It is fitting to pay tribute to the late, His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for some of the lasting, outstanding contributions he made to interfaith relationships. Back in 1995 he set up an organisation, Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC). Martin Palmer, who was Prince Philip’s Religious advisor on Conservation said, “It was his absolute conviction, when it was not fashionable, to have such a conviction, that religions are vital forces for a sustainable planet, and that secular environmentalists needed to work with them”
The two worked closely to meet with leaders of twelve faiths to make a statement of each faith’s understanding of creation and care for it. There was an amazing amount of common ground and detailed statements can be found at:
Prince Philip later suggested that the assets of the faiths (buildings, finance, purchasing power) could revolutionise practical action and engagement with environmental issues – which led to the founding of FaithInvest in 2019 to empower faiths to invest in line with their beliefs and values.
Martin said. "The Duke believed that the authority of the faiths was a sounder basis for building sustainable communities than those of nation states or even international organisations,"
And where did this vision come from?
In an interview for ARC in 2003, Prince Philip, International President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said, “In the 1980s, WWF International, was trying to do three things around the world, raise money, develop conservation projects and educate the public.”
Martin Palmer said, "The first two things were fine, but the last one had real difficulties. I argued that the kind of education we were doing through articles and lectures and books and films and things of that sort, only reached the educated, and probably only the middle classes in the various countries.”
Prince Philip knew that the people they needed to reach were the ones who lived in the areas of greatest risk, and the areas where the potential for biological diversity was highest. He said, “'It occurred to me that the people who could most easily communicate with them were their religious leaders. They are in touch with their local population more than anyone else”
“Back then, this idea was ground breaking,” said Martin. HRH Duke of Edinburgh said in 1985 “If data and information alone could save the planet, we would have saved it by then. The trouble was, we aren’t touching hearts and minds. And to do that, the conservation movement needs to work with the religions.”
The Reverend Sally Bingham of Interfaith National Campaigns said, “Right now we are leaving a great burden to our children and grandchildren, even with overwhelming evidence of the consequences. Would we want that done to us?”
Sally said that as a person of faith, she cannot say she loves God and loves her neighbour without doing all that she can to preserve creation – to act out of love for what God loves.
She emphasizes that all major religions share several common principles which on their own, pretty much compel attention to the climate issue. Interfaith says, “Adding that global warming is compromising our future makes it an urgent moral crisis.”
Working with all faiths and none
Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si (LSI) 2015 was written to reconsider our understanding of Creation and our responsibilities to care for it. Laudato Si Animators studied the Encyclical and were called to rethink their role as God’s stewards of God’s creation. Pope Francis recognised that whatever our faith or none we are all united in our growing concern for the future of the planet and that action is a matter of urgency before it’s too late.
LSI 118 “There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. There can be no ecology without adequate anthropology”.
How do we fit in?
As people of faith, priests or lay, may we allow ourselves to be encouraged and inspired to reach out to all faiths and none to work together to reach our common goal of making this planet a fit place for subsequent generations to thrive.
LSI 14 … “We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots, concern and affect us all….”
Father Tom O’Brien, from Hitchin, Herts ended his talk at the Westminster Diocese InterFaith service in June 2021 with the empowering words from Pope Francis in LSI paragraph 205.
“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing what is good, and making a new start, whatever their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.”
Laudato Si Animators
No one deserves to receive vitriolic abuse and death threats, certainly not for missing a penalty shot in a football final. If the unlucky England strikers had been white would there have been a racist backlash? The mid July NW NJPN E Bulletin leads with these recent events that expose a disturbing undercurrent of racism in our country. The England team manager Gareth Southgate has inspired many with his humility, his calm and decisive leadership and the loving way he guides his young team. In a letter written at the start of Euro 2020 he outlined his vision for the team and beyond, printed here in full. Other articles feature the government’s response to the plight of refugees, and preparations for COP26 and climate crisis, highlighted by terrible floods across Western Europe resulting in loss of life. The Primate of All Ireland criticises the UK government’s decision to ‘draw a line’ under the troubles in Northern Ireland, there is disappointment at Parliament’s decision to ratify the UK’s aid budget cuts, as well as the disturbing news that the online giant Amazon destroys unsold products, plus an account of the recent Christian CND Zoom conference attended by more 90 people.
