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NOVEMBER 11th  ARMISTICE DAY

Taken at the Memorial in Marple Park on Remembrance Sunday when I went at 11 am to prayerfully lay our Churches Together poppy cross.  Although there was no service this year several others had the same idea and were laying their wreaths. 

OCTOBER 25 TH  –  BIBLE SUNDAY

In ‘normal’ times one of our annual events is the Bible Sunday service when together we worship thanking God for His Word and for the work of the Bible Society in spreading this worldwide. Unfortunately this will not happen this year but we can still pray for the Bible Society and consider making a donation for their work on line.  https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8di8J_Xel0

Judith Shiel, our Churches Together Bible Society representative usually gives a report at this service.  ‘In August this year, the 700 milestone was reached – the full Bible is now available in 700 languages. There are some 7000 languages in the world, but many of them are spoken by comparatively small numbers of people, so the 700 mark means that 70-80% or people in the world now have the complete Bible in their own tongue’   You can read her full report about the work of the Bible Society  helping with the pandemic over the world and at home in England  here: Bible Sunday 2020

 

CATCH UP if you missed it earlier. The ecumenical organisation Green Christian celebrated hope amidst uncertainty  at its online Festival. It was attended by more than 300 people over three days. Throughout the festival hearts and souls were encouraged and uplifted by sensitive worship and prayer. Musicians from Resound ( www.resoundworship.org ) provided beautiful songs, alongside meditations from Green Christian chaplains and others. Organisers were warmly thanked in the chat and in a show of clapping for stimulating Christians to imagine a better future and then create it.

The recordings of the major sessions are available on the Festival webpage: https://greenchristian.org.uk/festival2020/

               

 

  PRIVATE BANKS ARE PROFITING FROM INTERNATIONAL DEBT CRISIS      Oct 19th, 2020  Source: Christian Aid

Christian Aid has welcomed a decision at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting last week to extend the Debt Servicing Suspension Initiative (DSSI) for another six months, while expressing deep concern over private banks profiting from the ongoing international crisis which risks trapping people in the poorest countries into deepening poverty.

As shown in the new report: ‘Under the radar’ made jointly by Christian Aid, Cafod, Oxfam, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Global Justice Now – HSBC, BlackRock and other banks are being paid in full, while bilateral creditors have accepted a payment holiday for 14 months. The report found that bond holders in Nigeria are paid between 6.5% to 9.3% in interest on bonds, while bilateral creditors have accepted a standstill.

Most private sector debt remains ‘under the radar’ and lacks transparency, and yesterday’s announcement of a registry of multilateral debt is insufficient, as it does not include further data on private sector debt. The report found that in Zambia only $295 million of the $1bn of total bondholders could be found, with the rest not accessible on databases.

Many developing countries will struggle to meet financing costs to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and its dire economic consequences if a more ambitious debt cancellation is not agreed.

More action is urgently needed on debt cancellation, as 64 developing nations spend more on debt servicing than on health financing, and 44 countries spend more in debt servicing than on life-saving spending for the poorest.

Matti Kohonen, Christian Aid’s private sector advisor, said: “It’s outrageous that private sector banks like HSBC and investment funds managed by BlackRock are still – 6 months into the crisis – being paid in full, while debt owed to donor governments will now be on hold until the end of June 2021 and possibly longer – a total of 14 months. Even before the pandemic a total of 64 developing nations spend more in debt servicing than on public health.

“This comes as the IMF says that global economy, growth between 2020 and 2021 will be negative, and that some regions like Latin America will see negative growth for even longer – possibly until 2023. To protect the poorest and those most impacted by the crisis, we must see the cancelling of all debt payments – government and private sector – extended until end of 2022.”
Click here to read Under the Radar: www.christianaid.org.uk/resources/under-the-radar

 

                                                               

GOOD MONEY WEEK  October 24 -30 

Good Money Week is the campaign to help grow and raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance https://www.goodmoneyweek.com/

Find out more in the beginners guide www.goodmoneyweek.com/sites/default/files/download/_gmw2020_consumer_guide_2.pdf

  

 

Prayer Week 2020 - Prisons WeekOctober 11-17 was Prisons Week, when churches across UK prayed for prisoners and all those involved in the criminal justice system. You can still keep praying !!  Download prayers PW-2020-Prayers-Only

Songs of Praise on Sunday visited The Clink restaurant in the grounds of Styal Women’s Prison   Catch up if you missed it.   
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000nh55/songs-of-praise-prisons-sunday

 

FRATELLI TUTTI  published on October 4 the Feast of St Francis of Assisi
Fratelli tutti is the title Pope Francis has chosen for his encyclical letter dedicated to “human fraternity” and “social friendship”.  In English, it can be read as ‘All Brothers’, ‘Brethren all’ or ‘Brothers and sisters all’. The first words of this new  encyclical, come from St Francis, whose name Pope Francis chose when he was elected in 2013. It takes its inspiration from St Francis’ Admonitions 6 – Of the Imitation of the Lord. “Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who to save His sheep bore the suffering of the Cross.” Pope Francis says “I offer this social Encyclical as a modest contribution to continued reflection, in the hope that in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship.”

A summary under the following headings can be found: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/the-church/the-pope/pope-francis/fratelli-tutti/fratelli-tutti-long-summary-of-pope-franciss-social-encyclical/

The full encyclical can be read here : https://www.cbcew.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/10/enciclica-fratelli-tutti-031020.pdf

BLACK HISTORY MONTH October 1-31
Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom
https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

There are several videos and sound recordings on 
https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/videos/

HOLY LAND : OLIVE HARVEST INITIATIVE REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE AND PEACE.
Source: World Council of Churches

Olive trees know neither religious nor territorial boundaries and bear fruit even under occupation. With the annual olive harvest season commencing, the World Council of Churches (WCC) launches a global initiative this week, highlighting the spiritual, economic and cultural importance of the olive harvest for Palestinian communities, and witnessing to the impact of the occupation. The objective of the initiative is to express solidarity and raise public awareness of the constraints and injustices Palestinians endure, along with continuous threats, harassments and vandalization of their land and property.

“The olive harvest is highly significant for the Palestinian communities of the West Bank. It brings people together in a joyful and festive mood around one of their most important traditional sources of income. Harvesting under safe and peaceful conditions is critical for the lives and livelihoods of Palestinian farmers and their families,” says interim WCC general secretary, Rev Prof Dr Ioan Sauca.

The WCC invites all member churches, partners and people of good will to join the initiative and come together in prayer for peace and justice, and a rich olive harvest.

While farmers are busy bringing in their harvests, traditionally this is also a time to celebrate and be grateful for the fruits of life that the olive trees provide. What makes this year different is that restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the absence of onsite accompaniers since March, has compounded the vulnerability of Palestinian communities in the occupied territories. Still, the WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) and its partners remain firmly committed to promoting peace and justice for Palestinians living under occupation. The situation on ground for vulnerable communities will continue to be monitored and communicated, while physical accompaniment will be resumed as soon as restrictions are lifted.

