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NPN E-Bulletin 11th October 2020

Fratelli Tutti, Climate issues,
and events happening virtually. Please join in!
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“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “– Acts 20:35

 

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Dear Friends,

Thanks to our friends at the Birmingham Justice and Peace Commission, who put on a very interesting virtual Assembly last week on the Climate Emergency. If you missed the talks/service, or want to re-watch any of them, they are available on YouTube by following this link. 
Also, the next NJPN AGM and Networking Day will take place on the 21st November. You can book via Eventbrite here.
The main item being commented on at the moment is Pope Francis’ new Encyclical – Fratelli Tutti, which can be pre-ordered through CTS here. Everyone has an opinion on the publication, so there are a selection of articles below. 
There is also the usual mix of justice and peace issues which we hope that, not only will you find interesting, but thought-provoking too.
Don’t forget, if you have something you particularly want shared in this e-bulletin, send it to ebulletin@justice-and-peace.org.uk.  
The next edition will be out in two weeks time,
God bless you all,
Editor

Please note we are still using a temporary postal address due to the closure of the Eccleston Square office:

Geoff Thompson, NJPN, c/o CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre, St Walburge’s Centre, St Walburge’s Gardens, Preston PR2 2QJ.
 

You can still use the same phone number.

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E-Bulletin Contents: –

***ACTION OF THE WEEK***

News and Comment

  1. Fratelli Tutti – comments on Pope Francis’ new Encyclical
  2. Connecting Social Action work with the Church’s message
  3. NJPN columns in the Universe
  4. Is it ethical to accept medical treatments derived from abortions?
  5. #BlackLivesMatter
  6. Christian CND AGM 2020
  7. Praying for Myanmar
  8. Launch of Reset the Debt 
  9. Environmental Issues
  10. Update on KitKat
Newsletters
   
    11. Lancaster Faith and Justice October 2020
   
12. News from Quaker Peace and Social Action  
   13. ECCR September 2020
  

Events    14. Webinar: the Corporate Takeover of Health
    15. Regional Workshops for climate action
    16. Build Back Better HOW? (Compass)
    17. Re-Imagining the Promised Land (Green Christian)
    18. Asylum Explained (JRS)
    19. Radical Presence (Green Christian)
    20. UN Solidarity with the Palestine People (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
    21. Quaker Activist Gathering
    22. Pax Christi Advent Service

    Actions    23. Reset the Debt
    24. Save Family Reunion
   
25. Steps to Freedom Challenge
    26. Biofuelwatch: Protect Forests
    27. Yemen: Email your MP

    

E-Petitions

   28. RSPB – Revive our World
   29. Stop people being evicted
   .   

The Last Word

 30. Art as Resistance

 

***ACTION OF THE WEEK***
 
Challenge Poverty Week 12 – 18 October 2020

Challenge Poverty Week is on in England and Wales for the first time.

On their website, you’ll find details of events, useful resources, and various suggestions for getting involved. But you may be wondering: where did the idea come from?
In essence, it’s happening here this year because we have seen how successful and powerful it has been elsewhere. The Poverty Alliance in Scotland has been running its Challenge Poverty Week for the past seven years, and it has grown to become a powerful fixture in the calendar.
Community groups, charities, councils and small groups of individuals have organised events, held decision-makers to account, and ensured that ending poverty is a national priority. Last year, it generated national media attention and led to questions and debates in the Holyrood and Westminster Parliaments, and led to people with personal experience of poverty sharing their experiences and ideas in a safe and effective way.
Last year, we also took part in End Hunger Week, and were heartened by the number of people groups who wanted to take a stand and call for an end to poverty. We wanted to build on that resolve and enthusiasm this year.

We know there is a huge appetite for change across England and Wales as well, and we know that by harnessing the wisdom, ingenuity and determination of people across the anti-poverty movement, we can make change happen.
 

 

NEWS AND COMMENT

1. Fratelli Tutti – positive comments from around the world

Much has been made of Pope Francis’ new Encyclical, which was launched last weekend. Described by Austen Ivereigh as an ‘Invitation to rediscover a sense of human togetherness’ – something that very much seems to be missing in much of today’s society, and indeed the insular world that we seem to be comfortable in here in the UK. Listen to the interview with Austen Ivereigh, through the Mill Hill Missionaries page here.

The African Bishops have dubbed it ‘A call to end Africa’s ethnic divisions,’ as well as being a call ‘to work assiduously for religious freedom.’ To read their full statement on the 8th October, go to the  aciaafrica website.

Christine Allen from CAFOD has described it as ‘A message for all people’ – in which Pope Francis praises the togetherness shown by society during the Covid-19 crisis. 
But the Pope warns that a fragmented global response risks creating a “setback” on the journey to building a fairer world.
Pope Francis argues in the encyclical that politics should be “re-evaluated” to focus on serving the common good, not economic interests. The full CAFOD statement is available here. 

Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salem is the first ever Muslim to present a papal encyclical. Advisor to the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, he is now secretary general of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity set up to promote that historic document which the two religious leaders signed in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 4, 2019. In an interview with America, after speaking at the Vatican presentation of the pope’s new encyclical “Fratelli Tutti,” on 4th October, he said “I was really very moved when I first read Pope Francis’ message. I felt that the pope is representing me in every word, in everything he said,”
He views the pope’s encyclical as “the guide to putting into practice the Human Fraternity document,” and he considers the latter as “the constitution” for fostering Christian-Muslim relations. “I see both documents as a very strong barrier against hatred and racism, and evil in general,” he said. “The real Islam and the real Christianity is against intolerance and these negative forces,” he stated. Go to the America webpage to read the full article.

Finally, the Catholic Women’s Council, a coalition of Catholic women’s networks from around the world, have sent an open letter to Pope Francis, very politely asking for him to reconsider the title of the Encyclical – Fratelli Tutti, in literal translation means ‘Brothers All.’ Read what they have to say through Independent Catholic News.

2. The Cross and Shame:
                 speaking of atonement to a shame-filled society – a booklet.

Rebecca Winfrey has produced a 27 page booklet, title as above. It is an example of the most helpful theology: brief, accessible, reflective and mission-oriented. A book which helps us connect the truth of the gospel to practical action. An ideal guide for anyone involved in a project team as to how gospel truth can be integrated alongside compassionate practice. A review of the booklet is available on the Grace + Truth webpage.