July 2021 News Letter
We would like to alert you to our latest series of four public events - on the common good and the family, society and government - coming up between June and November.
Full details and booking can be found here: https://togetherforthecommongood.co.uk/news/new-event-series. Please feel free to share this email as you wish.
Together for the Common Good
Registered Charity No.1172113
If you wish to update your contact details or be removed from our database, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
Open Heaven 2021 is about to launch
Open Heaven, the initiative to prayer-walk every street in Coventry during June 2021, is about to launch! Building upon last year’s amazing prayer walk, many church leaders in the city have felt it is a crucial time to cover the city in prayer again as City of Culture year is now underway and the nation is set to come out of lockdown.
The User Guide (with Isaiah 61 Prayer Pointers) is now available; and the App goes live to earmark streets this Friday 28th May at 9am. You can also follow on social media using the @openheavencov handle and #ohcov.
Link to newsletter
____Report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities
In the summer of 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed a Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, to examine ‘why so many disparities persist’ and ‘what can be done to eliminate or mitigate them’. The Commission was specifically tasked
to look at ‘race and ethnic disparities in education, employment, crime and policing and health.’ The Commission’s Report was published on 31 March 2021 with headlines saying that the UK should be seen as an ‘international exemplar of racial equality’ and ‘there was no evidence of institutional racism’. Throughout its Report the Commission is suggesting that, given the progress that has been made and given the complexity of inequalities based on race, class, geography and other factors, we should be taking steps to improve outcomes for all rather than concentrating too much on race. The Commission looks carefully at four areas.
Read more - follow link to CARJ
CARJ newsletter April 2021
Environment: As Christians we are inspired to be good stewards of the earth, to conserve and protect God’s creation and the earth’s resources. By our actions, we can mitigate the effects of climate change stop the destruction of habitats and reverse the decline of species worldwide. The way we treat the earth today is already affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in the world and, in time, will affect us all.
You may have heard that Traidcraft will finish trading at the end of the year and that may have frightened you to death. How can we continue to run our Traidcraft Stall or get supplies?
The information we have received from Traidcraft is that, although details are not yet available, we WILL be able to continue to get supplies, although the set-up will be different. However, the new arrangements in 2019 will take time to put in place, so we think it would be wise to stock up before the end of the year.
If you want any further information, you can phone their Customer Services on 0191 491 0855.
"Our Common Home: Caring for God's Creation" an example of a Study Course for Lent that you may find interesting.
Link to Operation Noah May 2021 Newsletter
Operation Noah’s annual Supporters’ Event
9 June, 10:30am-12:30pm
Faith and Justice Commission
I hope you will be able to take the time to read and share the newsletter.
The newsletter can be downloaded at
Reports and newsletters mentioned in this issue are available at http://www.lancasterfaithandjustice.co.uk/newsletter/
Peace & best wishes
Administrator Lancaster Diocesan Faith& Justice Commission
St Bernadette’s Parish House, Bowerham Road Lancaster LA1 4HT
E: email@example.com Office T: 07885809935 M:07864012385
Please note that the F&J Office number has changed
· Rape, forced prostitution and sexual trafficking are a common tactic of war, conflict and terrorism today. More here https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict
· One example is Afghanistan where years of conflict, poverty and the use of religion and culture as a justification to control women, are a feature of gender violence against women. We read of targeted killings of high profile women and girls pursuing education. https://evaw-global-database.unwomen.org/en
· The End Violence Against Women Coalition undertakes campaigning and
advocacy work on behalf of women and girls. Read more about their current work on rape crime, COVID violence, street safety for women and more. https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/about
· Become familiar with the Domestic Abuse Act (April 2021)
· Lobby the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative to ensure that women
take a leadership role in reporting, planning and implementing policies and
practices that safeguard women and girls. PSVI @fcdo.gov.uk
· Find out about /support Women’s Aid https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
Restore's vision is for a society into which all refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed, valued and integrated.