“The olive harvest season provides an opportunity to once again remind the world about the hardships and injustices the Palestinian people face under occupation. In a time dominated by concerns around COVID-19, this initiative sends a clear signal that the Palestinian people are not forgotten and that the Christian fellowship will continue to raise its voice against oppression and violations of human rights. It is a vital part of our Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace,” Sauca explains.

The olive harvest initiative is launched in close cooperation with ecumenical partners worldwide, as well as local churches and faith communities. It begins on 14 October across digital channels.

LINKS
Olive Harvest Initiative – WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme –https://www.oikoumene.org/news/olive-harvest-initiative-reaffirms-commitment-to-justice-and-peace-in-the-holy-land
Middle East Eye Palestinian farmers face uncertain olive harvest season amid settler attacks and pandemic – www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestine-west-bank-olive-harvest-farmers-israel-settler-attacks-pandemic

 

 

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations:
” Each year, on 21 September, the United Nations calls on everyone, everywhere, to observe 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire. This year it is essential to remember that our common enemy is a virus that causes widespread suffering and risks reversing decades of human progress.

That is why, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, I called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons. These are not normal times, and our responses cannot be routine. The pandemic is not just a health issue. It is having direct and troubling effects on development, peace and security.

Our global ceasefire appeal is resonating in many places and with many different groups. While distrust can make implementation difficult, I have been heartened by the strong support the appeal has received from civil society, which can influence and mobilize people at the grassroots.”

Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the CORVID-19 pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Let us all create Peace Day every day.

SEPTEMBER 13 -21
Theme: “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility.”

People of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer with action  which includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.  The World Council of Churches reminds us, ‘that peace is always a fragile process… The impact of wars, the aftermath of violence, the hatred and the bitterness engraved on souls, social injustices, the compromised future of two peoples and the broken message of three religions in addition to the harmful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic only accentuate, day after day, this fragility.

‘In the extremely fragile situation in Palestine and Israel, we still believe in the power of prayer because only the Spirit of God can soften hearts and change attitudes. Prayer does not mean, however, resignation on the part of the people; rather it implies a creative solidarity combining a spiritual reference point and practical action. We need to restructure our response in a compassionate advocacy process undertaken in a spirit of goodwill and impartiality that transcends identity and religious affiliation.

In this era of extreme fragility, creative solidarity is a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and common action, we can make the restoration of peace and justice in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality for all people of the region.’  Biblical reflections , prayer and advocacy suggestions from the WCC        https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/world-week-of-peace-in-palestine-and-israel  
also suggestions for prayer and actions during the week
https://paxchristi.org.uk/campaigns/israel-and-palestine/world-week-for-peace-in-pi/2020

 

The Heroes Programme, part of our partner organisation The Awareness Foundation. The programme aims to equip and empower children in Syria and Iraq to become agents of peace and reconciliation. The Awareness Foundation is an international humanitarian charity driven by Christian values which builds peace through education and training. It seeks to empower people of faith to embrace diversity and build peaceful and harmonious communities.

We at Embrace recently spoke with Huda and Nadim from the charity about the relief that the Awareness Foundation offers families amidst today’s challenging environment. The insights they offer into the trauma, suffering and recovery of the children they work with are both heartbreaking and inspiring, and we really recommend you listen to our short, 7-minute interview with Huda and Nadim.

You can listen to the audio blog here:
https://www.embraceme.org/blog/little-heroes-empowering-children-become-agents-peace

We hope to bring you more multimedia content in future, and would love to hear your feedback on this audio blog. Please share your thoughts by emailing editor@embraceme.org.

Many thanks,
Anna Tetlow
Digital Co-ordinator

MAUREEN MATTHEWS – A TRIBUTE
The funeral for Maureen Matthews will take place this Tuesday (18th August). As is now usual, it will be private for family only.  This is sad as in the pre Corvid times many of us with our memories of Maureen who would have attended.  In our area we know Maureen for her work with Churches Together and MESS. But formerly she was a teacher of Art and Craft and then for 11 years from 1996 – 2007,  she was Administrator for the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN). This involved among many other things, helping to organise the large annual conference held in July at the Hayes Centre at Swanwick in Derbyshire.  This popular  event attracts several speakers and many delegates from all over the UK.  

Anne Peacey has written this tribute to Maureen.   
It is with great sadness that I write of my memories of Maureen Matthews.  As the Chair of the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN), I worked with her for many years. The words that I wrote on her retirement as NJPN Administrator in December 2007 provide a brief picture of her years of commitment to the Network, and still serve as a reminder of all her efforts on our behalf: 

“Through all the challenges the Network has faced over the past few years we have been greatly supported and often ‘carried’ by the skill, commitment and enthusiasm of Maureen Matthews as Administrator of NJPN, a position she has filled very successfully for 11 years.

Maureen has worked to coordinate the preparation for each of the last 11 NJPN Conferences and her administrative and organisational skills have contributed greatly to the success of the Conferences.
Maureen has been responsible for editing and producing our NJPN newsletter, a huge task and the extent of which we may not fully appreciate. She also helped to develop the NJPN website.
Maureen has established and continues to develop an email link group through which members can receive regular updates on a range of issues relating to justice and peace.
In addition to the regular administrative tasks relating to NJPN meetings and events Maureen has given much of her time to creating valuable resources for NJPN. She has produced a range of cards, posters, bookmarks, banners and flags all which have been a source of income for NJPN as well as visually enhancing our gatherings.
Maureen has represented NJPN at a European level and has established many international links.
As Maureen retires from her role as Administrator we thank her for her absolute belief in the need for a National Justice and Peace Network and for all her dedication to the task of ensuring that we continue to grow as a network and be as we are called to be.”

Thirteen years on, we note that although Maureen had been very unwell for some time her involvement with justice and peace never wavered. She was unable to attend the NJPN conference in 2019 but was determined to be present this year and was one of the first to return her booking form. In fact, a webinar replaced the postponed conference. She had a keen eye for detail and was most particular when hanging the rainbow drapes – to represent God’s Covenant with Creation – on the stage.
Maureen had also been a member of the J&P Commission in Nottingham diocese, making a journey of up to two hours in order to attend meetings.

Marian writes: Locally as we know,  she continued this J & P work with the Churches Together.    When she was Chair in 1998, she started an ecumenical Justice and Peace group within Churches Together.  This group amongst its various activities, has arranged several study days.  One on dementia led to Maureen and some others of the group helping to establish the local Dementia Group.  This met weekly at Marple Cricket Club until Corvid-19 ended all these social activities.  Another off shoot from a study day on Climate Change was  the founding of MESS.  This led,  amongst other things, to  the Community orchard being planted and tended on the Recreation Ground in Marple   (see working party in picture)  Also MESS organised a series of public events,  the last being a  “Climate Crisis in Marple”.  290 people came to this Sunday afternoon last September which was seen then as a prelude to a bigger event this September.

