Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into law – Friday 22nd January 2021 – Invitation to a Thanksgiving Service

The Treaty was negotiated at the United Nations in 2017 and supported by 122 states. It will enter into legal force on 22 January 2021, banning nuclear weapons under international law.

THANKSGIVING SERVICE

On Friday 22 January at 11.30am the Network of Christian Peace Organisations will be gathering to celebrate the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with a short Thanksgiving Service hosted by the Network of Christian Peace Organisations. It will take place on Zoom and they hope to finish with bells ringing in celebration of nuclear weapons being banned. Click here for the Zoom link.

More details from Christian CND

Statement on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

Peace Sunday 2021 National Liturgy – Saturday 16th January, 6pm on Zoom

Join Pax Christi to reflect on Pope Francis’ World Peace Day Message ‘A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace’.

About this Event

Together we will gather on zoom to pray, share and reflect on Pope Francis’ message ‘A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace’. We will explore what this message calls us to do as peacemakers and how we respond to the call to live nonviolently.

Register with Eventbrite

If you have any questions or problems registering for this event, please contact the office at admin@paxchristi.org.uk

This year has been one of unprecedented and continuing challenges. We are all conscious of the need to restore and rebuild our communities here and around the world, accepting that we need new ways of working and relating to each other.   The Christian message of peace, through reconciliation, justice and nonviolence, can offer hope and direction in these times.  I invite you to seriously consider facilitating a collection for, or making a donation to, the work of Pax Christi at this time as a way to make a practical contribution to continuing the work of peace

Pax Christi National President, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon

Peace Sunday resources can be found here: https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-sunday-2021/    

Contact: info@paxchristi.org.uk

Westminster Justice & Peace E-Bulletin January 2021

Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, Chair of Westminster Justice & Peace Commission

            Welcome to the first Justice & Peace E-bulletin of 2021. 

We begin a new year with so many uncertainties and challenges.  We are right in the midst of this dreadful pandemic which is changing so much of the way we live our lives.  Our parish communities will each have their own stories of those who are suffering in different ways: physical illness, bereavements, loneliness, depression, lost jobs, increased poverty and destitution, and the inability to come together in person as a parish community. It’s a tough time and is likely to continue to be so for months ahead.   

And yet there are so many heroic stories too of living out faith in sacrificial service of those who are victims of the pandemic, often by society forgotten, through the food banks, homeless services, and the different groups serving and advocating for the vast numbers of newly poor here on our streets.  The Gospel of Justice and Peace has certainly been proclaimed throughout these last months in our communities and on our streets.  If we can say there are graces of this dreadful time they are clearly visible in the social action and advocacy work going on around the Diocese.  Here Justice and Peace Westminster has worked closely alongside Caritas Westminster marrying advocacy and action and so bringing to life the Church’s social conscience and mission. 

            While so much of the work of Justice & Peace has rightly focussed on these immediate and pressing needs the Commission, sub-committees and parish groups have addressed other issues of ongoing importance.  In the wake of Black Lives Matter we have seen great motivation in addressing issues of racial justice in parishes, in the Church and society.  Racial Justice Sunday on January 31st will be an opportunity to focus on this important issue.  Similarly, Peace Sunday, celebrated on January 17th, will challenge us to think outside of our domestic borders to be in solidarity with those overseas ravaged by war and conflict and to examine our own complicity there through passive support of weapons manufacture and investment.   

In a similar vein Pope Francis’ call to care for creation will continue to be echoed through how we promote environmentally friendly projects and policies and raise awareness of green issues, all leading up to a diocesan group going to COP 26 in November.

As we begin this new year of such uncertainty and challenge may we make a new commitment to allow the Gospel of justice and peace to take root in all our communities and respond to the Holy Father’s call on New Year’s Day when he encouraged all of us to work for a peace “sustained with patient and respectful dialogue” and “constructed with an open collaboration with truth and justice,” so 2021 may be “a year of peace, a year of hope.” It is up to everyone, Pope Francis says to take “by the hand those who need a comforting word, a tender gesture,” he said, and if “we begin to be in peace with ourselves,” it will spread to “those who are near us.”  

May the God of Peace be with you and your loved ones at the start of this new year.

Fr Dominic
Chair, Justice & Peace Commission, Diocese of Westminster 

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Wednesday 9th December 2020, 1pm – Vatican Online Webinar for an Ambitious Climate Summit

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In occasion of the five years anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement, adopted in Paris in December 2015 and ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit (12 December), the Vatican Covid-19 Commission (#VaticanCovidCommission)  and its partners  will highlight through this webinar the need to urge governments to raise ambition for tackling the climate emergency, through the points of view of:

  •  H.E. Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson – Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, on how faith and Pope Francis’ messages can help address the climate crisis;
  •  Prof. John Schellnhuber – Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, on what science is telling us today and what that means for world leaders, civil society and businesses;
  •  Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – Coordinator of AFPAT, on the impact of global warming on communities and the role of youth activism.

The webinar, moderated by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President:  The Club of Rome, will provide a platform for a high-level exchange on the climate crisis in the context of the efforts to build a just and sustainable recovery. Participants will be able to engage with the speakers through a Q&As session.

Webinar Registration

Vatican Covid19 Commission Website

YouTube streaming arranged here

#StandWithStan – Jesuits in Britain Call for Support for Fr Stan Swamy SJ on 10th December 2020 – Human Rights Day

This Human Rights Day falls on the 10 December, and Jesuit Missions have asked for your help to take action to help free Fr Stan Swamy SJ from prison.

Fr Stan, a Jesuit priest and human rights activist, has been unfairly imprisoned by the National Investigation Agency in India since the 8 October.

He is 83 years old, in poor health and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He needs your help.

What you can do

We want to raise awareness about what has happened to Fr Stan Swamy. This can be done in two ways.