Please follow link to:
April 2021 - Newsletter
May 2021 - Newsletter
June 2021 - Newsletter
Recruiting a part-time Befriending Women’s Worker
Our original plans for this new post were derailed by the pandemic but we are delighted to be advertising for someone to start in September.
We are looking for someone with the passion and organisational and pastoral skills needed to assist with Restore’s women’s befriending work and support female refugees and asylum seekers and female volunteers. There will also be involvement in organising group social activities for women and occasionally for families. This role requires commitment to Restore, collaborative team work, the ability to juggle tasks and excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural skills. The post is 21 hours a week on a 12-month fixed term contract.
For more information, Job Description, Person Specification and Application Form please click here.
Closing date for applications: Thursday 1 July 2021 at 12 noon
Interviews: Friday 23 July, and we are hoping that interviews will be face-to-face.
Jeremy, Rachel, Andy and Geraldine
Restore Staff Team
Dear Diocesan Friends
At Saturday’s AGM the meeting asked the Chair of NJPN to write to the Cardinal – “Those at the AGM of the National Justice and Peace Network, meeting on Saturday, were deeply shocked to hear of the attack by Israeli Police on Palestinians at prayer in the Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday evening. Palestinian worshippers have been denied access to the Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan and this, along with the police and military incursions into this holy place, the use of stun grenades, rubber coated steel bullets and water cannons on those at worship, all contravene international law…….
We urge you and the Bishops of England and Wales to answer the call of the Heads of Churches in Palestine who say:
‘We call upon the International Community, the Churches and all people of goodwill to intervene in order to put an end to these provocative actions, and to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We join in prayer with the intention of the Holy Father Pope Francis that “the multi-religious and multi-cultural identity of the Holy City might be respected and that fraternity might prevail.”
We further ask you to:
Circles of Silence - Nakba Memorial - May 15th 2021
Brushstrokes Community Project
Strengthening and supporting refugees and migrants across Sandwell,
West Birmingham and beyond
News Letter March 2021
Phone: 0121 565 2234
Brushstrokes Community Project is part of Father Hudson’s Care
Father Hudson’s Care is a working name of Father Hudson’s Society
Registered in England & Wales, no. 1653388
Registered charity no. 512992
Reaching out to provide Social Care in the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham
Clingfilmed coconuts? Shrink-wrapped turnips? Cauliflower 'steaks' in plastic bags?
Many of us have experienced the frustration of unpacking our weekly shop and finding we're filling our fridges, rubbish bins and recycling with pointless plastic - and it's no surprise when supermarkets are producing 800,000 tonnes of plastic a year!
Enough is enough. Will you help expose supermarkets' ridiculous packaging practices?
1. Next time you spot some excessive plastic packaging, take a photo.
2. If you use Twitter, tweet the photo using #PointlessPlastic (don't forget to tag the supermarket too!)
3. If you don't use Twitter, you can either post it on another social media channel (like Facebook or Instagram) or alternatively email your picture to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post it for you!
Some people are concerned that plastic is necessary to reduce food waste - but a new study has shown that in some cases it might actually be making the problem worse.
When plastic packaging requires food to be a specific size or shape, edible food is rejected because it doesn't look the right way.
And whilst some people need pre-prepared fruit and vegetables because of mobility issues, no one needs them to be provided in plastic.
If hundreds of us share these pictures of pointless plastic packaging online, together we can show supermarkets that their use of plastic is out of control, and that their customers have had enough.
'Unwrapped: How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe's food waste problem (and what we need to do instead)'
Link to Green Peace video clip on reusable energy
Statements by the Columban Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation team added to our [Position Statements] page
The Birmingham Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission is funded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and is a member of the Caritas - Archdiocese of Birmingham Network