3. Latest NJPN Columns in The Universe

2 October – My escape to a simpler, sustainable life.
Dr Andrew Neil Rollinson is an independent energy engineer and a member of the NJPN Environment Group

I’m escaping. My wife and I have bought an old croft in the Highlands of Scotland. It didn’t cost much, though it has five acres of land, no mains electricity or water, and there is no home, only a ruinous stone shell which we intend to renovate.
What the croft does have is that wildlife is plentiful. Animals that were once abundant in England such as barn owls, hedgehogs, voles, field mice, deer, bees and a rich variety of birds and butterflies, share the space. It also has a small, very friendly community of people.
I grew up in Yorkshire and lived for 50 years in the same town. It was once a collection of farms but through the years I have seen the local authority ride roughshod over the environment and licence an urban sprawl assault. Now, in all directions, cheaply built housing estates stand on the former farms, trees have been cut down without question, and all roads are gridlocked from 7am to 8pm. As a consequence, hedgehogs have been wiped out and the only birds remaining are pigeons and magpies. Nature has been removed, and it has taken with it people’s serenity and sanity.
Feeling the pain of this destruction I have been constantly active: objecting to planning applications, writing letters to the newspaper, and even demonstrating outside the Town Hall with a load hailer. I saw it as my Christian duty to be Jesus’ hands on earth, and because all it takes for evil to succeed is that good people do nothing.
However, last month my wife and I visited our croft and set about making preparations for a permanent move. There I laid foundations for a tool store and started building a caravan canopy. And while doing this I thought, ‘I’m a hypocrite!’ Here I am digging holes, clearing the land and displacing wildlife. I’m doing exactly the same as the property developers in England. It is the thin end of of the same wedge.
But I concluded that there is a difference. That difference is ‘greed’. Unlike the property developer/council partnership I intend to live simply and in harmony with nature, planting hedgerows and wildflowers, taking water from my well, growing my own organic vegetables, having just the bare minimum to subsist. In short, I will cherish and care for ‘our common home’ according to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’.

9 October – Just seeking sanctuary
Phil Kerton is Co-Director of Seeking Sanctuary. He is also a former Chair of NJPN and remains a consultant to its Executive.

We’ve recently seen the Church’s Day for Migrants and Refugees, with statements from Rome, and from Bishop Paul McAleenan, our bishops’ spokesman on the issue. He visited Dover on 15 September to meet volunteers working alongside migrants arriving from France in small boats and passing briefly through the port. ‘Seeking Sanctuary’ was delighted to see local people meeting him and to see a BBC TV team interview him for a ‘Songs of Praise’. Bishop Paul was filmed on the Dover seafront, by the Migrants’ plaque, scheduled for transmission on 11 October.
But what has been happening in Calais?
Charity volunteers have been prohibited from making free distributions of food and water in central Calais. With repeated clearance of shelters and confiscation of property every few days, some people are now sleeping at places remote from the officially-sanctioned food distributions and to reach these many must walk for several hours each way (if they are strong enough). The human rights ombudsman reports that preventing the charitable provision of essential supplies violates several human and constitutional rights.
However, that opinion has failed to convince the courts that the ban should be overturned. Secours Catholique and others have protested about the situation and British members of the cross-Channel network ‘People not Walls’ organised an on-line petition in support. This was delivered by hand on 25 September to the French Embassy in London, but the Home Office refused to take delivery of their copy unless a solicitor was in attendance – a hitherto unknown requirement. The small delivery group was hardly threatening, being made up of two women, a monk and two Catholic priests! With nearly 500 signatures now delivery is being rearranged.
As September drew to a close, Calais saw the largest eviction since the elimination of the infamous ‘Jungle’ in 2016. Around 800 migrants were taken away in coaches early one morning to ‘places of shelter’ elsewhere, 38% of them in the north of France and the majority further away. Almost all will probably make their way back to Calais within a few weeks, with their fear and distrust of French officials further confirmed.
‘Seeking Sanctuary’ finds no joy in reporting such grim news from France, but we are buoyed by support from generous individuals, churches and community groups whose actions continue to contradict the claim that a hostile environment prevails in the UK.

Our thanks go to our friends at The Universe for supporting us. If you would like to take out a subscription to their newspaper and support them in return, please follow this link.

4. Is it ethical to accept medical treatments derived from abortions?

I was surprised this week to receive an email from our Parish Priest, with information contained within from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales issuing a statement about vaccines derived from foetal cell lines. The full statement is available here to read. What I was more surprised at is that in ‘grave cases’ a vaccine derived from aborted foetuses in the past may be used in good conscience. 
The upshot of the report is that the Department for Health and Social Care recognises that the source of the vaccine raises moral concerns and gives assurance that no new human foetal tissue will be used in making the vaccine, although cell-lines developed from the remains of aborted foetuses in the past are being researched by some institutions. The Department has also given assurances that any vaccine which is developed will be safe and effective.
Interestingly, America Magazine have also run a similar article, as during Donald Trump’s stay in hospital with Covid-19 he was treated with two remedies which were derived with cells from an aborted foetus in 1972.
From my personal perspective this makes for very uncomfortable reading. We can only hope and pray that other options will become available given time.

5. Articles around race issues

Why I’m no longer talking to Black people about race
                                          (the way I used to)

An Open Letter to other White people in the UK…
Adrian Lock, Founding Director of Deeper Leaders, has written a brilliant piece in Grace + Truth giving a synopsis of events from George Floyd’s death on the 25th May, and his thoughts about the depths of ignorance in white psyches, and the depth of pain prevalent in black psyches. It gives opinions from both sides, both black and white. Very much worthy of a read. Find it here.

Webinars
Also, the World Council of Churches have a series of Webinars entitled ‘Theological Reflections on Hate Speech and Whiteness.’ These will happen between 19th October and 23rd October on YouTube. For more information visit their website here.

Columbans launch schools competition – ‘End Racism’
Ellen Teague writes:-
‘Let’s Create A World Without Racism’ is the theme for a schools’ competition launched by the Columban Missionary Society. The objective is to encourage students 14-18 years old to use their media skills to look at a topical issue which is relevant to society today and resonates with Catholic Social Teaching.
The competition is open for writing and image entries until 20 February 2021 and winners will be announced on 15 March 2021. Two separate competitions will be judged, one for students in Ireland and one in Britain and high-profile judges from the world of journalism have been secured.
In June this year, after the death of George Floyd in the United States, Pope Francis said, “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” Young people in Ireland and Britain have been out on the streets calling for an end of racism. This is a chance to engage with an issue that addresses equality, justice, inclusion and also draws on faith and personal experience.
Details of the competition are on the poster below. Please give the details to any young people you feel would want to be involved.

6. Report on the Christian CND AGM 2020

The Christian CND AGM took place on Zoom on Saturday 3 October with 40 members and supporters gathering to hear the latest developments in their campaign. Martin Newall from Christian Climate Action joined them and spoke about the work of CCA and his own journey into activism. Workshops also took place where ideas were exchanged and plans for the next year started to take shape.
Details of the AGM are available here.

7. Prayers asked for Myanmar

A 22-month conflict between Myanmar’s military and the rebel Arakan Army has been raging in Rakhine and Chin states. More than 90,000 people have been displaced due to the renewed conflict in Rakhine, which has spilled into neighbouring Chin state, home to many Christians, mostly ethnic Chin. The Arakan Army is a largely Buddhist militia demanding greater autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine people. Rakhine state is also experiencing a separate conflict that has seen more than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya, mostly Muslim, flee to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017 due to military offensives. For more details go to the Vatican News page here.

