Justice and Peace


j&p logoWe are all called to play our part in building God’s Kingdom of peace and justice. The Commission works to encourage and support individuals and groups to take that call to heart and respond in practical ways.

This month’s listing of peace and justice related events around the Diocese and beyond – November Link


Recent events:

Graham Herbert of the Salisbury Justice and Peace Group describes a successful collaborative event with Salisbury Trust for the Homeless.  To read the full article click Salisbury J&P event

Martin Davis, of the Cheltenham Green Christian group, reports a talk by Frank Regan entitled “Our Late Great Planet Earth: can we change direction? Explorations and reflections on Laudato Si'”.  Click here to read more.


Clifton Diocese represented at National Justice and Peace Conference

Last weekend saw the 39th Annual National Justice and Peace Conference, entitled, ‘A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis’. Included in the 260 attendees from most Dioceses across the country were three members of Clifton Diocese Justice and Peace Commission Sue Smailes, Sue Ingham and Bella Harding (see photo below).

Bella Harding, attending a NJPN Conference for the first time, said ‘This was a very exciting conference, full of urgent challenges to ‘properly receive’ the teaching of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and to an inner conversion and external action and campaigning. There were many good ideas, and encouragement to ‘find the glory in the grey’, to enjoy the little things and not divide nature from culture. God is in all things. A final comment was that it was not an era of change, but a change of era, when the music changes, then so does the dance. We must have an ear for the changes.’

The programme for the weekend was made up of talks from speakers: Dr Ruth Valerio of Tearfund, Fr Peter Hughes, a Columban priest who has worked in Latin America for five decades and Kathy Galloway, a former leader of both the Iona Community and Christian Aid Scotland.  A range of workshops and ‘sabbath’ activities covered some of the challenges of working to tackle structural injustice and living more simply.  There was also a panel organised by Church Action on Poverty from the Leeds Poverty Truth Commission which highlighted the suffering caused by poverty in Britain and the role of Church groups in building up support and hope.

Saturday evening saw a performance by the Christian theatre group, Rise, of “Romero – the Heartbeat of El Salvador” and during the conference Mass Archbishop Oscar Romero was adopted as NJPN’s patron.

Children at the conference produced a video ‘Can children and young people make a difference’. The answer was positive, and the youth group’s message to participants was : ’We all say we want to tackle poverty – you need to get out there and do it!’.

For a fuller report of the Conference please click here

Holy Family parishioner, Phil Kingston wins award by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation

 The Sheila McKechnie Foundation Campaigner Awards 2017 include Phil Kingston (pictured third from the left) for his work in setting up Grandparents for a Safer Earth.  This organisation seeks to mobilise grandparents and elders to take direct action to raise awareness of the risks of global warming and climate change, read more…..


Laudato Si – A Call to Action, Retreat Day

                                          25 March, Feast of the Annunciation

   Clifton J&P Commission invited Mary Colwell and Severine Deneulin to lead a day of reflection on Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home’ and what it might mean for each of us.  The day included talks on the radical nature of Laudato Si’ and on the day’s scripture readings, time to reflect on passages from the encyclical, and to discuss our concerns and future plans.  As you can see from the image above, part of the afternoon included a walk around Brandon Hill led by Mary Colwell.

To read more about the event, click Laudato Si day report


The Carbon Neutral Diocese Group is a subgroup of the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission.  It was formed in Summer 2015 with the aim of helping the Diocese to reduce its carbon use and eventually reach neutrality, but it is also concerned with wider environmental issues, such as water usage and recycling.  Members are Sue Ingham (Secretary of the Justice and Peace Com), Carmody Grey (Ph D student, University of Bristol), David Maggs (Diocese of Bath and Wells), Kester Ratcliffe (Easton Energy Group), Tim Coyle (Surveyor and Diocesan Trustee), Lisa Loveridge (Co-ordinator).  Derek Salmon (Diocesan Surveyor) is attending the next meeting.  Ffi please contact Lisa Loveridge on 01225 282915 or lisaloveridge@gmail.com      


Laudato Si Pope Francis’ encyclical on Care of our Common Home.  For a copy and summary of the document click here.  


A climate-change awareness website has been set up by a group of parishioners at St Charles Borromeo in Birmingham, ‘inspired by the letter to everyone – a CAFOD video about care for our common home by Pope Francis, Laudato Si.’  The website includes a prayer page which is overseen by a Benedictine oblate.



What’s happening in your parish/area?  Help us to let others know about your work for peace and justice by sending a report with a picture, if possible, to justiceandpeace@cliftondiocese.com