Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Lead Bishop for Justice & Peace in Westminster, writes:
What will work be like after the Pandemic? That’s a question people are asking from a wide range of perspectives. Concerns vary in urgency and import: some anticipate adapting to more home-working; others remain furloughed but belong to a sector where employment seems likely to be reduced; still others have already lost the job they relied on – to pay the rent, feed the children, socialise and flourish.
Human flourishing is at the heart of the Catholic Vision of Work. “The right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth’s material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one’s dependants” – this the Catholic Church holds as nothing less than a “human right” (Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus 47). We seek, in the next Social Justice & Peace Forum, to hold this Catholic Vision of Work in dialogue with our own experience of how work looks to have been altered by these last fourteen months of Pandemic, how we anticipate it looking in the future.
“Life to the full” is the message and aspiration of this Easter time. By the time we meet in Forum on 22nd May, society will have moved one further significant step towards normalisation. But what will be the net balance on the scale of human flourishing?: some re-skilled, others de-skilled; some with priorities reordered towards a better quality of life, others left with the sense of a life diminished. If some emerge stronger for work, others will find the decline of their physical and mental health, the stress of strained relationships at home, months of isolation leaves them frighteningly incapable. Loneliness, economic uncertainty, changed work-conditions will all have taken their toll.
These issues are all in play as we emerge from this third lockdown. They combine to make us ask fundamental questions: what is the value of work? what is proper remuneration? what is work for? What we are about in this Forum is nothing less than asking, “What is the fullness of the Catholic Vision of Work?”
Other Events on Work
5th-8th May: Rerum Novarum 130 Years On ~ The Future of the World of Work. St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Online international conferenceinspired by Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical addressing working conditions. Open to all and free of charge. To register contact the Rev Dr Ashley Beck: firstname.lastname@example.org. Poster and Speaker Details
13th May: The Why? Dignity of Work. Caritas Westminster, 11am-1pm. An opportunity for parishes, schools and projects to pause, reflect on their work during covid19, and discern the next steps together. Bishop Paul McAleenan attending. Register in advance with Eventbrite