You can now read the autumn issue of our SPARK newsletter online - click here!
SPARK is Church Action on Poverty's print newsletter, circulated to all of our supporters three times a year. The autumn 2019 issue is on its way out to all our supporters in print this week - but you can also read it online if you like. Take a look for... news about the End Hunger UK Week of Action; a story of local activists speaking truth to power; prayers for World Food Day; and more! We hope you'll find it inspiring and useful.
Download SPARK now!
Church Action on Poverty
DR Congo: CAFOD director welcomes WHO announcement on Ebola
This from the Independent Catholic News
Urgent Action for Sur Bahir,
Wadi al Hummus, July 2019
In the early hours of 22nd July 2019, hundreds of Israeli military and police entered the village of Sur Baher, Wadi al Hummus, in south east Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank. They forcibly removed families from their homes using tear gas, pepper spray, sound bombs and physical force and then began the demolition of up to 10 residential apartment blocks.
Since 2009, the Israeli authorities have demolished, or forced owners to demolish, 69 structures in Sur Baher. This resulted in the displacement of 30 households. 400 people have been displaced or affected by the demolitions, half of whom were children under 18 years of age.
The new demolition orders are for 70 apartments in inhabited, or under construction, buildings. The homes are under the authority of the Palestinian Authority - area A of the Oslo Accord - and all have building permits from the PA. The Israeli court ruled that they can be demolished on the grounds that they are too near the separation barrier – which Israel itself built! Again, the demolitions will forcibly displace Palestinian families, including the elderly and children.
Forcible Transfer of people under occupation is a serious breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The deportation of or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory, within or outside this territory, constitutes a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute.
“Israel must immediately end its cruel and discriminatory policy of home demolitions and forced displacement.” Saleh Higazi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director, Amnesty
The British government repeatedly condemns Israel’s violations of international law but can no longer stand by while Israel flagrantly ignores it. It is time to take real action. It's time for the UK government to end its complicity in Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian rights.
Urgent action: Please contact the following:
The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Dr Andrew Murrison , Minister for the Middle East, at: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London,SW1A 2AH. Email email@example.com
Your MP and MEPs: via www.writetothem.org.uk
•Tell them: about these demolitions and forcible transfers.
•Ask them: not only to condemn the removal of the Palestinian families, but to take action to demand that the Israeli Government immediately reverses its decision and stops the illegal, forcible transfer of the people and the demolitions.
Ask your Faith leaders to speak out strongly in support of the Palestinian families and against the Israeli Government’s demolitions, their forcible transfers, their violations of international law and denial of Human Rights.
More information - Pax Christi - www.paxchrist.org.uk
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
Archbishop Nichols' "No To Racism...."
Catholic Association for Racial Justice "Supporting One Another"
Very Exciting News!!!
After a year in the planning our partner Social Enterprise, “Twinning Solutions, Coventry” is now ready to launch! This is a home support service, pairing up our trained lovely women with people who need help in their homes. If you know anyone who requires help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, ironing, friendship......please let them know and give them Emma’s number on 078 83 93 61 72
The December issue of the NW NJPN E Bulletin covers items from Advent through to Christmas and into the New Year featuring reports on UK poverty; the continuing scandal of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia; climate change; fracking; the Amazon Synod; a plea for safer passage for asylum seekers; Red Wednesday; controversy over White Poppies for Peace and tackling bullying; plus a deeply moving opinion piece on the 30th anniversary of the assassination of 6 Jesuit priests and 2 women in El Salvador and a father reflects on grace, forgiveness and suicide. Resources for Advent, Peace Sunday, books and art exhibitions as well as diary dates.
Please pass on to others.
Lancaster Diocesan Faith and Justice Commission
Dear FriendsThe newsletter can be downloaded at https://tinyurl.com/y2f9ja7b
Reports and newsletters mentioned in this issue and previous newsletters are also available at http://www.lancasterfaithandjustice.co.uk/newsletter/
Peace and best wishes Maggie
Administrator Lancaster Diocesan Faith and Justice Commission
St Bernadette's Parish House, Bowerham Road, Lancaster LA1 4HT
T:01524 383081 M:07864012385
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.
Brushstrokes Community Project
Strengthening and supporting refugees and migrants across Sandwell, West Birmingham and beyond
August News Letter
September News Letter
October News Letter
Phone: 0121 565 2234
Here we are with the latest news from Restore.....
Celebrating 20 years of Restore's work: Thank you to over 90 people who joined us to celebrate 20 years of Restore's work at our Annual Celebration on 9 July. We heard from Jill, one of Restore’s founders, about the start of our work in 1999 to welcome Kosovan refugees and other asylum seekers arriving in Birmingham, following the introduction of the asylum dispersal process. Sunita shared about her current experience as a volunteer befriender and Mash spoke of his involvement with Restore during the past year. We looked ahead to Restore’s future commitments to build mutually enriching relationships, raise awareness and work for change – all part of an ongoing strategic planning process. There was plenty of time to meet friends old and new and do what Restore does best: welcome, socialise and build relationships.
Restore's Annual Report: Our Annual Report for 2018 has now been released. Please click here to read the report.
The photo below shows refugees, volunteers, supporters and staff at the Annual Celebration standing on a timeline indicating when they first had contact with Restore spanning from 1999 to 2019.
Training for new volunteer befrienders: Our next training course for anyone interested in befriending a refugee or finding out more about refugee issues, will be held on Mondays 7, 14 and 21 October from 7.15pm to 9.15pm at Carrs Lane Church, B4 7SX. Please share this information with anyone who may be interested. Please click here for more details or email Geraldine at email@example.com to book a place.
Lift the Ban campaign - Day of Action in Birmingham: Thank you to all who joined the Day of Action on 28 June to promote this campaign to give asylum seekers permission to work. Emma Birks from Asylum Matters, who was the key organiser, was delighted that over 120 people joined the Birmingham Day of Action. There were passionate speeches from 4 people with lived experience of the ban and Councillor John Cotton and Preet Gill MP also spoke in support of the campaign. Since then, Birmingham City Council has become the first local authority in the West Midlands to formally support the campaign. The Home Office is currently reviewing the policy.
Run4Refugees 2019: We are delighted to let you know that £5,193.51 was raised and shared between Restore and a project supporting refugees in Turkey. A HUGE 'Thank you' to everyone involved in Run4Refugees 2019 for organising this amazing event and to everyone who ran or walked and raised money.
Facebook and Twitter: We are keen to expand our social media reach, so please sign-up to our Facebook page and Twitter account and encourage others to 'like' and 'follow' Restore.
Funding: We are extremely grateful to all the individuals, churches and grant making trusts who support Restore financially. However, we need to find additional sources of funding:.
The impact of Restore's work: And finally, a quote from the Annual Report 2018 showing that both refugees and volunteers benefit from befriending: "The realisation that every little support I was giving to my befriendee and his family, was appreciated and was helping to make their integration into this new life a little easier was very humbling and encouraging. I probably got more from it than them in that it opened my eyes even more to the reality of the hardships that refugees suffer."
Thank you for all you do to support Restore and refugees in our city.
With best wishes,
Jeremy, Rachel, Andy and Geraldine
Copyright © 2019 Restore, All rights reserved.
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
Birmingham RC Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission 2015