We were so fortunate that the NJPN held a network meeting here in the Portsmouth diocese on 20 September. It was a great chance to meet so many inspirational people from around the country who are all involved in campaigning for social justice!
Just in case you weren’t aware of the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN), it exists to encourage work for Justice and Peace by promoting liaison and communication among diocesan groups and individuals and its aims and efforts are accepted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It’s a network of diocesan members, fieldworkers agency representatives and individuals is maintained through regular communications, open networking meetings and the organisation of a national annual conference.
The Network was started in 1978 and has held annual conferences since that date. Its members are representatives from diocesan Justice and Peace Commissions or groups and an increasing number of individuals. Also affiliated to the network are agencies and organisations working in the field of Justice and Peace, religious and missionary orders with a special calling for justice and peace work and representatives of the committees of Bishops’ Conference whose work covers the issues which pertain to those of the Network. Although both the roots and ethos of the network are strongly Catholic, many of the hundreds of small J&P groups around the country now function ecumenically and some are now seeking to operate pan-faith.
The network meeting featured presentations from Maureen Thompson (from Emsworth) on the newly formed Portsmouth Diocesan Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility Team. (You may recognise Maureen from this blog as she’s also a rather super Education Volunteer too!) Paul Draper and Rita Belletty from St John Bosco then gave a brief talk on their experience of becoming a Livesimply parish. We were fortunate to journey with the parish at this time and feature many of their actions on the blog, including their Award itself (as they were the first parish in England and Wales to receive it!) (Here’s a film too that was taken at this time!)
Such an interesting meeting to attend with so many representatives there all working on a great range of issues in very practical ways. Reports from different agencies were put up around the room for people to read from CAFOD, Christian CND, Pax Christi and the Romero Trust – to name but a few. If you are interested in Justice and Peace issues – this is the meeting for you! It’s really inspirational and you always learn so much!
Two important dates for your diaries:
22nd November 2014 – The next NJPN open networking day (open to individuals too – so do go along. Please let Ann Kelly – the administrator know you are coming beforehand on firstname.lastname@example.org ) This will be held from 10.30am until 4pm at CAFOD’s HQ, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB. Oliver McTernon will speak on the spiritual context of remembrance.
17 – 19 July 2015 – Annual Justice and Peace Conference at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire ‘The Things That Make For Peace’ . We can’t recommend this highly enough to everyone and attended this year’s conference back in July.
For more information on the NJPN please click here.