Anne ended: 
It was Maureen who introduced me to the beautiful coastline of Northumberland when she invited me to stay with her for a few days and with her I paid my first visit to Lindisfarne. It was early December and Maureen had warned me that it would be very cold. She was so right – we had to spend our evenings thawing out by drinking Lindisfarne sloe gin in front of a warm fire.

Whilst with Maureen on Lindisfarne I picked up a prayer card with the following blessing and I offer it now for Maureen, for David and her family.
To the prayers of our Island Saints we commend you. May God’s angels watch around you to protect you. May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you for all that lies ahead. May Christ Jesus befriend you with his compassion and peace.
Rest in peace Maureen.

75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DROPPING OF NUCLEAR BOMBS ON HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI August 6th and 9th 1945

SADAKO SASKI AND 1000 CRANES

The beauty of cranes and their spectacular dances have fascinated humans since ancient times. Legends about the crane exist in many areas of the world, and the history of the crane is equally fascinating.  In Japan the crane is considered a national treasure, appearing in art, literature and folklore. The Japanese regard the crane as a symbol of good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. It also represents fidelity, as Japanese cranes are known to mate for life. Over time, the crane has also evolved as a favourite subject of the Japanese tradition of paper folding – origami- as children and adults attempt to mater this art.  According to Japanese legend anyone who folds a thousand cranes will be allowed a wish to be fulfilled by the gods.

After World War II the folded origami cranes came to symbolise a hope for peace because of Sadako Saski and her unforgettable story of perseverance. She was just two years old when the bomb was dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima. As she was eating her breakfast, Sadako was blown outside by the explosion, but wasn’t hurt.  But one day, when she was twelve years old, she noticed a strange swelling on her body and was soon hospitalised with leukaemia. Soon after she moved into the hospital, Sadako’s father told her a Japanese legend: that if you folded one thousand ‘orizuru’ (paper cranes) you would be granted a wish.

Sadako began to fold the paper cranes. Despite being very tired and in a lot of pain, she managed to fold 1000 cranes. Tragically, she passed away within months, but her story has become a global symbol of peace, and a reminder of the human tragedy and unimaginable suffering that today’s nuclear weapons threaten.

In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a life-size golden crane, was built in Hiroshima Peace Park. It is called the Children’s Peace Monument. At the bottom of the statue there is a plaque that says: ‘This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.’   The tradition of folding and sending cranes to Hiroshima has endured but children worldwide as an ongoing wish for nuclear disarmament and world peace.

 

VISIT VIRTUALLY  Hiroshima Peace Memorial  Museum tour https://vimeo.com/441253466 password   Rise
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum tour
  https://vimeo.com/441253649 password  Rise

REFLECT  –  take a moment in silence to consider how the devastation caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki should spur us on to campaign even harder for a world without these weapons of mass destruction.

In 1945, the United States Air Force dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with tragic and devastating consequences. Hundreds of thousands of people died, many instantaneously, others soon after from burns and shock, and yet more from the impact of radiation in the months and years that followed.
75 years later, 14,000 nuclear weapons still threaten our survival, even though the majority of people in the world and their governments support an international ban on their development, possession and use.


The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruin of the hall serves as a memorial to the people killed by the nuclear bomb.

 

CHRISTIAN LEADERS STATEMENT
Christian leaders of all denominations have signed a statement calling on the UK government to make every effort to engage in meaningful international disarmament, most importantly by committing to the cancellation of the current programme to replace Trident.
You can read the full statement, see the first 150 signatories and sign yourself – click on the heading ‘Statement……..bombings’ below

A VIRTUAL EXHIBITION: Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years on
CND has launched an exhibition commemorating the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including testimonies and artefacts from survivors. It also includes the history of what happened and challenges the often repeated defence of the attack: that the nuclear bomb was necessary to end the Second World War.
View the exhibition here: https://cnduk.org/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-cnd-exhibition-introduction/

 

JULY 31st         TWO HELPFUL INSIGHTS FROM A SAINT
Russell Pollitt SJ  Jesuit Institute South Africa

How do we live in a time of uncertainty and upheaval? Many people across the globe have asked that question as we collectively face the onslaught of COVID-19. Countries have shut down; schools and universities have sent their students away offering online classes; churches are closed; we cannot go out of our houses or invite others in; we have to practice ‘social distancing’. People’s livelihoods have been destroyed; economies are buckling. We are living in an unprecedented time.

We do not know how much longer we are going to have to live in this way. As the spiritual writer Ronald Rolheiser OMI says: “like the inhabitants of Noah’s Ark, we’re locked in and don’t know when the floodwaters will recede and let us return to our normal lives.”

Many ‘Health and Wellness’ practitioners have reported that they are busier than ever as this pandemic draws on. They find themselves listening to people who are struggling to cope emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.

St Ignatius Loyola whose feast was celebrated on 31 July,  offers us two insights which, at this time, might help us face the fluid and fragile situation in which we find ourselves.

First, we need to be open to change. Ignatius was smart enough to recognise that changing contexts and varying personal situations meant that things need to be adaptable, flexible. Perhaps now, more than ever, Ignatius’ principle of adaption is one that can help us cope. Instead of longing for what was or hoping for what might come, how do we adapt to and live flexibly in the present as best as we can?

The second insight is much more challenging. Ignatius invites us to “make ourselves indifferent to all created things”. He goes on to say that indifference means that we “want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, longer rather than shorter life”. He says that all we should want is “desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we were created”. Ignatius says that the purpose of our lives is to “praise, reverence and serve God”.

Ignatius invites us, first and foremost, to seek God’s will before anything else. His challenge to indifference is not suggesting that we should be uncaring or apathetic or not listen. It is an invitation to see what is most important, real and authentic. He says that we cannot make good life decisions if we are weighed down by desires that do not come from our true selves.

How might the practice of ‘adapting’ (or flexibility) and indifference give you the spiritual, emotional and psychological resilience you need at this time

30th July  WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Christian Organisation Against Trafficking (COATNET) has released a statement in which it points out that the number of victims of trafficking is increasing because of Covid-19. It urges governments to intensify efforts to do more to identify victims of trafficking and clamp down on this exploitation. COATNET is the network of 46 Christian organisations of different denominations engaged in combating human trafficking. It is a global network that provides opportunities for its members to exchange knowledge and experience, as well as develop joint actions and advocacy on behalf of members

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRVjRmJZjJA

COATNET says the global pandemic has focused governments’ attention on health, but at the same time not sufficient attention was paid on the collateral damage of the ongoing pandemic especially on migrants and informal workers, who are now more exposed to trafficking and exploitation. It also call for urgent and targeted measures to support workers in informal sectors such as domestic work, agricultural and construction work, where most vulnerable workers (i.e. undocumented migrants) can be found.

