The NW NJPN E BULLETIN for MAY 2024 leads with the current conflict in the Holy Land as the situation appears to be worsening with no immediate end in sight. A joint statement was issued yesterday by a wide range of organisations urging a ceasefire. Heather Kiernan has sent details of Beautiful Resistance, an illustrated talk by Nick Bilbrough, the founder of the educational charity Hands Up Project, who will share the stories behind two short plays from Gaza. This is a hybrid event – in person in Edinburgh but also on Zoom so people in our region can sign up and participate. Nick’s talk accompanies a touring exhibition of art and poetry by the children of Gaza, co-curated by Heather and Iliyana Nedkova – a diary entry from one young girl on pages 3-4 provides an eye-witness account of the harsh reality of daily life there.  Also highly recommended is a new film from The Balfour Project, Gaza: A Story of Love and War, by Jewish broadcaster Mike Joseph from Wales and Palestinian journalist Sami Abu Salim who share their personal histories and ask: Is co-existence possible in Gaza? 


We are fast approaching the 76th anniversary of the Nakba on May 15.  Pax Christi invite you to light a candle and offer a prayer for peace and reconciliation.  We reprint a speech given in solidarity with the Palestinian people from Jewish writer and blogger Robert Cohen at a rally organised by Lancaster Friends of Palestine in 2021.


The Catholic Network reports on a new opinion poll from CAFOD which reveals that only 5% of those questioned were aware that Sudan is currently experiencing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.


The General Election isn’t far away. The latest issue of Vocations for Justice from the Columbans contains information to help us prepare well, with a link for ordering extra copies for your parish, and there are also links to briefing papers put together by CAFOD on a range of topics to raise with candidates.  


Please consider supporting a crowd-funding appeal to publish Stef Benstead’s new book for Church Action on Poverty Just Worship – details on page 10.  Jon Kuhrt, CEO of Hope into Action, has worked with people affected by homelessness for 30 years.  In his Grace and Truth blog Jon looks back on the life and political career of Frank Field who died recently.


There many interesting and varied events happening across the North West over the next couple of months – details in the text and on the diary page.


Also attached is an account of a candlelit service for the Holy Land held recently in my parish which was attended by about 60 people.  If anyone would like a copy of the service booklet with the readings and prayers in full please email me.


Best wishes

Anne O’Connor


NW NJPN Justice and Peace E Bulletin May 2024


report [AOC 1]