St. Joseph's & St. Patrick's
Roman Catholic Church
Wemyss Bay, Scotland
Parish Priest: Canon Desmond Berry

St. Bernadette's
Roman Catholic Church

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St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s does not have a dedicated Justice and Peace group but Justice and Peace is nevertheless part of the parish ethos.

There is a thriving long running SCIAF group. As well as fund raising SCIAF promotes Justice and Peace world wide.

This page is meant as link to ongoing J&P issues as promoted by Justice and Peace Scotland. So there will be links to various sites, for information or to access a particular issue. We hope to keep this topical and updated regularly.

Dear Justice and Peace Supporter

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2017. You are most likely aware that there have been new faces arriving at Justice and Peace Scotland due to the well-deserved retirements of Carol and Tim from the team here after many years of dedicated campaigning.

I’ll start by introducing myself, my name is Frances and I have taken up the post of Campaigns and Communication Officer which I am very excited about. Coming from a background of working in the NHS for the last 27 years as a medical secretary I have lots to learn in this new post and I am hoping that all of you seasoned Justice and Peace campaigners will kindly impart your experience and knowledge in my direction whilst I learn the ropes! I hope to meet many of you “under the banner” at some of the upcoming demonstrations and events.

Now to introduce the other new member of the team, Danny, he has written a few words of introduction here.

Travels of a Social Justice Co-ordinator

Since starting as Social Justice Co-ordinator in January the question I’m asked most often is “how did you end up here?” I wish it was a short answer, however, travelling has certainly been a part of what led me to Justice and Peace Scotland. I’m originally from Stockport, near Manchester, and first moved away from home to go to Aberystwyth for university. Three years later, with a degree in International Politics I decided that the most obvious way to make use of this was to go and be a youth worker! I volunteered at Savio House, the retreat centre run by the Salesians of Don Bosco near Macclesfield for one year, and then followed that by going to Bangalore, India to live with a Salesian community working with street children. It was this experience which had the most impact on what happened next. Over the next few years I had various jobs in both education and international development, spending time in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malawi. In all these places I encountered young people, who for various reasons had “fallen through the cracks” of the different systems which should have supported them.

My travels came to a halt when I needed surgery to rebuild my shoulder (an interest in both rugby, and martial arts makes some things inevitable!!). I took this as a motivation, and studied for a Masters degree, looking at marginalised young people and the failures of many of the policies employed by different state and non-state actors. I then needed a job to pay for my studies – I began working for the Home Office, as an asylum decision maker. This bought the issue of migration, something which my previous work had touched on, to the centre of my thinking. However, over the time it became clear to me that the government’s increasingly hostile approach to asylum seekers was not something I would ever make peace with (much to the chagrin of my managers who would have preferred a quieter, less outspoken team member!). In the end of September 2016 I happened to be on Orkney for a holiday, when through twitter I saw a job advert for a “Social Justice Co-ordinator” the rest, as they say, is history.

So here I am. I’ve made a start in getting out and meeting people, and, honestly, it’s the best part of the job. If you have a JP group (parish/diocese) please get in touch and invite me to come visit. If you are in a parish, school, university, U3A, campaign group, or anything else you can think of – please let us know what you’re doing, and if there is a way we can contribute. Open invitation – from Gretna to Lerwick! The Justice and Peace Commission is made of its members; everyone reading this newsletter. I’m here to do for you!

Calender of Events

Audacious Woman Festival – Little shop of Memories 1st Floor Ocean Terminal Edinburgh

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Present: These Dangerous Women Exhibition – the women who worked for peace during World War 1 February 1st 2017 - March 3rd 2017 weekdays 10.30am-4pm, weekends 11am-4pm.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2017: Monday 27 February - Sunday 12 March – see how you can get involved here

The Stand up to Racism march and rally will take place on Saturday 18.03.17 meet at 11am in Holland Street, Glasgow and march to George Square, 12 o'clock rally

Is This Progress? The challenge of Populorum Progressio 50 years on Conference – Sat 18.03.17 9am – 4.30pm Renfield St Stephens Centre 260 Bath Street Glasgow – free to attend get your ticket below

Romero Lecture will be in Glasgow on Tuesday 21 March at 7pm in St Aloysius College, 45 Hill St, Glasgow G3 6RJ and the speaker will be Marta Zechmeister, Professor of Systematic Theology in El Salvador.

Dungavel Solidarity Gathering will take place on Sunday 26th March (Mother’s Day) at 1pm. Meet at bottom of Driveway to Dungavel.

Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty - Sign the online Petition to urge the Government to participate in the UN conference to negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Write now to your MP/MSP and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urging the UK Government to take an active part in the UN meetings in New York in March and July. Email Boris here

Ask your MP/MSP to sign EDM 578 Find your MSP here

Take part in the Lobby of Parliament on 1 March. Details here

Music for Worship

A new feature of the Justice and Peace Newsletter! More songs have been inspired by our faith, and love of God than we can count, and no one will ever be able to hear them all. Each edition we will include one or two which we have been listening to in the office. Any suggestions please get in touch!

Newsboys – an Australian Christian pop-rock band “That’s how you change the world”

Food for thought

Another new feature! Each edition we will try to bring something thought provoking, and perhaps challenging for you to reflect on. With International Day against Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery (8 Feb) just passed, this month we include a TED talk from Kevin Bales, looking at modern slavery.