There are several socio-economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, many of which contribute to aggravating the phenomenon of human trafficking and exploitation, which according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) is affecting more than 40 million people in the world.The governments’ measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 had a major impact on the capacity to earn a living of the informal workers who are consequently more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. For these workers, job loss has also resulted in the loss of housing to live in.  

You can find out more on www.coatnet.org

BRAZIL:  BOLSONARO USES CORVID-19 TO BUILD POWER LINES THROUGH THE AMAZON         Christian Aid report  July 27th 2020
Indigenous people living in the Amazon have called for an immediate halt of Brazilian government plans to build a power line through the tropical rainforest without any consultation with those living there, in breach of human rights legislation.

The government has claimed the survey is impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so issued a construction permit without conducting a consultation with affected community members required by law or even informing them of the decision.

More than 70 organisations that work with the Quilombola people have called this trampling of their rights, and the destruction of the rainforest under the cover of the pandemic, an outrage.

Moises Gonzalez, Christian Aid’s Head of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Programme, said: “At a time when governments should be looking to protect the most vulnerable, the Brazilian leadership is using it as an excuse to bulldoze through actions which will have a devastating impact on people and the planet.

“There is a good reason that the Amazon and its indigenous inhabitants are protected by law, and the pandemic must not be used to throw out these protections.

“As well as being their home, the Amazon is one of the world’s biggest carbon sinks and further destruction of it will only fuel the climate crisis.”

The proposed electricity lines will benefit gold, bauxite and other mining companies whose activity is leading to further destruction of the rainforest, many of these companies are listed on the London stock exchange and registered in UK tax havens like the British Virgin Islands.

Matti Kohonen, Christian Aid’s Principal Private Sector Advisor, said: “The pressure to develop the Amazon comes primarily from corporate investors in the global north. Mining and logging companies, cattle ranchers, and their financiers, are the ultimate beneficiaries at the expense of the local communities who gain little from the destruction of their Amazon home.”

 

REPORT ON ‘GOOD SOCIETY’ ZOOM MEETING   see  Report of the Good Society meeting – Councillors – 11th July 2020 (1)

Andy Stoker writes: ‘ Visit our Facebook page “A Good Society @Dialstonelane” to comment and continue the debate – or mail to me  andy.stoker@btinternet.com.  Another meeting is being provisionally planned for Sept 5th ‘  

                                                                                         HOPE for All online
We had just launched our latest HOPE for All magazine when the world went into lockdown. Undeterred, we have developed a website https://www.hopeforall.org.uk/ that aims to help non-Christians explore faith, just as the paper magazines aim to do. We couldn’t wait to tell you about this, even though content is still being added. We hope this will be a place you can point friends to when they want to try praying, read the Bible for themselves or explore some of life’s big questions. Add a link To HOPE for all from your own church website so enquirers can take steps on the journey of faith and use the link in your social media.

FOR THE FAMILY IN THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS    The last few months have certainly looked very different to normal. For many families, there has been more time to spend together and with the summer holidays swiftly approaching, we wanted to share some of our favourite family based resources with you. Our hope is that you can grow in faith as a family during this time.

Did you get to complete our Family Adventure Prayer Map? If you haven’t, why don’t you try it over the summer? If  you have, you could try it again and go deeper! Click here to see more! https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/digital-family-prayer-adventure-map

The Family Prayer Adventure podcasts are a fun and engaging way to help families pray together. At 10-12 minutes long, they feature a game, an interactive Bible story, a chance to pray and great music. Click here to listen to the podcasts. https://soundcloud.com/thykingdomcomeglobal/sets/thy-kingdom-come-2019-family-podcast

‘Bright Ideas for Families’ has some creative and fun activities to help families pray together, such as pebble prayers or rocket prayers! Click here to see more.https://www.thykingdomcome.global/sites/default/files/2019-03/TKC_Home_Pack_V4.pdf

 

READ THE SUMMER NEWSLETTER
Medaille Trust exists to provide refuge and freedom to victims of modern slavery – supporting them as they rebuild their lives. Today, we are the largest provider of supported safe house beds for victims of modern slavery in the UK. 
https://www.medaille-trust.org.uk/resources/newsletter

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN CHURCH – MOSQUE – MUSEUM –  WHAT NEXT FOR HAGIA SOPHIA?
CTE Presidents’ statement on the plans  to change the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
‘The Presidents of Churches Together in England, representing the full breadth of Christian traditions in England, are saddened at the decision of the Turkish Government to change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. 
For a long period of time Hagia Sophia has been a unique centre symbolising a co-existence of people of faith. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as a place where the rich history of Istanbul is told visually, can be a living example of religious tolerance and respect. The decision to alter the status quo in this way is a powerful, symbolic change that is lamentable and painful for many people of faith the world over. ‘   For signatories see  https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40021

 

MARY QUEEN OF SCOT’S PRAYER BOOK UP FOR SALE at Christie’s on 29th July, with an estimated auction price of £250,000 – £350,000.

Mary, Queen of Scots has been a source of fascination to history fanatics for centuries; a tragic figure whose life was cut short after she was found guilty of plotting to assassinate her Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I, in 1586, and was beheaded the following year. Now those with an interest in the period have a chance to get their hands on an object prized by the Catholic Queen – her ornate illuminated prayer book.

Christie’s auction house stated that the book was newly unearthed, and among only a few manuscripts known to have been owned by the Scottish monarch. The item is a particularly personal one as Mary’s religion was the central theme around which much of the drama of her life oriented.

She was regarded with suspicion by many of her Scottish subjects upon her return from France following the death of her first husband, King Francis II of France, and she was forced to abdicate in 1567. Indeed although Mary was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics, this too was a source of contention, leading Elizabeth I to place her in custody for eighteen and a half years before Mary was ultimately executed.

The prayer book was made for Mary’s great-aunt, Louise de Bourbon-Vendôme, who was the Abbess of the royal abbey of Fontevraud in the 1530s. She is believed to have passed it on to her great-niece around the time of the reign of Mary’s first husband, King Francis II of France, who ruled from 1559 to 1560. It is then thought that Mary took the book to Scotland with her when she returned there in August 1561, nine months after Francis’s death. It is not known who it was passed to immediately after Mary was beheaded, but by the 18th century it had reportedly fallen into the possession of the Hale family of Alderley, Gloucestershire. Christie’s has not, however, disclosed details of its current vendor.

The exquisite illuminated prayer book includes 40 paintings by a well-known miniaturist, dubbed the Master of François de Rohan. The artist was one of the most respected painters of the French court, who illustrated prayer books for the likes of King Francis I. Created with the finest materials, like expensive pigments and gold leaf, the illustrations include religious scenes and a portrait of the Abbess, Mary’s great-aunt Louise.

Christie’s added that the auction marks the first time a manuscript owned by Mary has come up for sale in at least 50 years. It will be sold as part of Christie’s Classic Week’s Old Master Group Evening Sale, being held live in London on 29 July, with estimates currently in the region of £250,000 – £350,000.

