Invitation to a day devoted to the challenge of tackling poverty

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‘Re-imagining Britain’ is the theme of a justice and peace meeting in London on October 6th to which all are warmly invited. Facilitated by the Executive Director of the Church Urban Fund, the Rev Paul Hackwood,  the day will explore the target to radically reduce, by 2030,  the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in the UK. The initiative is based on  the agreement three years ago, by world leaders,  to set 17 goals for a better world by 2030 – the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

At the same time as that international agreement was forged, 30 Roman Catholic and Anglican brothers, sisters and lay people in Britain  met for a day conference entitled, ‘Leave no one behind’ - linking Christian social teaching with the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.  Those involved were members of JPIC Links (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) which had been set up in the 1970s by members of the Conference of Religious to implement initiatives and lead congregations in the promotion of justice and peace issues. 

The Millennium Development goals and the Sustainable Development goals (Global Goals) are the road map for JPIC and during that one day conference three years ago, members made a commitment to make the Global Goals widely known and committed to ‘prayer for everyone’ to end global poverty by 2030.

One of those deeply involved in these efforts is Sr Gillian Price FC: “Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society and the general public to work together to build a better future for everyone.  If the Goals are met, they ensure the health, safety and future of the planet for everyone on it, and their best chance of being met is if everyone on the planet is aware of them. The more famous these global goals are, and the more widely they are understood by everyone - the more politicians will take them seriously, finance them properly, refer to them frequently and make them work. This is a mission for humanity, unified goals that resonate with everyone, everywhere.”

In July 2018 the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development’ (UKSSD) published a report, ‘Measuring up’ on how the UK is performing in achieving the targets of the Global Goals. The report found that:

  • Social protections for people experiencing poverty in the UK have been reduced in recent years

  • 16.8% of people are living in poverty according to our national definition

  • 3 million people in the UK are undernourished and 1.3 million of them are elderly

  • In the UK we have the highest levels of household food insecurity in Europe.

  • We have a food system that struggles to provide healthy sustainable, diverse diets for everyone in the UK.   

Adds Sr Gillian: “Knowing that we religious, associates and third order members from the 74 religious Congregations who belong to  JPIC Links see the effects of poverty in our day to day work,  we are looking forward to our Linking Day on October 6th with the Church Urban Fund  – you are very welcome to join us to explore how we can work together.”

RE-IMAGINING BRITAIN:  10.00 for 10.30 start -  finishing with Mass at 4.00

St Aloysius Church Hall, 20 Phoenix Road, Euston, London NW1 1TA

(full details on homepage of www.corew.org)

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 Some quotes from Christian leaders:

 “You pray for the hungry, then you feed them.  This is how prayer works”  - Pope Francis

 “We are not to simply bandage wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel”      -  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 “All humanity is dependent upon recognising the humanity in others” – Abp Desmond Tutu

 “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” – Mother Teresa

 “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” – Abp Desmond Tutu

 From: Prayer for everyone:

  1. https://www.prayerforeveryone.org/resource-centre/

Sr Gillian, as a member of the Daughters of the Cross of Liege, writing on September 14, the Feast of the Cross, adds a personal reflection as to why justice and peace issues are integral to her ministry: :

The first of our Constitutions, under Charism says:

No 1: The Daughters of the Cross form an institute of apostolic life which has as its aim to understand and to proclaim to others that the love of God has been revealed to us in the most striking way in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Their response to this love is to glorify and honour Christ by loving and serving him, above all in his weakest and most suffering members'.

No 8: In the different countries where the Congregation is established, the Daughters of the Cross always have a special preference for those who are poorest. They serve Christ in the words of general and special education, the care of the sick and the aged, abandoned children, the physically, psychologically and mentally challenged, the socially deprived, local pastoral work and the various needs of the Church. They remain faithful to their original charism, which excludes no work of mercy.

No 10: As an ecclesial community, the Daughters of the Cross are called to pay special attention to the signs of the times.  Rooted in the Gospels, they endeavour to be alert to the growing needs of the world, and to involve themselves in movements for justice and peace. Recognising the inter dependence of all Creation, the sisters strive to be aware of global issues of poverty, exploitation, inequalities and oppression in its various forms. They are encouraged to respect the diversity of religions, cultural practices and traditions'.