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Tuesday
Jan172017

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity  18th to 25th January Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power   (cf. Exodus 15:6) 

 Material for 2018 was produced in the Caribbean and uses Exodus 15, a song of triumph over oppression, as the motif of the Week of Prayer. The contemporary Caribbean is deeply marked by the dehumanizing project of colonial exploitation. Very regrettably, during five hundred years of colonialism and enslavement, Christian missionary activity in the region, with the exception of a few outstanding examples, was closely tied to this dehumanizing system and in many ways rationalized it and reinforced it. Whereas those who brought the Bible to this region used the scriptures to justify their subjugation of a  people in bondage, in the hands of the enslaved, it became an inspiration, an assurance that God was on their side, and that God would lead them into freedom.  

 

 The themes of  daily material raise some of the contemporary issues addressed by the churches of the Caribbean. Abuses of human rights are found across the region and we are  challenged to consider our manner of welcoming of the stranger into our midst. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery continue to be huge issues. Addiction to pornography and drugs, continue to be serious challenges to all societies. The debt crisis has a negative impact upon the nations and upon individuals – the economies of the nations and people have become precarious. Family life continues to be challenged by the economic restrictions which lead to  migration, domestic abuse and violence. The Caribbean Churches work together to heal the wounds in the body of Christ. Reconciliation demands repentance,    reparation and the healing of memories. The whole Church is called to be both a sign and an active agent of this  reconciliation. Download booklet at:  

https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2018/

 

 

Wednesday
Jan112017

60 years of saving the world:

 In February 1958, anti-nuclear activists gathered at Methodist Central Hall in London for what would be CND's first ever meeting. 60 years on, this anniversary presents us with an  opportunity to look at how we've contributed to the changes in politics and society that have shaped the lives of millions.

 

Friday
Sep232016

Caring for Creation 22nd October Lancaster

Caring for Creation  “Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is first and foremost, up to us” Pope Francis LSi 160  A day exploring hope for the future and our role in this  

How fortunate those of us who were able to attend the one day conference “Caring for Creation” were to benefit and be in the company of such gifted, informed and thought provoking speakers. It is a rare event indeed which collects together at the same time and in one place such a committed and theologically grounded group of people.

The day began with an inspiring reflection, a litany of our creation story from Fr Tom Cullinan, (available download).  Fr Hugh then set the context of the day and  the signs of hope.

Pat Gaffney (General Secretary of Pax Christi UK ) told us to run with the visions of our faith and lobby the government to get behind the banning of nuclear weapons, challenge the financing of nuclear weapon development,  to put forward positive models of security  and alternative investment and celebrate stories of peacemaking. to watch talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A97KN_1F2E 

Paul  Bodenham (Green Christian) spoke about travel and transport or living locally, having a dependency culture or one of hypermobility.   Hypermobility results in wider and shallower regions of social activity degradation of the social and physical environment.  By contrast he said if you go  local you grow and when you buy local you enrich your neighbourhood and your dependency on each other. This is simplified but Paul asked whether we can de-couple economic growth from    resource use and the evidence for the last twenty five years  is not  encouraging.

To view Sue Holden and Paul Bodenham talks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5UUtVasGFc-NOON0EsJsSJbr41FsklO7

Lya  Vollering reflected on the joy  in working with the soil and growing to eat at any scale whether a plant on the window-ledge or in an allotment. We also heard from Ann about the “Fur Clemt” cafe in Wigan that turns food destined for landfill into meals for the community. (Fur Clemt is local dialect for “very hungry”)

Sue Holden from Positive Money  explained an alternative understanding of money.

Paul Kelly spoke on  Energy and gave us clear information on energy generation and how energy is used. He spoke about Government policies, both past and current and how the Government is responding to  existing commitments. The current policy will not be enough to deliver the existing carbon budgets that Parliament has set.

Paul reminded us that we must find “a firm purpose of amendment.   This in turn must translate into concrete ways of thinking and acting that are more respectful of creation.” LS211 and

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” LS160 

To view all the talks: https://www.facebook.com/jpliverpooljp/videos/

 Organised by Liverpool Archdiocese Justice & Peace Commission and Lancaster Faith & Justice Commission

 

Tuesday
Jul192016

Pioneering alliance to provide green fuel could slash the costs of running Catholic parishes

The costs of lighting and heating parishes are being reduced thanks to a new deal between two Catholic organisations to provide renewable electricity to churches across the country. Interdiocesan Fuel Management Ltd (IFM) this month entered into an alliance with Churchmarketplace (CMP) to bring renewable energy to 16 of the 23 Catholic dioceses of England and Wales. Their collaboration means that more than 3,200 parishes are buying electricity from “green” suppliers of renewable sources.

The new agreement brings together the dioceses served by IFM, a fuel procurement company which was set up by a number of Catholic dioceses in 1994, and the eight dioceses that have been procuring energy from Churchmarketplace, a collaborative buying group serving the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The new alliance was formed some six months after the exemption from Climate Change levy was withdrawn from renewable electricity bills, a development which meaning that all dioceses were facing an increase in their electricity costs. There was also a premium cost attached to purchasing renewable electricity which meant that the dioceses previously outside of IFM could face significant costs in moving to renewable energy.

But by combining the buying power of all 16 dioceses together, significant savings were achieved that offset the impact of Climate Change levy as well as making renewable energy available to all at a manageable price.The premium for purchasing renewable energy through IFM is about £5 per meter per year compared to about £49 per meter per year outside of the contract, a total saving of more than £180,000 for all dioceses.

The 16 diocese served by the agreement are Arundel and Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Clifton, East Anglia, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Menevia, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, , Salford, Shrewsbury and Westminster. Both partners in the alliance hope that the remaining five dioceses will soon join the buying group so they too might enjoy the same benefits gained from obtaining their energy on a 100 per cent renewable tariff. In addition to the work being carried out among the parishes, CMP and IFM are now exploring how their new partnership can replicate the successful collaboration the parishes are enjoying for Catholic schools, academies and universities. By pooling together the huge volumes of energy, CMP/IFM’s intentions are to make renewable energy an affordable option for all Catholic organisations in England and Wales.

Jenny Williamson, director of Churchmarketplace, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with IFM, another Catholic organisation to deliver an affordable renewable energy solution for parishes. We look forward to doing the same for Catholic schools with IFM, stronger together.”

Carol Lawrence, director of Interdiocesan Fuel Management Ltd, said: “This agreement is great news for Catholic parishes throughout England and Wales. Both IFM and CMP have been for a long time deeply committed to helping parishes to have access to affordable renewable energy. Our new partnership helps to advance that objective in harmony with the teaching of Pope Francis on the care for the environment. It is a real breakthrough and it puts us in a strong position to expand these highly valuable services to other Catholic institutions.”

For further information: Please contact Jenny Williamson on 01332 253839 or Carol Lawrence on 0151 652 9855. Website for Churchmarketplace: www.churchmarketplace.org.uk  Press Release from Churchmarketplace and Interdiocesan Fuel Management Limited 18th July 2016