8. Launch of Reset the Debt

The Joint Public Issues Team, in partnership with Church Action on Poverty have launched a new campaign, Reset the Debt.
During lockdown, millions of families in the UK have been forced to borrow money to make ends meet – with the biggest increase in debt amongst the poorest households.
Six million people have fallen behind on rent, council tax and other household bills because of Covid-19.
Almost one in five households borrowed money to buy food or other essentials in July.
This is an urgent problem that demands a solution. So we’re proposing that the Chancellor creates a Jubilee Fund, that will provide grants to pay off and cancel unavoidable debts accrued by households during the lockdown period. We believe that a Jubilee would allow relationships to be reset, communities to be re-balanced, and people’s dignity to be restored.
For more details and to get involved please visit the website here.

9. Environmental Issues

Community say no to coal in Cumbria
Friends of the Earth report:-
The government has just refused planning permission for a controversial opencast coal mine in Druridge Bay, thanks to the tireless work of local campaigners.
But now West Cumbria could soon be home to the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years. Not if 16-year old campaigner Isabella and her Climate Action group get their way though.
To read the full report, go to Friends of the Earth here.

Which future do we want to plan for?
Just by chance, after attending the Birmingham Climate Emergency Assembly last week (links to the talks in the Editorial at the top of the page) I received from the RSPB a regular update, including an article entitled ‘Which future do we want to plan for?’ The article was written back in August, when the Government launched their White Paper entitled ‘Planning for the Future.’ The RSPB have assessed the Paper and say that it raises more questions than it answers.
They state ‘The reforms contain real risks for nature and communities.  We need clarity from government about how these dramatic proposals could be consistent with nature’s recovery (an issue that the White Paper completely fails to address).   
The proposals are open to public consultation for 12 weeks until 29 October, and we will be asking our supporters to include their voice in that over the coming months. ‘ 
If you haven’t done so already, please look at the White Paper, and read the article on the RSPB website here.

10. Nestle’s Kit Kat will stop being Fairtrade

Back in June, we shared the deeply disappointing news KitKat bars will cease to use Fairtrade ingredients. Since then, you may have seen, or even been part of, the huge public reaction against this decision.
Over a quarter of a million people signed this petition, started by Joanna Pollard a Fairtrade campaigner in Yorkshire, and supported by a range of organisations, asking Nestlé to think again.
And MPs have spoken out too, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade condemning this decision strongly, after grilling Nestlé representatives in Parliament.
Despite this public response, Nestlé have not changed their decision and KitKat ceased to be Fairtrade from 1st October.
To read more on the impact of the decision, visit the Fairtrade Foundation website here.

NEWSLETTERS

11. Lancaster Faith and Justice October 2020

The latest newsletter is available to download here.

12. News from Quaker Peace and Social Witness

Quake! the Quaker Peace and Social Witness newsletter can be found here. It is well worth checking out the Quaker website for details on the work that they are doing to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. More information about their work is available here.

13. ECCR September 2020 Newsletter

Another interesting newsletter from the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility. Find it here.

EVENTS ( in chronological order)
 

14. Global Justice Now Webinar: the corporate takeover of health
                                                               15 October from 7pm

How can we stop corporations controlling healthcare and pharmaceuticals around the world? What is our vision of global health justice and how do take action to bring hope for a healthcare systems around the world that puts people before profit? For more details and to register for this Webinar,
click here.

15. Regional Workshops for Climate Action –  19 October – 4 November

Quakers in Britain are working with Faith for the Climate and Christian Aid to deliver a series of interfaith regional online workshops. The workshops are designed to help faith communities connect, skill up and take action against climate breakdown. If you are from the Leeds, Leicester or Manchester areas and would like to participate, find out more and sign up  here.

16. #BuildBackBetterHOW –  22 – 31 October

A series of online talks, seminars, and discussions spread over 10 days from the 22nd to the 31st October. These talks will dig deep into what we really mean why we say “Build Back Better”, and how we’re going to make it happen. More details and sign up here.

17. Re-Imagining the Promised Land –  23-25 October

 

Covid-19 has brought dark times, yet we have seen positives emerge through lockdown: breathing space for nature, renewed community spirit, a focus on the local.
More details from Green Christian.

18. Accompaniment in Action: Asylum Explained – 28 October

Join us for the second of our Accompaniment in Action events where we will be joined by Michael Tarnoky, our Senior Legal Officer, and Bernadette Smith, our Legal Caseworker, as we discuss the asylum system here in the UK. We will talk about how the system works, some of the difficulties our friends face when going through it and have the opportunity for you to ask the questions you might have about the process of seeking safety in the UK. Details from JRS here.

19. Radical Presence – Course running from 1 November

As the world wrestles with Covid-19 in the coming months, let’s stay alert with faith, hope and love – and create a more sustainable, just and compassionate world than we knew before.
Radical Presence is an online series of purposeful conversations with new friends and fellow travellers.  In seven sessions we draw on the Bible, science, and a selection of the best journalism and theological reflection on the pandemic. Get involved here.

20. Dynamic Week of Action – 25 November – 2 December

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign are announcing a dynamic week of action to mark the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Join them from the 25th November – 2nd December for one or more of their events! More details here.

21. Quaker Activist Gathering (online event) – 28 November

As a community of Friends and the Quaker-curious, we will gather online for a spacious, intergenerational, restorative and invigorating day together. There will be opportunities to:
share and hear stories of witness in these trying times, find connection, peace and inspiration with each other ground deeper into the spiritual foundations of our witness. Save the date – more details to follow nearer the time.

22. Pax Christi Advent Peace Service – 7 December
       
This year our Advent Peace service will be an online event. Full details will follow soon but there will be music, song, powerful readings, messages for Palestine, and a ‘virtual’ marketplace afterwards. We are grateful that Julie McCann will be coordinating the music for us. Click here.

ACTIONS/APPEALS

23. Reset the Debt

As mentioned above, Reset the Debt has been launched asking for a fresh start for families swept into debt by Covid-19. Take action and email your MP here.

24. Save Family Reunion

Safe Passage writes: – ‘We’ve now heard that the vote in the House of Commons on refugee family reunion will take place the week of October 19th.
If you’ve not had the chance yet, please write to your MP as soon as possible and let them know you want them to vote for the Amendment to save family reunion.’ Follow the link here.

25. Anti-Slavery Steps to Freedom Challenge

Mark Anti-Slavery Day this October by taking part in our Steps to Freedom challenge.
Steps to Freedom is a virtual challenge where you set your own fitness goal, track your progress and ask your friends and family to sponsor you.
Whether you’re already rocking a lockdown workout, want to jump start your fitness goals or are finally planning to go on one of those walks you talked about during lockdown, your steps can help change the lives of people living in slavery. For more details and to sign up go to their website.

26. Protect forests from tree-burning power stations

Biofuelwatch are asking people to contact their MP and ask them to pledge to protect forests from tree-burning power stations. For more information and to join in click here.

