Highlights from 56th Meeting of the National Justice and Peace Network
Environment Group: 5 February 2020
These abridged notes(highlights) to go to Anne Peacey and Stephen Cooke for the NJPN website. Full minutes are available on request from NJPN
The group agreed to update the ‘Environment Organisations’ on the CBCEW website.
General Election 12 December 2019
The group circulated links to election resources in the last minutes – November 2019 – and did its best to get people to ask ecology-related questions of their candidates.
Our group is keeping in close contact with CBCEW who are pushing for both Diocesan Environmental Policies and a dedicated Diocesan Environment Contact in dioceses.
Salford, Liverpool and Arundel & Brighton have designated Environment working groups working towards this end.
The Journey to 2030
Journey to 2030’ and members felt this was a good tool for helping to mobilise the Catholic Church to act on the ecological crisis. It has the support of the CBCEW.
NJPN Environment Group to keep in close contact with and sign up to ‘Journey to 2030’.
NJPN Executive to consider inviting John Paul to run a study half day on the initiative at a networking meeting.
Divestment from fossil fuels
In January, Operation Noah announced that 20 Christian organisations are divesting from fossil fuels, as part of the Epiphany Declaration for Fossil Free Churches. This joint divestment announcement included the first two Catholic dioceses in England to go fossil free (Middlesbrough and Lancaster), two Catholic religious orders (the Congregation of Jesus and Presentation Sisters) as well as sixteen other churches, synods and religious orders from across the denominations! There will be a multi-faith global divestment announcement on 26-28 March 2020.
More details can be found on the Bright Now website and see https://brightnow.org.uk/news/join-the-global-divestment-announcement-march-2020/ or contact James Buchanan from Operation Noah on email@example.com
NJPN asks its members and supporters to continue to lobby dioceses, parishes, religious orders and organisations to divest from fossil fuels. NOTE: The Jesuits and Diocese Arundel and Brighton have now agreed to divest from fossils fuels (March 1st)
The group felt that NJPN should be putting more focus on ethical investment, NJPN had a designated EI group on this issue a decade ago, and Pax Christi annually used to ask dioceses about ethical investment and keep a record of responses.
CBCEW has been in dialogue with diocesan financial secretaries urging them to go for complete disinvestment from fossil fuels. The work of Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC).
https://impactalpha.com/catholic-institutions-pledge-to-increase-impact-investments-in-climate-action-and-social-equity/ has further information on ethical investments.
Action: The group will produce a two-sided template to present to dioceses, to make the most of the March disinvestment announcement and suggest that there is positive case for ethical investment, as well. Additionally, ON are looking into putting on a day for dioceses (similar to the day for religious last year) in the summer.
Conference 17-19 July 2020
The conference title will be ‘2020 Vision: Action for Life on Earth’. It aims for a long-term renewal of the justice and peace movement in light of Laudato Si’ and the economic-ecological crisis.
See www.justice-and-peace.org.uk for more details of the conference (and to get a booking form)
The speakers, workshops, presentations and youth involvement, including Just Fair, an opportunity for groups to highlight and engage/network with attendees. The Conference Centre will continue to follow the LOAF principles
All to suggest additional stalls that could be invited to the Just Fair
Downloadable posters, fliers, newsletter info and leaders guides with numerous next step links for deeper reflection & action at www.ourcommonhome.co.uk. Lots of positive feedback from J&P groups in parishes using the resources – Harpenden, Caterham, for example. Also being pushed as a Lent resource.
NJPN contacts to push ‘Global Healing’ and ‘Global Caring’. www.ourcommonhome.co.uk
Lent 2020 resources
The Columban Stations of the Forests(a popular resource) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ancWU2YInHE
Combined Creation Time and Lent Resource Liverpool Archdiocese / CAFOD
https://jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/combined-creation-time-and-lent-resources/ Hard copies at: http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/formation-shop
Saying Yes to Life; Lent Book 2020 Ruth Valerio
Draws on the Days of Creation, relating themes of light, water, land, seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath and resurrection hope to environmental, ethical and social concerns.