 

RACISM

A joint statement  from both Archbishops  on the unnecessary death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, at the hands of the Police: ‘Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy.

Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear. God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity. 

As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, “In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.’

SATURDAY JULY 18TH WAS NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY

  This is a day when we remember “Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice”; a day when we acknowledge “his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”   (UN).

Mandela’s Xhosa name was ‘Madiba’. 102 years ago (18 July 1918) he was born into a royal family of the Xhosa-speaking Thembu tribe in the South African village of Mvezo, where his father was the Chief. He grew up in Qunu – from the age of two. This icon of social justice has left the world an amazing legacy. 27 years in prison on Robben Island, in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison did not break his spirit or his passion for justice. Fearlessly, on his release, he called on everyone to continue to “fight” for the release of his colleagues who were still imprisoned, and for the abolition of the apartheid system.

Read the life journey of this legend: an anti-apartheid activist, lawyer, political leader, political prisoner, philanthropist, global advocate for human rights, international peacemaker, and former President of South Africa, who is described as the ‘Father of the Nation’ in South Africa. He was “the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation (Wikipedia).”

Reflect on the words in his speech before the second set of free elections in South Africa. Inter alia, he said: “Even as we take pride in our progress, there are many needs still to be met. We must improve service delivery to the people. We must improve our attitudes towards citizens…we must work harder to root out crime and corruption, and to create jobs. …we must build more houses to provide shelter to the homeless…we must make clean water accessible to more people…more houses must be connected with electricity and telephones…we must continue the work of building relations with the world…We will emerge strong and more united, true to our pledge that, whatever our political affiliation, we are one people with one destiny…the prize of a better life has yet to be won.”

At the date of his death on 5 December, 2013 aged 95, he had received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize. Learn from his wise words: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”     From article in Independent Catholic News

   

JULY 11th  THE FEAST DAY OF ST BENEDICT

St. Benedict was a religious reformer who lived in Italy in the late 400s and early 500s. He is known as the “father of Western monasticism,” having established a Rule that would become the norm for innumerable Christian monks and nuns. He is the patron saint of Europe.

Many people both monks and lay people find help from following The Rule of St Benedict today 

https://youtu.be/e3C39BqPJGU

A LETTER FROM TAIZE   Another very different community that also has universal appeal.

   July  7th
Brother Paolo writes: There are now a number of tents dotted over the camping field in Taizé, and at prayer times there are as many “other people” in the church as brothers of the community. This week there are more than 100 meeting participants, mostly from France and Germany. Visitors in the church need to sit on crosses marked with tape on the floor.
        Although the French complain a lot about the government, the lockdown policy here was strong, coherent and well-explained. It will have certainly avoided a lot of deaths. It has dismaying to realise that this has not always been the case in Britain, despite the generosity and self-giving work of so many.
       Anti-racism protests took hold strongly in many countries recently, emerging to the fore out of the quiet of the virus lockdown. Can this be one pointer which shows how our “return to normal” must include realising that we need wider and deeper solidarity?
        Taking advantage of having more time available than usual, a large group in the community is currently reading and discussing the encyclical Laudato si’ together. What changes could it mean for our life here?
        Our stock of pottery (we are continuing to make pottery without selling much at the moment) is at an all-time high 🙂 Some brothers have tried other occupations. We now have eight beehives (we began too late to get much honey this year), there have been experiments with biscuit-making, and several of us have done some work in local vineyards. The hens have been moved to a larger enclosure and perhaps we shall soon be self-sufficient in eggs. Our shop sells small articles by post, but unfortunately pottery cannot be sent this way!

The Saturday evening prayer (7.30pm UK time) is streamed live (video + audio) from the community’s Facebook page.
Sat July 4  https://www.facebook.com/taize/videos/299534157867100
See other bible introductions, song-practices, etc. on the Taizé youtube page.

Come Holy Spirit sung around the world  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us-v4slsUX4&feature=emb_logo

Taize as those of you who have been will remember it. June 7 2009  

https://youtu.be/go1-BoDD7CI

  Taize is good for those who understand several languages reminding us that God isn’t just English speaking!   English translation Nada te turba

 US FAITH LEADERS CALL FOR A HALT TO FEDERAL EXECUTIONS
July 8th, 2020
More than 1,000 faith leaders from many religious traditions have signed a joint statement to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr urging them to halt the four federal executions scheduled for July and August. If carried out, the executions would be the first federal executions to occur in 17 years.
The statement reads:
“As faith leaders from a diverse range of traditions, we call on President Trump and Attorney General Barr to stop the scheduled federal executions. As our country grapples with the COVID 19 pandemic, an economic crisis, and systemic racism in the criminal legal system, we should be focused on protecting and preserving life, not carrying out executions.”

You can see comments from  leaders involved on https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39977

JOIN A VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE TO LINDISFARNE  

Left: Crossing the fields to the causeway

Trips to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and everything on the island is closed.  But this hasn’t stopped pilgrims from across the North East of England coming together for a unique virtual pilgrimage. Since the Sixth Century, pilgrims have made their way – by boat, train, and land – to Lindisfarne. There, they complete the ‘Pilgrims Way’ walk to Holy Island – the site of the famous monastery of Saints Aidan and Cuthbert, and the cradle of Christianity in the North of England.   

For the first time in nearly 1,500 years, this pilgrimage tradition is threatened due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, pilgrims are not going to let lockdown halt their spiritual journey. With the help of the CAFOD (catholic overseas development charity), people and parishes across the North East organised a virtual pilgrimage for the 1-11 July  and invite others to join them https://cafodhexhamnewcastle.wordpress.com/

NATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY PRAYER BREAKFAST Tuesday June 30 at 8.30 am  An inspiring event – good to see some others from Marple joining this.

If you missed it live you can still take part 

Find out more about Christians in Parliament who arranged the event https://www.christiansinparliament.org.uk/

UK FAITH LEADERS CALL FOR ENVIRONMENT- FOCUSED ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

As part of London Climate Week representatives from UK faith groups have signed an open letter to the UK Government urging it to ensure that its economic recovery strategy is centred on the urgent need to reduce the impact of climate change.
In the letter, the signatories also commit to the goals of the Laudato Si encyclical – an initiative of Pope Francis – to advocate for and model positive initiatives to continue to tackle the Climate Emergency.