27. Yemen: Email your MP

“After years of documenting the terrible toll of this war, no one can say ‘we did not know what was happening in Yemen’. Accountability is key to ensure that justice is served to the people of Yemen and to humanity.”
This is the message for the world today at the UN Human Rights Council, as the ‘Group of Experts on Yemen’ makes its report. Can you email your MP today, to make sure the UK government gets this vital message?

 

E-PETITIONS

28. RSPB: Revive our World

Nature is in crisis. In 2020 the importance of having nature in our lives has never been clearer, but the crisis facing nature is huge. So huge that our wellbeing, our economic future, and our very survival depend on the choices we make now. If everyone works together, we have time to turn it around. And when we say everyone, we mean everyone. We need politicians with the power to make big changes to help us build the world we want to live in. Join with RSPB members and sign the petition.
 

29. Urgently stop people being evicted
38 Degrees are asking you to sign a petition to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing) asking them to help renters who are facing eviction by providing emergency funding to help clear coronavirus arrears. Further details available here.

 30.  THE LAST WORD

October 2020 Art As Resistance Monthly Spotlight: Sameer Qumsiyeh
Israel’s project of colonisation seeks not just to colonise the land but to erase the memory of Palestinian presence, history and culture. Those of you who have visited Palestine will have seen written many times, especially on the apartheid wall that snakes its way though East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the slogan ‘to exist is to resist’.
In solidarity with the Palestinian artists keeping culture alive, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign introduces PSC’s ‘Art As Resistance’ Monthly Spotlight, celebrating Palestinian voices and bringing Palestinian art to the forefront.  
Sameer Qumsiyeh is a filmmaker from Bethlehem who – despite the walls surrounding his life – creates personal films with a global vision. Check out his film ‘Quarantine, Curfew and Videotapes,’ his way of revisiting a traumatic past in an attempt for a reconciliation. 
To support Sameer, you can also like his page on Facebook.
 

NEWS LINKS

Independent Catholic News
Find Justice and Peace stories at:
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Vatican Radio homepage: https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html
 
World Council of Churches
https://www.oikoumene.org/en/
 
UK Parliament News
https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/
 
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NJPN Comment in the Catholic Universe: Barbara Kentish – Compassion can go further

“I so happy to see you!” My Iranian friend Mary gave me a big hug when we met recently near Victoria in central London.

We had met for the first time at a migrants’ hostel in Calais in 2019.

She had arrived in the UK on a small boat with her husband and family in August this year, after three attempts at crossing.

“What was it like?” I asked, curiously.

“Cold, wet, dark. Four hours!” she exclaimed in her limited English.

“My eyes closed whole time – frightened!”

I never asked Mary why they fled Iran where she was an accountant for her husband’s building firm. Their Christian faith might be a clue: Iran is known for

its intolerance of minorities. They are in a hotel near Victoria Station awaiting housing, to begin rebuilding their lives. 90-plus London hotels accommodate asylum seekers, placed there by the government, alongside the ‘regular’

homeless, during the pandemic.

With boat crossings continuing, no wonder disused army barracks are now being used as well. Another Iranian ‘boat’ family I know, 20-year-old Michael and his mother, are rehoused in a Liverpool suburb, where he hopes to resume

science studies at a college. He’s confident, cycling around the city, but when visiting, I wonder how his mother will cope, with little English and health problems, in an 11th floor flat. Miraculously, life has moved on positively since

Calais for both these families. I don’t believe the myth of Britain as a ‘crowded island which can’t take any more’. Of the 70 million refugees across the world, the UK accepted under 20,000 last year. Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda ranked highest of the hosting countries – the UK twentieth. All countries must accept some responsibility, and factor it into the economy like other forms of need.

But life is tough right now. We all know people who are struggling to survive Covid-19 and the economy.

How can we stretch our compassion further? Cardinal Nichols recently cited the community sponsorship scheme, where we welcomed 20,000 Syrian families. The campaign group, Safe Passage, has received over 1,000 pledges

from local authorities to foster unaccompanied migrant minors. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Pope Francis declared: “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story”.

We can’t personally, or even nationally, welcome 70 million. But we can each welcome a Mary or a Michael, and consider cutting the national cake into fairer shares!

 

Barbara Kentish is a member of Westminster Justice and Peace and co ordinator of ‘People not Walls’.

NJPN Comment in the Catholic Universe: Bruce Kent – My Tatty Booklets

Two smallish books have been on my desk for about 30 years. Every year they get a bit tattier because of frequent use. With its pale blue cover, one is the 90-page copy of the United Nations Charter. The other is a translation of the Psalms.

At a time of global chaos and of political egos clearly on display we need some centuries-old inspiration and sanity to keep us going.

In this, the Psalms are great help. How they all got put together, I have little idea. But their collective wisdom can steady our nerves centuries later.

One great thing about so many Psalms is that they were created by people with the same animosities as we have. Enemies crop up frequently and God is frequently asked to deal with them.

 

Psalm 82 is typical: ‘Drive them away with your tempest; and fill them with terrors at your storm.’

 

So, the Psalms were not put together by a mixture of Mother Theresa and St Francis. Their authors were not unlike most of us – though we are usually a bit more delicate in talking about those we don’t like. But that is a side issue.

The main message coming from them is that of the wonder and glory of God and how we live in God’s hands, the Creator who made all things possible.

My favourite is Psalm 8:

 ‘How great is your name Oh Lord our God through all the earth! …What are we that you should keep us in mind, men and women that you care for us?’

It’s clear from the Psalms that God gives priority to the poorest:

‘He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.’ (Psalm 106)

 

On 24 October we celebrate United Nations Day. The vision of the UN Charter has something in common with our Psalms. After all, the preamble to the charter starts with the hope of eliminating ‘the scourge of war’. Both present a breath-taking vision for how humanity ought to live. For me this begins with praise for the God of justice and peace:

 ‘Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring out their joy at the presence of the Lord…. He will rule the world with justice.’ (Psalm 97)

 

Both tatty booklets will stay, side by side, on my desk.

 

Bruce Kent is a vice-president of both Pax Christi and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

 

 

***NJPN Action of the Week*** Challenge Poverty Week

 

Challenge Poverty Week  10 – 18 October 2020

 

On their website, you’ll find details of events, useful resources, and various suggestions for getting involved. But you may be wondering: where did the idea come from?
In essence, it’s happening here this year because we have seen how successful and powerful it has been elsewhere. The Poverty Alliance in Scotland has been running its Challenge Poverty Week for the past seven years, and it has grown to become a powerful fixture in the calendar.
Community groups, charities, councils and small groups of individuals have organised events, held decision-makers to account, and ensured that ending poverty is a national priority. Last year, it generated national media attention and led to questions and debates in the Holyrood and Westminster Parliaments, and led to people with personal experience of poverty sharing their experiences and ideas in a safe and effective way.
Last year, we also took part in End Hunger Week, and were heartened by the number of people groups who wanted to take a stand and call for an end to poverty. We wanted to build on that resolve and enthusiasm this year.

We know there is a huge appetite for change across England and Wales as well, and we know that by harnessing the wisdom, ingenuity and determination of people across the anti-poverty movement, we can make change happen.