Season of Creation 2020
The group was delighted to hear that a new annual CREATION SUNDAY is being planned across the Christian denominations for 6 September 2020, during Creation Time. https://seasonofcreation.org/
All to prepare for the Season of Creation 2020 1 September- 4 October
Conference of Religious
The Conference of Religious is organising three meetings around the country in the Spring to reflect on Laudato Si’ as a first step in the launch of a new ecology group. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new project on deep adaption and building pastoral care in the climate emergency. A key organiser is Paul Bodenham, the J&P worker in Nottingham Diocese.
It is recommended that NJPN links into this initiative.
COP 26 in Glasgow
The year ahead will be a crucial one for climate action in the UK, with the COP26 conference coming to Glasgow in November 2020.
CAFOD and CBCEW will work on hierarchy involvement at the COP in Glasgow.
NJPN to link into COP Advocacy arrangements.
CAFOD has launched a three-year campaign, ‘Our Common Home’ and the theme this year is, ‘Generations Unite’. Materials are available and there is a petition and templates for Creation Liturgies, meals and quizzes. A new hashtag is to be launched – #AmentoClimateJustice
There are now 72 Live Simply award winners – including three cathedrals. Arocha and Eco Congregation Scotland have audits but it would be great to have a specific Live Simply one.
See https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ and click ‘The Questionnaire’ and https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/materials/ideas-for-action/church-check-up/
See attached an audit used by Lancaster Diocese.
New campaigning initiatives on CAFOD’s website – https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Latest-campaigns:
To do: All to promote the Livesimply award – http://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/How-to-campaign/Livesimply-award – and CAFOD’s campaign, as well as, Environmental audits, with a view to making a Live Simply one available.
Synod on Amazonia
Ellen reported that the Columbans internationally produced a series of articles in the lead up to the Synod. https://columbancenter.org/Synod-on-Amazon-Model-for-World
Laudato Si’ educational work continues to be popular in dioceses and parishes.
Special events are being planned for the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical in 2020.
NJPN Universe Column
Ellen Teague invited the group to let her know if they would like to do an NJPN Column on environmental issues in March. Three slots are available.
Issues we will look at in future meetings, and perhaps produce policy papers:
Loss of biodiversity in the leadup to the October 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference
Energy – renewables and conservation of energy.
The issue of ECOCIDE is becoming more prominent as the UN contemplates introducing the atrocity crime of Ecocide. And Pope Francis is considering adding ‘ecological sin’ to Catholic teaching:
Several members of the group attended the beautiful funeral of eco-theologian Edward Echlin in January and expressed condolences to Barbara. Tributes at:
Bishop John Arnold is on the cover of the International Messenger of St Anthony magazine for February 2020 under the heading ‘The Green Bishop’, bringing welcome attention to new ecological initiatives in the Catholic Church of England and Wales.
February 8 – NJPN Network meeting in Bristol.
‘Our Common Home – creative responses’
Catholic People’s Weeks events for 2020:
Green Christian events at https://greenchristian.org.uk/whats-on/
March 28 Earth Hour: wwf.org.uk/earthhour
April 21 World Curlew Day
Curlew Action – Mary Colwell is a lead organiser – http://www.curlewmedia.com/
May 2 Networking Day and NJPN AGM – CAFOD, Romero House, London – Please note this meeting has been postponed to the NJPN conference, please see the NJPN meetings page for more details
June 12-14 Christian Meditation Conference, ‘Touch the Earth Lightly: Meditation and the Future of the Planet.’ christianmeditation.org.uk
June 12-13 A Christians Aware day at Mirfield, West Yorkshire on sustainable goals and the environment. (Ellen is one of the speakers.)
17-19 July: The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick: 42nd Annual Justice and Peace Conference- ‘2020 Vision – Action for Life on Earth’