The open letter reads:
       COVID-19 has unexpectedly taught us a great deal. Amidst the fear and the grief for loved ones lost, many of us have found consolation in the dramatic reduction of pollution and the restoration of nature. Renewed delight in and contact with the natural world has the capacity to reduce our mental stress and nourish us spiritually.
       We have rediscovered our sense of how interconnected the world is. The very health and future of humanity depends on our ability to act together not only with respect to pandemics but also in protecting our global eco-system.
      At the same time, less travel and consumption and more kindness and neighbourliness have helped us appreciate what society can really mean.
      We have also seen yet again that in times of crisis, injustice becomes more obvious, and that it is the poor and vulnerable who suffer most.
     All this shows us how precarious our previous ‘business as usual’ was, socially, economically, ecologically and spiritually. Yet we have also demonstrated our capacity to adapt to new realities.
    Many people have discovered a deeper sense of spirituality. We have seen the possibility of creating a more sustainable and generous society in which we care more deeply for each other and the world.
    Our faiths teach us that our planet, with its rich resources and inspiring diversity, is lent to us on trust only and we are accountable for how we treat it. We are urgently and inescapably responsible, not just before God but to our own children and the very future of humanity.
     This unique moment calls us to develop a shared new vision for our future which we cannot afford to miss. As faith leaders we are committed to working alongside the people and governments of this nation and the world to formulate and live by such a vision.
     It must be based on the recognition of our limits: this planet is a complex ecosystem in which we are only one part. It must be rooted in sustainability and respect for nature and the earth’s resources. It must be founded on the fundamental principles of justice and responsibility.

In this, the fifth anniversary year of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, we undertake to:
– Speak out urgently about the need for change;
– Promote the vision of the earth as our common home which must be shared equitably;
– Protect biodiversity and restore natural environments;
– Work with our communities to reduce substantially the carbon intensity of our activities;
– Build worldwide partnerships to reduce the impact of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable;
– Model what we teach in our faiths and communities.
– We therefore call on our Government to:
Ensure that every element of the economic recovery strategy has at its centre the urgent need to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change;
Implement policies for sustainability in every sector of the economy;
Take its due share of responsibility for a global & just transition, including through its approach to trade, investment and overseas aid;
Use its COP26 presidency to work for a global commitment to net zero, building on the Paris Agreement;
To protect biodiversity and restore the environment;

   We urge every sector of civil society to use this opportunity to work together to create a better world.
Yours faithfully

The undersigned:
Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Church of England lead Bishop on Environmental Affairs
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism
Bishop John Arnold, RC Bishop of Salford and lead on Environment for the Catholic Bishop’s’ Conference of England and Wales
Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London
Dr Husna Ahmad OBE, CEO, Global One, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director of Liberal Judaism
The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Faith Impact Forum, The Church of Scotland
Talia Chain, CEO, Sadeh Farm, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Rt Revd the Lord Chartres, formerly Bishop of London
Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston
Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Jamie Cresswell, Chair, Religions for Peace UK, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Rt Revd Woyin Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich
Mr Derek Estill, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Olivia Fuchs, Eco Dharma Network coordinator
Revd Giles Goddard, Chair, Faith for the Climate
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Senior Rabbi, Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue

CLIMATE COALITION VIRTUAL LOBBY

Last year on June 30 many people went to London to lobby their MPs about Climate Change .  This year we can do it virtually asking MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of national recovery from the coronavirus. The virtual lobby is being organised by the Climate Coalition, a grouping of over 100 member organisations, including Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, National Trust , RSPB, Woodland Trust, OXFAM.

They say, that as the UK builds back from the current health crisis, there is an opportunity to build a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackles both climate change and the degradation of the natural world. Also, that creates jobs and protects the most vulnerable people in the UK and globally.

The Government will be lobbied to invest in climate and nature-friendly infrastructure, creating jobs and supporting millions of people out of recession. It could provide energy-efficiency funding for buildings, as promised in its election manifesto, and build on this to make all homes energy efficient by 2030. Increasing investment in better provision for walking and cycling, and public transport, is urged, along with bringing forward the phaseout of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 to protect health and make the air cleaner. Ensuring that any Covid-19 financial rescue packages for companies are granted on strict conditions that align to the 1.5-degree commitment in the Paris Climate Agreement is another demand.

The second element of the lobby is to help nature recover. Setting world-leading targets for nature’s restoration in the Environment Bill, delivering an ambitious Agriculture Bill and investing in a nature recovery network will increase everyone’s access to green and wild space. Putting sustainability at the heart of future trade policy will guarantee in law that food imports through future trade deals will uphold environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards in the UK. Reducing the global impact of UK consumption by requiring companies by law to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains will reduce our global footprint.

The third element of the lobby is support for the most vulnerable abroad. This will include championing debt cancellation and an increase in grants to the world’s poorest communities to enable them to build resilience to both the COVID-19 and climate crises. There is a call to end all UK public finance for fossil fuels overseas, shifting instead to renewable, efficient energy and energy access for poor communities.

The Climate Coalition highlights that this is an important time. #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the coronavirus crisis.

You can read more about it and join on www.theclimatecoalition.org/virtual-lobby

 

UK FAITH AGENCIES CONDEMN DFID/FCO MERGER
Chief executives of the UK’s largest faith-based international development agencies have come together to condemn the government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) , raising concerns the move will impact on the UK’s ability to support the world’s most vulnerable people. In a joint statement, they said:
“The abolition of DFID is a political move, and the world’s most vulnerable people will pay the highest price.
“A global pandemic the likes of which we’ve not seen in our lifetime is tearing through the world’s poorest communities, threatening to reverse decades of development gains. UK Aid is more critical than ever, and it’s essential to ensure the focus remains on fighting poverty and reaching those in greatest need.
“The Prime Minister has made clear his intention to use aid to further Britain’s national interests – a clear violation of the primary purpose of aid which is to alleviate poverty. This will blunt the impact of aid on those most in need, and risks more people suffering and dying as a result.
“As people of faith and leaders of organisations which seek to lift up the hungry, the poor and the oppressed, we stand against this act of injustice. We have a moral and ethical duty to neighbours near and far. History will not look kindly on the UK’s retreat into narrow self-interest.”
Signed
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid
Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD (Catholic Fund for Overseas Development)
Mark Sheard, CEO of World Vision UK
Nigel Harris, CEO of Tearfund
Alistair Dutton, Chief Executive of Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund
Peter Waddup, CEO of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales
Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK

 

INTERFAITH NETWORK STATEMENT AFTER THE READING TERROR ATTACK A statement on behalf of the Board and the Moderators of the Faith Communities Forum of the Inter Faith Network for the UK:
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by the terrorist stabbing attack in Reading on Saturday, in which three people were killed by the attacker and others injured, including those who responded to it with such bravery.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms terrorism and extremist ideologies that underpin it.
Let us stand together in resolute resistance to such murderous acts and in solidarity with those who are affected by them.
This weekend is one on which the murder by another violent extremist four years ago of the late Jo Cox MP is remembered. Her words: “We have more in common than that which divides us”, have been at the heart of that remembering and have great resonance.
On all that we hold in common, and appreciating also our diversity, let us continue to work together with courage and commitment to develop and strengthen our shared society in ways rooted in, and characterised by, our shared values such as justice, compassion, pursuit of learning and wisdom, respect, and peace.
We close as we began, holding in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by yesterday’s attack.