More details at:

https://challengepoverty.co.uk/

 

Report from the NJPN Open Networking Day – 19th September 2020

NJPN Open networking Day 19 September 2020

 

 

Approximately 30 people gathered on Zoom for the NJPN September Open Networking Day

The morning session started with prayer.

From his home in Wallsend, Paul Southgate led us in a prayer from the Northumbria Community. We placed all we do in the hands of our Lord and prayed to act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Paul reflected on the recent discovery of a 5th century chalice with Christian iconography that was found near Hadrian’s Wall in the remains of a Roman fort. This gives the glimpse of a multi-cultural church in Roman times, before the missionary work St Aidan and King Oswin in Northumbria.

Today’s open networking day followed on from the Zoom mini-conference in July. We considered our response to issues highlighted in the conference and reflected on an alternative model of church, a post pandemic church.

The keynote speaker for our morning session was Speaker: Barbara Butler Executive Secretary of Christian’s Aware (Co-opted to NJPN Exec) the title of her presentation  The moment of crisis has come (words of David Attenborough)

Before describing the devastating impact that human activity is having on the earth and all that lives on our planet, Barbara reminded us of our opening prayer – God is with us, we are not alone. She also spoke the words of Julian of Norwich – ‘All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Julian lived during the Black Death and it is thought that she lost her husband and child in the pandemic.

After describing the impact of poverty, environmental degradation and climate change, Barbara quoted Malcom Palmer. ‘… We have got a choice to make – we have walked to the edge of the cliff and need to step back and walk the other way’.

Barbara suggested that our challenges for the world are:

  • The development of small farms throughout the world
  • Support and education of women
  • An increase in agricultural diversity
  • An increase in crop diversity
  • More efficient energy

We were offered a challenge – ‘The time is short; the moment has come. The situation is recoverable if we make choices to promote sustainability and commit to protect our world. ‘

Barbara explained that we were meeting on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. She invited us to make New Year resolutions for the future of our world.

We then split into break-out groups to discuss pointers suggested by Barbara:

Where we are going?  What is our future? What will sustain us? What can we do on different levels: Individual, family, church, locally, country, and world?

 

Feedback from the breakout groups and questions

  • Some people were depressed and anxious. Others saw signs of hope – there is an increased sense of urgency, people are on the cusp of moving in the right direction. Recently church leaders have joined Extinction Rebellion protests and a number of dioceses are looking at their ethical investment policies. There is a worldwide movement to protect the environment.
  • We need to be politically active. It is important that we vote and encourage young people to vote. The importance of lobbying MPs was highlighted. There was a discussion of populist politics. People are moved by emotion rather than logic. We need to look at ways that we can communicate our message to challenge populist leaders who appeal to people’s emotions.
  • It was suggested that Laudato Si has all the answers – it is not just about the environment, but social injustice which is a cause of environmental degradation.
  • During the pandemic many people have had the opportunity to re-engage with the glory of God’s creation and there is a greater awareness of the beauty of nature and the importance of biodiversity. It was suggested that we could use the Season of Creation to talk about sustainability and show that everything is connected. The Covid-19 lockdown has given many the opportunities to reflect and reorder their lives.
  • One group noted the lack of clarity for seeing the future. As Christian’s we want to know the will of the Lord, so discernment for the coming year will be crucial. Although we have little control over national decision making, we need to discern how to be a force that challenges what is presented to us.
  • Within our parishes we have not been able to gather and develop community. Our church leaders have a major concern to open our churches safely, so we need to ensure that justice and peace issues are not overlooked in our parishes and wider church community.
  • A positive way to tackle injustice in the world is to encourage our parishes to support CAFOD in their valuable work. CAFOD works on behalf of the Catholic community to help families around the world who face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty as the result of coronavirus.

Resources mentioned by groups.

Noticeboard – this is summarised in a separate document

The keynote speaker for the afternoon session was Melvin Lyons, CARJ Trustee, who spoke about   A Response to Racial Injustice and Inequality

The CARJ response to racial injustice and inequality is to look at the broad spectrum of continued racial inequality and injustice. Mervin began by explaining the background and history of the current Black Lives Matter movement as an anchor for the talk, rather than to focus on the movement.

  • Black Lives Matter (BLM) was formed by human rights activists in 2013 in the USA. It is part of a preceding and broader movement -The Movement for Black Lives. BLM is heavily influenced by the US civil rights movement of 1950s and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (founded in 1909).
  • As a human rights movement BLM seeks to reverse anti-black racism – to transform black communities that are maligned and marginalised. Inequalities are a powerful force holding back the development of black people.
  • Black Lives Matter advocates non-violence, it has open affiliation and seeks to reconcile tensions in urban and rural communities. It is rooted in civil society, a collective voice of truth to power.

 

We watched a TED talk given by Michael Gibbs of the Movement for Racial Justice and Corrymeela Community. Michael reflected on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and brown workers. He proposed that the Black Lives Matter movement and the wider social justice movement can work together to promote significant change. ‘To be successful the movement for social justice needs to be more than changes in policies and law. The movement needs to be reciprocated changes in the way we interact on a human person to person basis. It must help us to overcome our inherent biases about race and identity’. Michael spoke of principles for the foundation for positive human relationships:

Essential Steps to True Social Transformation

  1. Tolerance (open, non‐partisan attitude)
  2. Patience & Understanding
  3. Inclusion
  4. Education (for Sensitivity)
  5. Activism

 

Few Simple Steps for Making a Difference…

  1. Learn to recognise and understand your own privilege
  2. Examine your own biases and consider where they might have originated
  3. Intervene whenever you witness a racist situation
  4. Support and celebrate event that celebrate different cultures
  5. Get involved with culturally diverse organisations

 

We then broke into break-out groups to discuss questions suggested by Melvin:

  • Without reconciliation it is not possible to achieve peace, but reconciliation is not possible without truth.
  • Transforming Conflict, Change, Complexity and Confusion.

 

Feedback from the breakout groups and questions

  • People have different viewpoints and may disagree about the truth in a particular situation. There is a need for acceptance of another person’s truth.
  • For reconciliation it is important to develop relationships and recognise another person’s truth.
  • The importance of mediation.
  • Recent events have made people more aware of the way that western countries have become rich as a result of slavery and colonial history. One group commented that this should have been obvious earlier. We have only been taught ‘white history’ in schools. Some groups discussed white fragility (where a white person feels uncomfortable and defensive when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice).
  • Begin by educating ourselves and having these conversations. Speak openly, truthfully and honestly. Emphasise things we have in common.
  • There is a need to have difficult conversations – with our families and communities. We should not be afraid to engage in a conciliatory way when we have these conversations.
  • More work is needed within our church communities.
  • It was suggested that roll play could help people learn how to confront people who are being racist.
  • BLM marchers addressed by Bishop Rose in Canterbury: Bishop Rose addresses the Canterbury #BlackLivesMatter march 13 June 2020

 

Reflection and closing liturgy – led by Ann Farr of Pax Christi

Ann led us through a reflection and liturgy for the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, organised by the World Council of Churches (WCC). People of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer with action for peace in Palestine and Israel. His year it takes place from 13th to 21st September. The theme is “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility”.

