The Justice and Peace Commission
With a focus on ‘encountering Christ at the margins’, this issue features articles on Catholics in action across the diocese of Nottingham:
- With seafarers in Immingham
- Supporting people with mental illness in Bulwell
- As Street Pastors in Nottingham
- Travelling to Poland for the upcoming UN climate change summit
- At the first Livesimply parish in the diocese.
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The Nottingham Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission works towards exploring the causes of injustice, increasing awareness among others of these issues, praying that unjust situations might be changed for the better, working for justice both at home and abroad and providing practical assistance for those in need. The Commission works through parish groups, ecumenical groups, inter-faith groups, through individuals and other contacts. Please contact the Justice and Peace Fieldworker, Paul Bodenham, at email@example.com.
Towards a zero-carbon diocese
New scientific evidence brought fresh urgency to the diocesan Justice and Peace Assembly on 10 November 2018. Sixty people gathered at St Hugh’s, Lincoln to take up Pope Francis’ challenge of ‘a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet’.
Cafod’s Head of Public Policy, Graham Gordon, reported findings that governments now had to reduce carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ in only 30 years. Action is required ‘on a scale and speed not seen before’ to spare younger generations alive today potentially catastrophic impacts, particularly in poorer countries. Download Graham's presentation here in PDF format.
Cllr Chris Burke, recent Mayor of Lincoln, urged Catholics to get active locally to bring in the profound changes required, and harness the potential for a new, cleaner, and more just economy. Niamh Melton, from the diocesan youth centre, the Briars, urged delegates and decision-makers to give young people the chance to shape their own future.
It became clear that if the church is to give the moral lead necessary a concerted diocesan environmental policy was necessary. Several Catholic dioceses and religious orders had already developed one, as two speakers, Bernard Shaw and Susan Sanderson, explained. Rev Richard Steel and Geoff Stratford shared experience from the Anglican diocese of Lincoln of their own journey towards ‘zero carbon’.
In the afternoon the focus shifted to the Commission’s ambitions for action over the next three years. As well as the environment, we have identified several other challenges: poverty and inequality, support for asylum seekers and refugees, and human trafficking and slavery. We also want to offer Catholics formation as missionary disciples, and equip them to promote gospel values in civil society. Download the Commission's three year ambitions here.
Topic groups got their teeth into each of these themes, and asked for more opportunities to get involved. For its part the Commission is keen to find ways to engage more people so that the aspirations we share can be fulfilled. If you would like to contribute in any way, contact our fieldworker, Paul Bodenham, who would be delighted to hear from you.