Stand with Stan online

On Human Rights Day, we will be posting photos from Jesuit Mission supporters, Jesuit schools and parishes and others all standing with Stan. This will be part of an international online campaign and we are inviting you to get involved.

You can take action and #StandwithStan, by sending a photo of yourself with a poster, or sign that says #StandwithStan (you can download a poster below).

On the 10 December, all the photos of supporters will be tweeted to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice in India calling him to take action for Stan on Human Rights Day.

To take part simply download and print our Stand with Stan poster, or create one yourself. Then, take a picture of yourself with the poster and send it to us using the link below!

Download the poster here.

Complete the consent form and send the photo to Jesuit Missions here.

Westminster Justice & Peace E-Bulletin December 2020

Bishop Nicholas Hudson, lead Bishop for Justice & Peace in the Diocese of Westminster, writes:

Often, the parish community is the first place of encounter that the poor have with the face of Christ.” So says an interesting document called The Pastoral Conversion of the Parish Community in the Service of the Evangelising Mission of the Church.  It comes from the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy and is timely, because there is much reflection going on in our Diocesan community as to what it has meant to be a parish in time of pandemic; also what more we must do. 

It is in this spirit of openness to conversion that we shall be coming together on 5th December to Learn from the Pandemic.  We shall hear, from a rich array of speakers, what we have discovered about resourcing ourselves to meet the needs of the poor; how the pandemic has affected parishes seeking to embrace the New Evangelisation; what has been the impact of the amplified proclamation that Black Lives Matter; how the whole experience has refined our theology.  We are grateful to be joined by Anna Gavurin from the Caritas Food Collective; Fr Richard Nesbitt, Parish Priest in White City; Catholic teacher Marcelle Smith, who has been empowering others to talk about racial justice and combating racism; and the theologian, Dr Pat Jones.

The question of the rich young man must remain our guiding light: “Master, what more must I do?”  We need to be asking what more we must do, for example, for those who have no recourse to public funds, for those who seek to meet Christ in this time of disarray, for those who are persecuted on account of their race – and more.  “What more must we do?” is the question which should guide our Learning from the Pandemic on 5th December and beyond.  I hope as many agencies and groups within the Diocese as can will join us in this vital conversation.

Every good wish, Bishop Nicholas

5TH DECEMBER 2020, 11AM-1.30PM: LEARNING FROM THE PANDEMIC

OPEN INVITATION
TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEXT
WESTMINSTER SOCIAL JUSTICE & PEACE FORUM
SATURDAY 5TH DECEMBER 2020
11.00AM – 1.30PM

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Join us for an online gathering for everybody in the Diocese of Westminster (and our friends!) to share our experiences of the pandemic so far, provide a vision of hope and offer some practical direction for the year ahead. Our invited speakers will help us reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on our personal lives, our faith community and our pastoral practice.

What are the implications for our social justice-building and peace-making activity?

What have we learnt? Where do we go next?

Speakers helping to facilitate the Forum include Anna Gavurin (Caritas Food Collective), Dr Pat Jones (Catholic Social Teaching Researcher), Fr Richard Nesbitt (Parish Priest, Our Lady of Fatima, White City, London) and Fr Paschal Uche (Assistant Priest, St James the Less & St Helen, Colchester). Chair: Fr Dominic Robinson SJ (Chair of Westminster Justice & Peace). Summariser: Liam Allmark (Head of Public Affairs, Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales).

Forum Programme

10.45am Link Open

11.00am Prayer – led by Mary Pierre-Harvey (St Michael & St Martin, Hounslow, Youth and Caribbean Choir Leader)

11.15am Speakers

12.05pm Break

12.15pm Forum Discussion in Small Groups & Plenary

1.00pm Summary and Next Steps

1.20pm Prayer and Blessing

Hosted by Bishop Nicholas Hudson and Bishop Paul McAleenan

Co-sponsored by Caritas Westminster & Westminster Justice & Peace Commission

Accessibility – there will be British Sign Language interpretation at this event provided by Caritas Westminster Deaf Service

Westminster Justice & Peace Networking Meetings 2021

‘Where Two or Three Are Gathered…’

New series of online Zoom Gatherings for Justice & Peace activists across the Westminster Diocese for mutual support and sharing of current issues with Colette Joyce, our Co-ordinator, and other Commission members. You are invited to attend the Network meeting local to you, but if the date isn’t suitable please feel free to join any of the others. First time participants and seasoned campaigners welcome.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 7.00 – 8.00pm
18-25 Justice & Peace Network
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 Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 10.00am – 12.00pm
West London Justice & Peace Network
Deaneries: Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Upper Thames.
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 Saturday, 6th February 2021, 10.00am – 12.00pm
East London Justice & Peace Network
Deaneries: Hackney, Islington, Marylebone and Tower Hamlets
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Saturday, 20th February 2021, 10.00am-12.00pm
Central London Justice & Peace Network
Deaneries: Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, North Kensington and Westminster.
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Monday, 8th March 2021, 7.00-9.00pm
North London Justice & Peace Network
Deaneries: Barnet, Camden, Enfield and Haringey
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Tbc
Hertfordshire Justice & Peace Network

Our hope is that every Parish will send at least one representative to the gatherings. Parish Priests and named Justice & Peace Contacts for a Parish are especially welcome, as is anyone with an interest in any of our current priority areas – Responding to COVID19, Care of Creation, Climate Justice, Racial Justice, Housing & Homelessness, Ethical Investment, Fair Trade, Cancel the Debt, Food Poverty, Migrants and Refugees, Nuclear Weapons and Peace – as well as anyone who would like to bring another concern to our attention.

Contact Colette Joyce for more information or queries – Mob: 07593 434905 Email: colettejoyce@rcdow.org.uk