 

Annette Brindle

 

Meeting report for the website

 

NJPN Newsletter – Autumn 2020

The Autumn edition of the NJPN newsletter is now available to download.

This edition covers a range of different topics.

Download here: Autumn 2020 newsletter

Environment group meeting minutes

To find the minutes of the latest environment group meeting,the 58th meeting to date, please click here

NJPN E-Bulletin 13th September 2020

An interesting mix of J & P issues and events, including the Birmingham J & P Assembly

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NJPN Open Networking Meeting

Via Zoom

Saturday 19 September 2020

10.30am – 4.00pm

Tickets available from Eventbrite

——————————————————-

Dear Friends,

We hope that you have had a welcome break over the last few weeks, and pray that any children and young people in your family are now safely back at school, college and University (or at least soon will be). Obviously, a fair amount has happened over the last few weeks. We are now celebrating the Season of Creation, and sadly, mourning the loss of yet another young life of a refugee, taken by the sea some weeks ago. Carry on reading below about various ways in which you can engage.

Strange times are continuing with various local lockdowns being imposed, and the potential threat that again we may have to have a national lockdown. Just as we are getting used to the new normal.

This is the last call for the NJPN Networking Day, which will take place via Zoom next Saturday, 19th September, from 10.30am until 4pm. Tickets available from Eventbrite
Also, for those of you who either attended our NJPN Mini-Conference and want to re-listen, or would have liked to have attended but couldn’t, you can watch the conference on YouTube here.

Coming up soon is the Birmingham Justice and Peace Commission’s Online Assembly taking place between the 28th September and the 4th October. ‘The Climate Emergency: – Listening and responding to the ‘Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor’ Details are available in the Events section of this e-bulletin.

Don’t forget, if you have something you particularly want shared in this e-bulletin, send it to ebulletin@justice-and-peace.org.uk.

All being well, many of us will meet virtually at next weekend’s Networking Day, and failing that the next edition of this e-bulletin will be out in two weeks time.

Keep safe and well,

Editor

Please note we are still using a temporary postal address due to the closure of the Eccleston Square office:

Geoff Thompson, NJPN, c/o CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre, St Walburge’s Centre, St Walburge’s Gardens, Preston PR2 2QJ.

You can still use the same phone number.

See below for: –

Note on Data Protection

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E-Bulletin Contents: –

***ACTION OF THE WEEK***

News and Comment

  1. Season of Creation
  2. Refugees
  3. NJPN columns in the Universe
  4. South Africa and child-headed families
  5. Reports from DR Congo
  6. Can international trade ever be anti-racist?
  7. Rescued teen bride receiving death threats.
  8. Economy must place people above ‘idols of finance’
Newsletters9. Operation Noah August 2020
10. Birmingham Diocese J & P Commission
11. Green Christian
12. Lancaster Faith and Justice Commission
13. Biofuelwatch
14. Trade Matters – magazine for Traidcraft
15. Salesian Link
16. Ecumenical Commission for Corporate Responsibility
17. Joint Public Issues TeamEvents

18 Birmingham Justice and Peace Assembly
19‘We Are Many’ – a film for Peace Sunday
20World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel
21. Catholic Investment for An Integral Ecology
22Zambia and Debt (a CAFOD presentation)
23Boiling Point: a COP26 Coalition Speaker Series
24. Student Rally for Palestine.
25Mission, Theology and Ministry for the Margins
26. Christian CND Conference and AGM
27. Take One Action

28. International Resistance to Mining Film Festival

Actions and Appeals

29. Boycott Kirin Ichiban Lager
30. Safe and Legal Routes Now
31. Don’t back down on Big Tech Tax

E-Petitions

32. Give NHS staff the right to stay in the UK

The Last Word

33. Calling all who knit/crochet!

 
***ACTION OF THE WEEK***
 

World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

Theme: “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility.”

 
 
People of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer with action which includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
Pax Christi, along the World Council of Churches, have some activities that you can join in with. throughout this week.

In this era of extreme fragility, creative solidarity is a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and common action, we can make the restoration of peace and justice in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality for all people of the region.

NEWS AND COMMENT

1. The Season of Creation

a) This year, the theme for the Season of Creation is ‘Jubilee for the Earth’. We are invited to “consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living.”

In an interesting interview for the World Council of Churches, Athena Peralta, their Programme Director for Economic and Ecological Justice talks about the theme and how it inspires her. Follow the article here.

b) Last weekend, many Churches across Britain and Ireland marked the annual season of Creationtide with Climate Sunday and climate-focused services. With the climate crisis accelerating and greater public support for a green recovery post COVID-19, there has never been a more crucial time for UK churches to come together to pray and act on the climate crisis. Over 700 churches registered before the year-long initiative had begun. Independent Catholic News gives a detailed account here.

c) Staying on the subject of climate change, but linking the problems of our earth in with #blacklivesmatter, Jo Musker-Sherwood, founder and director of Hope for the Future, writes about race, climate, and learning from her colonial ancestors. (first published on Climate Emergence).
A paragraph here:-
‘I’m also looking inwards and seeing where colonialism and racism might still hold a grip on my mindset and my life. That’s where I am seeing the connection with my every day choices- and with climate change- as I continue operating within a system ensnared by racism.
The clothes I buy, the food I eat, the holidays I take. They are subsidised by many people of colour.
And when I engage in overconsumption I know that climate change disproportionately effects people of colour. Thousands, millions of lives, that matter.
Yet, most days, I find ways to live with that knowledge, because change feels insurmountable.’

Those few words sum up beautifully how many of us feel – what difference will our little effort make. We have to believe that ‘every little helps,’ otherwise we are heading for an environmental disaster. We all need to do our bit. The full, thought-provoking, piece of writing is available to read here.

d) Finally, Judith Allinson from Green Christian, in their recent newsletter, shared the headline “68% of world’s animal populations lost in the the last 50 years.”
Judith continues “It is only 2 years ago that I was quoting the Living Planet Report 2018 saying that 60 percent of wild animal populations have been lost. Now – within 2 years – WWF are reporting that 68 percent have been lost. — Less than 1/3 of the animals in 1970 are left.—
And the decrease shows no sign of stopping.”
Pick up the WWF Living Planet Report 2020 through Green Christian here.

2. Refugees and Migrants

a) “On the palm of fate we walk, and don’t know what’s written.” These words were written in Arabic back in June by 28 year old Abdulfatah Hamdallah. (the authorities originally thought he was 16). Sadly, on August the 19th, he became yet another migrant statistic when he was found washed up on a beach in Calais. He had been trying to cross the Channel in a dinghy, using shovels for oars. More details on this particular case are available from the BBC.
Also, Independent Catholic News references JRS and Safe Passage in their article here.
Further down this e-bulletin, you will find ways that you can get involved in our Actions and Appeals section.

b) Save the Children, in a new report, highlights the plight of unaccompanied minors to Europe. The report shows that more than 200,000 unaccompanied foreign minors arrived in Europe in the last 5 years to seek asylum, with many facing obstacles to security and protection, and in the process of travelling here around 700 children including infants have died in the process. For more details click here.

