Columbans at annual Justice and Peace Conference

‘2021: Moment of Truth’ is the theme of the 2021 annual conference of the National Justice and Peace Network of England and Wales (NJPN). The Columban Justice, Peace and Ecology team will be there.

The 43rd NJPN conference will take place 23-25 July in Derbyshire. Bookings are now open for an in person gathering and all are welcome. NJPN says: “Six years on from Laudato Si’ we are learning that the “ecological conversion” called for in Laudato Si’ is a matter of life and death. Decisions at United Nations summits in 2021 on both biodiversity and the climate crisis will be critical for salvaging a viable future. This is also the year when the Vatican Dicastery of Human Development is inviting us to embark on a journey through the ‘Laudato Si’ Action Platform’, to be launched on 24 May 2021.

Columbans are engaging with the UN Biodiversity Conference in China in October. The UN Climate Conference in November will be hosted by Glasgow and the Justice and Peace movement and Columbans will be lobbying there. Join Columbans at NJPN Conference 2021 as we make common cause to face the choices, changes and consequences confronting us. At Conference 2021 we will take inspiration from Laudato Si’, Fratelli Tutti and secular thinking on integral ecology. We will seize this moment of grace for the changes and choices now confronting us.

A keynote speaker is Chair of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and author Lorna Gold. Her book, ‘Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children’s Future’ highlights stories of people who are doing amazing things to tackle the climate crisis. Other speakers include Lord Deben, Andy Atkins, Fr. Eamonn Mulcahy and Mark Rotherham. Bishop John Arnold of Salford, the lead bishop on the environment for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, will be the conference Mass celebrant. Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD, is to chair.

Liturgy will be led by Colette Joyce, Justice and Peace Fieldworker in Westminster Diocese, in collaboration with liturgical composer and pastoral musician Marty Haugen online. He has written a special chant ‘For Our Common Home’ for the occasion. More than 20 stalls will be available in the Just Fair – including a Columban one – and around 15 workshops available. It will be a practical and life-affirming gathering of the Justice and Peace movement in England and Wales.

So, on the sixth anniversaries of both the Paris Agreement on Climate and Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, the conference will stimulate moves towards “ecological conversion”. It will address structural change and simpler lifestyles. It will push for fossil fuel disinvestment by more Church groups as part of the rise of institutional shareholder activism. Churches will be encouraged to join the sustainability revolution and demonstrate in liturgies that there is engagement with “the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor”. More parishes will be encouraged to join to Livesimply programme, which already involves more than 90 parishes and schools in England and Wales.

So, the conference aims to launch a decade of transformative action – in lives and communities. It will discern how to deepen commitment to build a world where all of God’s creation can live in peace and prosperity. Participants will be given resources to work together to make this vision a reality.

Details can be found by visiting the National Justice and Peace Network website or by calling 020 901 4864.