The Inter Faith Network for the UK was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims. Churches Together for England belongs as well as several of the national bodies of our churches.
Read more on – www.interfaith.org.uk

June 8  GREEN GOOD NEWS:  Britain goes coal free as renewables edge out fossil fuels.
Britain is about to pass a significant landmark – at midnight this  Wednesday June 10. It will have gone two full months without burning coal to generate power.
A decade ago about 40% of the country’s electricity came from coal; coronavirus is part of the story, but far from all.
When Britain went into lockdown, electricity demand plummeted; the National Grid responded by taking power plants off the network.
The four remaining coal-fired plants were among the first to be shut down.
The last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April. No coal has been burnt for electricity since.
The current coal-free period smashes the previous record of 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes which was set in June last year.

Read more on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089

 

Drax power station in Yorkshire, a decade ago,  the biggest consumer of coal in the UK,  has been switching to compressed wood pellets for the past decade

Monday June 8 was WORLD OCEANS DAY. I found this website that, if you are a Blue Planet fan,  is  worth looking act .  https://www.citytosea.org.uk/

 

JUNE 8 – 14  CARERS WEEK

This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. They need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.
So during Carers Week, we’re coming together to help Make Caring Visible. Find out more on
https://www.carersweek.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjww_f2BRC-ARIsAP3zarHoXFWTtYO9JULiFP5aS3EIO3iWw7fj7aRai0J38mN7y2OjvSxpzpgaAn6SEALw_wcB

                                   

THY KINGDOM COME  looked different this year due to COVID-19. But still, Christians in more than 170 countries gathered online, bowed their knees in prayer and lifted their voices in hope as we all prayed, Thy Kingdom Come!

We hope that you enjoy this year’s wrap-up video, which gives just a taste of all that happened across the world. Thank you to everyone who got involved!

 

PARISH PRAYER  –  Church of the Holy Spirit, Marple

Spirit of God, Lord and giver of life, moving between us and around like wind or water or fire. Breathe into us your freshness that we may awake.  Cleanse our vision that we may see more clearly, kindle our senses that we may feel more sharply and give us the courage to live as you would have us live.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen

 

THY KINGDOM COME   An ecumenical project encouraging us to PRAY DAILY  between Ascension and Pentecost

There are booklets to suit all tastes:
PRAY JOURNAL                                                        METHODIST PRAYER JOURNAL
JOURNEY WITH MARY                                          LISTENING ON THE WAY
These all can be seen and downloaded from https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/key-resources-2020

DIGITAL FAMILY PRAYER MAP – fun for all ages! https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/digital-family-prayer-adventure-map

DAILY REFLECTIONS in the Vimeo  store with other Thy Kingdom Come videos. https://vimeo.com/thykingdomcomeglobal

PRAYING FOR OTHERS TO KNOW GOD’S KINGDOM  Praying for five people to come to know the love of Christ is at the heart of #ThyKingdomCome and particularly important at this time.

Watch this wonderful interview with Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London reflecting on the importance of praying for others, particularly those on the frontline re. the Coronavirus pandemic. https://www.facebook.com/ThyKingdomComeUK/videos/243571076702194

Hear and see the Thy Kingdom Come song written especially for this year

https://vimeo.com/420701776

 

MAY 28  CLAP FOR OUR CARERS  HAS FINISHED 

We agreed on our road that we would finish then stayed out much longer than usual chatting.  It has been a good experience as we have met neighbours we did not know before.

 A recent report from our great niece who is a sister  in intensive care at James Cook Hospital, Middlesborough

” Everyone very busy and finding it tough working in full PPE but the senior team/ management are supportive and very well prepared.  At the peak there was around 25 corvid patients in critical care, there are now only 9 so  it has improved a lot with lockdown. Corvid survival rate in critical care is only around 48% so there have been a lot of deaths sadly. We are preparing for a second wave as big as the first but hopefully it won’t come to that again. Middlesborough is such a deprived area which seems to lead to high  numbers of cases and worse outcomes. It also seems that the people of the  Boro maybe haven’t been following lockdown restrictions so well which doesn’t help.”

JACKIE KAY SAYS ‘THANK YOU’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC2hj5wMgEw

Jackie Kay was born to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father in Edinburgh on 9 November 1961, and was adopted as a baby by Helen and John Kay, who had already adopted a boy, Maxwell. The family lived in Bishopbriggs (Glasgow); John worked full time for the Communist Party of Great Britain, and Helen was the Scottish secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. ‘I still have Scottish people asking me where I’m from. They won’t actually hear my voice, because they’re too busy seeing my face’ ( Guardian, 12 January 2002)

MAKAR – The National Poet for Scotland.   The position was created in February 2004 by the Scottish Government. ‘Makar’ is the Scots word for the author of a literary work, and particularly for a poet or bard.  Jackie is  the Makar from 2016 – 2021

COLOUR YOUR OWN POSTER!

 

Why should the children have all the fun?  The artist Michael Craig-Martin has been commissioned by the BBC to produce a colour-in-thank you-poster.

The poster features gerberas- known as African daisies- which bloom in a riot of colour. The poster can be downloaded with either a blue or white background.     So hunt out your coloured pens!

NHS poster MCM 2a (1)      NHS poster MCM 2b

Something for a wet day!     THE NORTHWEST FILM ARCHIVE

While the staff are working from home they  are sharing  each day a highlight from the collection through ‘A FILM A DAY’. You can find it  on https://www.facebook.com/NWfilmarchive/

and #NWFAdailyreel on Twitter.  

From Graham Hawley: ‘A great piece of news from The Ridge is that one of our members raised the needs of The Wellspring with her employers. The result was that they donated £15,000 to their work. The Wellspring said Alleluia and thank you very much..’

Thank you also to all who supported our SPONSORED WALK  for THE WELLSPRING at the end of January.  Now all the money is in,  this year we have received £1988.76 compared to £1802.00 last year  

At the moment The Wellspring is open daily between 9 am and 2 pm. Clients are allowed in by appointment only with numbers restricted so one can have a shower while another has a hot meal.  Emergency food parcels are given out as needed at the door.  There are no volunteers helping now and the work is done by the paid staff on a rota basis.  https://thewellspring.co.uk/

 

 

 

LAUDATO SI’ WEEK    Between 16-24 May  when we are asked to reflect and pray about CARING FOR   OUR COMMON HOME.  The week will end on Sunday, 24 May, with a global day of prayer. https://laudatosiweek.org/

On the Feast of Pentecost five years ago (24 May 2015), Pope Francis unveiled his great encyclical on the environment: Laudato Si’ (Praise Be). It is subtitled ‘On Care for our Common Home’ and is addressed not just to the Catholic Church, but to THE WHOLE OF HUMANITY  as we face the global climate emergency. 

The week long celebration is to honour this encyclical on ecology and climate change, and to encourage us to build a better world together. The present pandemic which has brought many parts of the world to a halt, allows us to pray, reflect, and prepare together for the future. The lessons of the encyclical are particularly relevant in this context.  https://laudatosiweek.org/coronavirus/

lIsten to the homily Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford Diocese gave at a special Mass in Salford Cathedral on 20 May on the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension and the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’.

https://soundcloud.com/salford-diocese/bishop-john-homily-for-the-feast-of-the-ascension-and-5th-anniversary-of-laudato-si

 

Sr Margaret Aitkins reflects on Laudato Si’ and its relevance to us  today.