3. NJPN Columns in The Universe

Angela Waterhouse – ‘How one parish celebrated the Season of Creation last year’

Angela writes about how St. Edmund’s, Abingdon, celebrated last year’s Season of Creation.

Fr. Rob Esdaile – Testing our Assumptions

Fr. Rob talks about the Feast of the Assumption

Thanks to our friends at The Universe for their support. If you would like to help them by taking out a subscription; 3 months at £22 or 12 months at £80, click on this link.

4. South Africa: Heart-Rending Plight of Child-Headed Families

“Our father used to come home once around Christmas holidays. He would buy us some food, which lasts about two weeks, the time he spends with us. Then he leaves us again,” Nosipho says in the report and adds in reference to their dad, ”We finish the last bites of the food he bought by the time he goes away and starve again for the whole year.”
Mill Hill Missionaries have brought to our attention news reported by ACI Africa concerning a study that the Justice and Peace Commission in Durban have published highlighting the plight of child-headed families in the Church’s jurisdiction.
This report shows that these children are often ignored by society, due to their living conditions, with the conclusion at the end that affluent parishes are visited to seek support to help the poor.
Details through the Mill Hill article here.

5. Two different aspects of life in DR Congo

a) This is what we die for: Child labour in the cobalt mines of DR Congo

The plight of children is again highlighted, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is reported that at least 40,000 children are involved in mining for cobalt, a rare metal used in lithium ion batteries, and in the last year at least 80 fatalities have been reported. Through Mill Hill Missionaries, watch this video produced by Amnesty International explaining the exploitation of this very poor area for the financial gain of big business.

b) Facing the challenges of Covid-19 and Conflict in DR Congo

Trócaire’s Fionnuala Flynn reports from a country that is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases in a year where hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee their homes due to ongoing conflict.
DR Congo is in the bottom ten poorest countries in the world. It is the second most food-insecure country in the world and there are 5 million people living in the country who have fled conflict. It has had to deal with devastating outbreaks of ebola and measles in recent years.
Now, it is facing the challenge of COVID-19. Read about the crisis there, and how Trocaire is helping.

6. Can international trade ever be anti-racist?

Charlotte Timson, Traidcraft Exchange’s CEO writes: –

A Confession –
for years, I’ve felt uncomfortable working in international development.
When I lived in Malawi, I first witnessed how international charities could often dominate civil society, pushing out the voices of local organisations and communities and capturing large proportions of project budgets for themselves.
I couldn’t articulate clearly back then that racism was part of the problem. It seems so obvious now.

In her blog, Charlotte then goes onto link the Slave Trade with todays working conditions for many workers in the global South. Makes very interesting reading, and at the end she asks that if you have any ideas as to how to meet the challenge of racism in trade to get in touch. Charlotte’s blog is available here.

7. Rescued teen bride receives death threats

One of the kidnapped teenage Christian girls that we have previously reported on, 14 year old Maira Shahbaz, has managed to escape from her ‘husband.’ Maira and her family have gone on the run and their lawyer, Ms Shafique said she had successfully appealed to the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court for police protection to be put in place pending the resolution of the case. More details on the case are available from Aid to the Church in Need.

8. Pope Francis – ‘Economy must place people above ‘idols of finance.’

As a general concept, economics should become “the expression of a care and concern that does not exclude but seeks to include, that does not demean but seeks to uplift and give life,” the pope said on the 4th September in a message to participants at an international forum sponsored by the “European House — Ambrosetti,” an economic think tank based in Rome.
Economics should be an expression of “care and concern that refuses to sacrifice human dignity to the idols of finance, that does not give rise to violence and inequality and that uses financial resources not to dominate but to serve,” he said. “Genuine profit comes from treasures accessible to all.”
More details are available from America Magazine.

NEWSLETTERS – click on the link to access the newsletter you are interested in

9. Operation Noah August 2020

10. Latest News from the Birmingham Justice and Peace Commission

Please follow this link to their page, which will replace the monthly mini-newsletter.

11. Green Christian Newsletter

Green Christian have provided last week’s newsletter to give you a taste of what you can expect if you sign up for regular updates. Click here.

12. Lancaster Faith and Justice Commission
September 2020 Newsletter

13. Biofuelwatch September 2020 Newsletter

14. Trade Matters – September magazine for supporters of Traidcraft

15. Salesian Link – Justice and Peace Newsletter
September 2020

16. Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility –
August 2020 Newsletter

17. Joint Public Issues Team
August 2020 Newsletter

EVENTS

18. Birmingham Justice and Peace Assembly 2020


Full details of the Assembly, and a link to book are available here

19. Film for Peace Sunday (being shown on Monday 21st September)

‘We Are Many’

Brought to you by Fellowship of Reconciliation, this transatlantic film screening followed by a Q & A session, shows footage of 15 February 2003, the day the world stood up for peace. This one day of protest was potentially the biggest day of protest the globe has ever seen. Relive the memories if you were there (either in London or Glasgow) and learn more about the day if you were not.
The cost to watch the film is £9.99, of which 40% will go back to Fellowship of Reconciliation. It does say that the film-screening is at 1am UK time. Don’t panic, though, as your ticket enables you to watch the film at the time of your choosing! Book here.

20. World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

Under the theme “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility,” people of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This special week of prayer coupled with action is annually held 13 – 21 September and includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
This year’s theme, chosen during an era of extreme fragility, lifts up creative solidarity as a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and common action, people across the world can make the restoration of peace and justice in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality or all people of the region. Further information is available from the World Council of Churches.

There will be an online Prayer Service live this Monday, the 14th September at 8.30am Central European Time (7.30am UK time) and it will feature contributions from various Churches in the Holy Land. To participate, click here.

21. Webinar Series – Catholic Investment for an Integral Ecology

This autumn, join us for a webinar series on fossil fuel divestment and impact investing.
The webinars will offer an opportunity to find out how Catholic organisations can use their investments to accelerate the clean energy transition and support a green recovery from Covid-19.
The webinar series is sponsored by Operation Noah, Catholic Impact Investing Collective, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, CAFOD, Trocaire, Conference of Religious, Association of Provincial Bursars, National Justice & Peace Network and Justice and Peace Scotland.
Part 1 – Tuesday 22nd September 4pm – 5.30pm – Fossil Fuel Divestment: Accelerating the clean energy transition. For more details and to book your place, click here.

22. CAFOD: Stories from our Partners: Zambia and Debt

Taking place on Thursday 17th September from 6pm until 7pm, you can hear direct from the local experts at Caritas Zambia on a growing debt crisis and how it affects their communities.
Click here to join the event.

