that has claimed over 377,000
lives. Last month, the Saudi coalition bombed a prison killing over 80 civilians, without a word of condemnation from the UK government.
It’s high time for the UK government to stop enabling this war, end arms sales, and make serious efforts to bring the war to an end and promote accountability for atrocities committed by all sides.
On 10th March, CAAT is asking friends and supporters to lobby their MPs for Yemen. If you would like to take part in this Lobby Day, please contact your MP to book a meeting.
. Between now and then we will send you a briefing pack with the latest information. There will also be an optional online training session to help you make the most of this meeting.
So many articles out there, and grateful thanks to Anne O’Connor who has provided most of them. I have included a few, but obviously most of us are hearing the news as it happens, and I think it is important to remember to take a moment and remove ourselves from the distress of it all, whilst still holding the people of Ukraine, and indeed Russia, in our thoughts and prayers.
As I write this I have received a phone call telling me that, according to the radio news, President Putin has put his nuclear forces on special alert. Looking at the BBC News website, who are providing up to the minute information as it happens, the hope is that Putin is signalling a warning to NATO, rather than an intent to actually use them…but who knows. The world is negotiating with someone who seems to want to stop at nothing to get what he wants, or prove a point.
If you were wondering what is so special about Ukraine, the following has been doing the rounds on social media: –
For those who are asking :
“Why does Ukraine matter?” “
How the independent, sovereign and democratic nation of Ukraine ranks:
🥇1st European reserve of uranium minerals;
🥈2nd European titanium mineral reserve – 10th world reserve;
)2nd world reserve of manganese minerals (2.3 billion tonnes, or 12% of world reserves);
🥈2nd world iron reserve (30 billion tonnes);
de2nd European Mercury Reserve;
(223rd European shale gas reserve (22 billion cubic meters) – 13th world reserve
📌 4th place in the world in total value of natural resources
📌 7th world coal reserve (33.9 billion tons)
❗️🇺🇦 Ukraine is an agricultural country – it can meet the food needs of 600 million people:
🥇The largest area of arable land in Europe;
🥉3rd largest area of black soil (chornozem) in the world (25% of world volume);
🥇1st exporter in the world of sunflower and sunflower oil;
‘2nd world barley producer – 4th world exporter;
de3rd corn producer in the world – 4th exporter in the world;
– 4th potato producer in the world;
– 5th rye producer in the world;
– 5th place in the world in beekeeping production – honey, wax, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, bee venom (75,000 tons);
– 8th wheat exporter in the world;
– 9th producer of chicken eggs in the world;
– 16th cheese exporter in the world
🇺🇦 Ukraine is an industrialized country:
🥇 1st European producer of ammonia;
Europe 2nd largest pipeline network in Europe and 4th in the world (142.5 billion cubic meters of gas flow capacity in the EU);
🥉 3rd largest nuclear park in Europe – 8th world;
ire 3rd longest railway network in Europe – 11th in the world (21,700 km);
🥉3rd worldwide producer of locators and tracking equipment (after the USA and France);
export 3rd world iron exporter;
💥4th world exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants;
💥4th manufacturer of rocket launchers in the world;
💥 4th exporter of clay in the world;
💥4th titanium exporter in the world;
💥8th exporter of minerals and metal concentrates in the world;
💥9th exporter in the world in the arms industry;
💥 10th steel producer in the world (32.4 million tonnes).
Regardless of the above, though, the important thing in all of this is the people. They don’t want to fight or have their homeland destroyed. They don’t want to lose loved ones for no reason.
Their struggle has become our struggle, and we support them in love and prayer.
What Putin Wants
Peter Rickets (former Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office) writes in Prospects Magazine about Putin wanting to re-open the post-Cold War settlement.
Pope visits Russian Embassy
On Friday, Pope Francis went to see the Russian Ambassador to the Holy See to express his concern about the war in Ukraine. Vatican News stated that he had previously appealed : – “to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war.” And he called on believers and non-believers alike to unite in a joint supplication for peace next 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, by praying and fasting. “Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting,” the Pontiff said. “I invite everyone to make next 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”
You can read the full article through Vatican News.
UNHCR, the Refugee Agency
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Facebook page has up to date news on what they are doing in Ukraine at present, and the humanitarian aid they are providing.
Statements from the Religious Communities
Pope Francis’ Statement
“I have great pain in my heart over the worsening situation in Ukraine,”“Like me, many people all over the world are anguished and worried. Once again, everyone’s peace is threatened by one side’s interests.” “I would like all those who have the political responsibility to make a serious examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war… He wants us to be brothers and not enemies. I pray that all parties involved will refrain from any action that will cause even more suffering for people, destabilizing coexistence among nations and undermining international law.” “And now, I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical evil of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting,” “I invite everyone to make next March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace. I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”
Pastoral Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby and the Most Revd and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell have posted a pastoral letter concerning the situation in Ukraine, calling for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces, as well as giving some some specific dates for prayer. You can read the full letter here.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine (Moscow Patriarchate)
The Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, and primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, urged people to pray for Ukraine, for the army and the people, to forget mutual quarrels and misunderstandings and to unite in love for God and the homeland.