23. Boiling Point: a COP26 Coalition Speaker Series

The Boiling Point series will answer everything you wanted to know about climate change negotiations but were too afraid to ask.
In this series of six one hour-long webinars you will have a chance to learn the basics of international climate change politics and the infamous COP, or “Conference of the Parties,” ahead of the COP26, scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
Expert speakers will share their knowledge of the history and process of the talks as well as the major issues and main players. You will learn about the real “rules of the game” and have a chance to ask questions big and small of activists, policy analysts and journalists with years of experience working behind the scenes on major summits. Register here.

24. Student Rally for Palestine

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign Youth and Student Committee has just launched two exciting events; a Student Rally for Palestine taking place on the 28th September at 6pm and a Digital Campaigning Workshop taking place on the 30th September at 6pm. This will kick start your activity for the upcoming year. Will you join us?

25. Mission, Theology and Ministry for the Margins

Leeds School of Theology are pleased to partner with Lighthouse West Yorkshire in facilitating a dynamic learning community which will serve Christians already working alongside the marginalised or who have a heart to pioneer in this area. Lighthouse is a fresh expression of church that serves adults with multiple and complex needs including poverty, mental health, homelessness, trauma and addiction.
The course begins on the 21st September and can either be in-person in Leeds, or via Zoom nationwide. For more details go to the Leeds School of Theology website.

26. Christian CND Conference and AGM

Taking place online on Saturday 3rd October, please register via Eventbrite.

27. Take One Action

The UK’s leading global change film festival is going online. This September, you can see some of the most inspiring, challenging and urgent international cinema exploring social and environmental justice from the comfort of your living room.
For many years, Global Justice Now has been part of the Take One Action film festival screened in Scottish cinemas each September. But with the film festival going online this year, film lovers and global justice activists right across the UK can also watch great cinema and join live Q&As, audience discussions and workshops. See the full programme here.

On the final weekend of the film festival there will be an online workshop: Holding corporations to account, which will bring together issues explored by many of the films – and look at how power is used and abused by big business around the world. ‘Holding corporations to account’ will feature international campaigners, including Global Justice Now’s Dorothy Guerrero. Register here.

28. International Resistance to Mining Film Festival
21st – 28th September

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, Indigenous activists and mining affected communities across the globe, London Mining Network presents the International Resistance to Mining Film Festival.
This programme of highly acclaimed documentary films shines a light on the colonial legacy of international extractivism and the lives it affects. From Bouganville to South Africa, Australia to Colombia, these true stories remind us of the human cost of mining as well as the inspiring acts of resistance that it inspires.
Registration is free, but please register for each individual film you would like to attend the streaming of. Streaming will take place on the Facebook Live platform.

ACTIONS/APPEALS

29. Boycott Kirin Ichiban!

You might have seen Kirin Ichiban lager on sale in bars, pubs and supermarkets. Kirin lager is made by a Japanese company, which operates all over the world.
In Burma, Kirin are in two joint venture breweries with the Burmese military, earning the Burmese military tens of millions of dollars a year in profits. Kirin are funding a military which rapes children and throws babies into burning homes.
Kirin have as their business partner a military which is facing charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice and is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Tell Kirin to stop doing business with the Burmese military. Kirin must stop funding genocide.
Tell Kirin you will boycott Kirin Ichiban until they completely cut their ties to the Burmese military.
Email Kirin today.

30. Safe and Legal Routes Now

Many of us have been horrified by this summer’s images of people making harrowing journeys across the English Channel to seek safety in the UK. Many will also have been shocked by the government’s response. The fact remains that it is nearly impossible to claim asylum in the UK without resorting to dangerous journeys like these ones, because of the lack of safe and legal routes by which to reach the UK in the first place.
People seeking protection here need safe and legal routes, now, to prevent further tragedy at the UK’s borders. Take action now by writing to your MP.

31. Don’t back down on the Big Tech Tax

Corporate lobbyists are trying to use the US trade deal to stop Big Tech being regulated.
The digital giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google are the robber barons of our age. They don’t play by the rules the rest of us abide by, which means they have amassed unimaginable fortunes for their owners, and vast power over our societies.
We must find ways of controlling them and taxing them if we’re to have any hope of creating more equal and democratic societies. But the US-UK trade deal could be used to let them run riot.

A digital services tax has been introduced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, but Big Tech lobbyists and the US government are using the trade deal to try and get rid of it.

Write to the Chancellor and urge him not to back down on the tax and to oppose the inclusion of rules in the deal that would prevent taxing and regulating Big Tech.

E-PETITIONS

32. Give NHS staff the right to stay in the UK

Our NHS and care system is made up of amazing heroes – from all over the world – who work to make our lives and the lives of our loved ones better. And right now, many of them are on the frontline fighting against coronavirus – from the cleaners keeping hospitals safe to the doctors and nurses saving lives.
A lot of them, though, can only work because of temporary visas – giving them the right to live and work in the UK for a specified period of time. When these visas expire many of these heroes will lose the right to remain in the UK and be forced to leave.
Like Farrukh Sair – an NHS worker who has lived in the UK for 17 years. He’s spent the last few months working on Covid wards, putting his and his family’s life at risk. But now the Home Office is threatening to deport him and his family to Pakistan – a country his two young children won’t even recognise.
This is wrong. We need to recognise the dedication – and in some tragic cases sacrifice – of those who work in health and social care. This petition is calling for the government to give Farrukh and his family, and thousands of others like him the option to permanently remain in the UK. Click here to sign.

33THE LAST WORD – A Request to any Knitters/Crocheters out there!

Not so much J & P related, but certainly involving Christian outreach…
Annie O’Connor, who passed away in the summer, was very involved in street evangelizing in Sheffield City Centre. Last Christmas the team put hand-knitted or crocheted angels around to brighten people’s lives who may be feeling lonely or suffering. One of Annie’s friends has suggested that people who knew Annie made a few angels in her memory, and perhaps passed on the ideas to others. The angels do not require a lot of skill and the pattern for the knitted angel is here and the crocheted angel here.
The Church Army’s Attercliffe and Darnall Centre of Mission is going to be placing them around the local area with a tag saying ‘you are not alone. God came because he loved you. Take this home as a reminder.’
If you are able to help, please contact Anne O’Connor (Annie’s Mum) either directly or through ebulletin@justice-and-peace.org.uk.

 

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Birmingham Justice & Peace Assembly 2020: The Climate Emergency: Listening to the ‘Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor’.

Birmingham Justice & Peace Assembly 2020: The Climate Emergency: Listening to the ‘Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor’. This year the Assembly will take place online, with one-hour sessions over three evenings at 7.30pm: Monday 28 September, Wednesday 30 September, Friday 2 October and culminating with an Evening Prayer with the participation of Archbishop Bernard on Sunday 4 October at 7pm. Sessions include: Ecological Conversion – an ‘examination of conscience’ on our care for our common home; Prepare the Future – building back better to address the climate emergency; and Local Government Responsibilities – planning for the West Midlands.

For more information and to book go to https://bit.ly/JPassembly2020 or email bham.jandp@gmail.com

(or you can use the link: https://www.birminghamjandp.org.uk/annual-assemblies.html)