His words are available to read through World Council of Churches here.
Obviously, there are various fundraising efforts going around to help those in Ukraine, or the neighbouring countries in dealing with the influx of refugees, and in some places, their animals.
The bigger ones are as follows: –
UNICEF: – More than half a million children in Ukraine are already affected as the conflict in the east of the country enters its eighth year. Homes, schools, water supplies and hospitals are damaged. Landmines pose a major threat to children’s lives.
They are especially concerned for the safety and wellbeing of children who have become separated from their families.
They are helping to make sure that child health and protection services are sustained and families have clean water and nutritious food.
Please donate to help protect children in Ukraine.
Aid to the Church in Need –
ACN states on their website: – With project partners reporting a deepening catastrophe, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has rushed through plans to send €1 million (more than £830,000) to help the Church in Ukraine as it ministers to a country invaded by Russian troops.
Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv, one of the dioceses in eastern Ukraine that ACN is supporting with emergency help, said: “The situation is getting worse every day. We live now from hour to hour.
“Prices are rising, especially for essential goods. The situation in the diocese is very difficult.
“The number of faithful has decreased and those remaining, unfortunately, cannot maintain the parishes or support the priests. They come themselves and ask for help from the priests and sisters.”
The emergency aid will meet the essential needs – including heating, lighting, water and food – of the diocese’s 57 priests as well as the 54 members of religious communities, enabling them to continue their vital ministry to those struggling to make ends meet.
For more of the story, and the opportunity to donate, go to the ACN website.
The Last Word
This beautiful piece was played at the end of the Prayer Meeting on Thursday: –
Within our Darkest Night from the Taize Community
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NJPN Urgent Action 27 February 2022
MouthPeace Spring 2022 Available Now.
The Sprng 2022 issue of MouthPeace is now available to download below, please feel free to share with others you feel would be interested.
Mouthpeace Spring 22.
The Executive Committee of Justice and Peace Europe calls for peace and an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine
The Executive Committee of Justice and Peace Europe calls for peace and an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine
Read more Europe J&P Committee
NJPN eBulletin 13th February 2022
Today we celebrate Racial Justice Sunday, the theme being ‘In the image and likeness of God.’ Again, like last year, we are asked to reflect upon the importance of everyone recognising themselves, their race, their culture and their history in the life of the Church. Racial Justice really is everyone’s business.
Not really a justice and peace issue, but worthy of a mention anyway, is the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. I felt a little bit ashamed last weekend. As it was my Mum’s Anniversary and prayers were being offered, I went to a Catholic Mass and a Church of England Service. At the latter they gave congratulations and offered prayers for Her Majesty the Queen in acknowledgement of her seventy years on the throne. This is something that in our church we didn’t mention, and indeed hadn’t remembered (and what makes it worse is that I produce our church’s newsletter). Whether you are a royalist or not, sitting in a job and being in the public eye for all that time is an amazing achievement. Throughout all of the ups and downs, the Queen has steadfastly stuck to her religious principles, and indeed usually mentions them in her Christmas broadcast. Despite the various family issues, most of which have been aired in public, she has remained a constant presence, and yet at times I am sure she wanted to just give up and go home! Thank you, your Majesty, for the hard work that you have put into reigning this country for the past seventy years.
There are a lot of issues in this e-bulletin, although many of them all stem from the same major issue – the climate. Refugees/Migrants, Modern Slavery, the decline of species, environmental problems, the energy crisis – they are pretty much all under one umbrella. If we could just address the climate, especially the effect that it has in the Global South, then many other problems could also be helped. We all talked about COP26, but don’t forget the Biodiversity Conference, COP15, coming up in China this year, and also COP27 in Egypt in November….all is not yet lost, surely?
A reminder to everyone to get their bookings in early for the NJPN Conference in July. The price goes up after the 20th May.
I look forward to communicating with you all in around two weekends time. If you have anything in the meantime that you want mentioned, please do not hesitate to email it to me: – email@example.com.
Please find below the ad and flyer for the Ecumenical Romero Service at St Martin’s in the Field, Trafalgar Square on March 19th 2022.
Edgardo is a Methodist theologian, and Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University in North Carolina. He has written an absolutely superb volume on Romero entitled ‘Oscar Romero’s Theological Vision – Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor’.
He will also be speaking in Durham Cathedral on Thursday March 24th at 7.00pm and in Birmingham (Newman University) on Tuesday March 22nd at 17.30. On Saturday March 26th he will speak in Cardiff at 11.00 am at a meeting organised under the auspices of CYTUN.
More details in the weeks ahead.