Margaret Aitkins

 


 

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 18-24th May

 

https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthfoundation/

Mental health prblems can affect anyone, at any time. We believe that mental health is everyone’s business. So, for one week each May, we campaign around a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week. This year it is kindness.

Why kindness?
One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.  We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.  The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own me  ntal health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing.

Beyond ourselves, our report reveals how inequality is rising in our society and its harmful effects on our health.   Life expectancy is falling for the poorest for the first time in 100 years. As child poverty rises, children and young people in the poorest parts of our country are two to three times more likely to experience poor mental health than those in the richest.   After the 2008 credit crunch it was the most vulnerable in our communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. This not the hallmark of a kind society.

We must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.  This downloadable pack can help  
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/MHAW20-Supporter-Pack_Final.pdf

LINKS TO SUPPORT AND ADVICE
The Silverline  https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/   0800 470 8090 Operate 365 days per year, 8am – 8pm
Age UK   https://www.ageuk.org.uk/ 0800 6781 602 Operates 365 days per year, 8am – 7pm
Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/ 116 123 Operate 365 days per year, 24 hours per day
Carers Trust https://carers.org/
Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/
Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/
Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
Every Mind Matters https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Cruse https://www.cruse.org.uk/

 

FAITH GROUPS CALL FOR A JUST RECOVERY BY DIVESTING FROM FOSSIL FUELS

As major challenges for the global economy are predicted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a diverse group of faith institutions is putting the call for a just economic recovery into practice.

Today, 42 faith institutions from 14 countries, including 21 from the UK, announce their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions. It comes from institutions in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain, the UK, and the United States.

https://brightnow.org.uk/resource/church-investments-in-oil-paris-compliant-or-paris-defiant/

Read report on 

Church-Investments-in-Major-Oil-Companies-Bright-Now-Report-web (1)

 

See below report about destruction of the Amazon rainforest

 

MAY 22 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF BIODIVERSITY

For a short introduction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK_vRtHJZu4-

you can learn much more on  https://www.un.org/en/observances/biological-diversity-day

particularly in relation to Corona viruses  https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/six-nature-facts-related-coronaviruses

 

                                             

WHY IS THE AMAZON RAIN FOREST BURNING ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baeaVT-hP0Q&feature=youtu.be

 

MESS facebook page posts regularly on environmental issues

WITH THE WORLD DISTRACTED, THE AMAZON RAINFOREST CONTINUES TO BURN.

 

Brazilian farmer Helio Lombardo Do Santos and a dog walk through a burnt area of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil. Photo: AFP

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon hit a new high in the first four months of this year, with 1,202 square kilometres of forest wiped out. That was a 55 per cent increase from the same period last year, and the highest figure for the first four months of the year since records began. It has not got much attention with the world focused on coronavirus, but deforestation has surged in the Amazon rainforest this year, raising fears of a repeat of last year’s record-breaking devastation – or worse. 

A full report on 
 https://www.facebook.com/marplemess/posts/  3192318330788806

 

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK 10 – 16 MAY

 

A GARDEN BASED ON PSALM 23

Chelsea Flower Show should have been open this week.  The Bible Society was asked to design a garden with Psalm 23 as the theme. Although we cannot now see the garden in reality the designer talks of her plans  https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/psalm-23/

See more about virtual Chelsea on https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/virtual-chelsea

 

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE  OM, RRC, DStJ   12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910

We all know her as the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers.

But she was also a British social reformer and a statistician.

To celebrate the bicentenary of her birth the Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas’s Hospital London have produced an exhibition – unfortunately now closed.  But a virtual tour is available https://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/200exhibits/

Her statistical diagram’s are still used in medical circles today.  Florence Nightingale used a form of radial plots to display data from the Crimean War and to demonstrate that better hygiene would reduce the death rate amongst soldiers. 

COVID-19 – FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE DIAGRAM OF UK DEATHS     April 24, 2020      

Plotting the weekly numbers of deaths using this radial form demonstrates the variability during the first months of the year – deaths from “Aussie flu” in the first weeks of 2018. The increase in the number of deaths from the first week in April 2020 can clearly be seen.
Produced by Irene M. Stratton MSc FFPH  Senior Statistician   The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.  

MAY 8   Cardinal Vincent Nichols on 75th anniversary of VE Day

Photo: Mazur/CBCEW.org.uk

Text of his homily given at the Mass to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, 8th May 2020 in Westminster Cathedral https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39536

“We need to keep on praying: prayer makes a difference”

In a series of video messages released on 6 May 2020, Presidents of Churches Together in England are encouraging us to keep praying prayers of hope, because prayer makes a difference.

https://www.cte.org.uk/Articles/575912/Home/News/Latest_news/We_need_to.aspx

PEACE NOT WAR

A day in advance of Victory in Europe (VE) Day , more than 50 Pax Christi members and friends gathered online for a time of prayer, reflection and action with a focus on ‘Peace, Not War’.

The Zoom service included international partners from the Holy Land – particularly the Arab Educational Institute and Wiam in Bethlehem – and from South Africa and Uruguay.  You can read a full account of their meeting on https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39530

INSPIRING ROLE OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY IN TIMES OF CRISIS

Every day during the Second World War, the National Gallery was one of the few places in London where you could find a programme of cultural activity – concerts, organised by Dame Myra Hess, exhibitions of contemporary art, and a ‘Picture of the Month’, brought back from storage in a Welsh mine to delight the public.

Therefore, it is ironic that Victory in Europe Day – 8 May 1945 – was one of only two days (the other being the following day, 9 May 1945) during the whole war that the National Gallery exceptionally closed – but it was for a very good reason; to allow huge celebrations marking the end of the war to take place in Trafalgar Square.

On August 23, 1939, with the Second World War looming, the National Gallery started evacuating the bulk of its collection to secret countryside locations for safe-keeping. By May 1940, the collection had been transferred to Manod Quarry, a slate mine in the Welsh mountains, beneath 200 feet of solid rock. Upon the declaration of war, all cultural institutions – galleries, theatres, concert halls, museums – were shut. With the city under a cultural blackout, Londoners were left with nowhere to go for entertainment.

The National Gallery’s director Kenneth Clark was determined to keep the Gallery open for cultural pursuits rather than war ministry work, therefore he eagerly seized an opportunity offered by the famous concert pianist, Dame Myra Hess. Starved of entertainment, crowds flocked to the Gallery for the lunchtime concerts. These performances were an opportunity to hear the foremost musicians of the day. Many were given by Myra Hess herself.. The aim was to make classical music accessible to all. The entrance price was set low at one shilling.

The concerts were a huge success. Even in the darkest days of the Blitz, they were nearly always full. An adjoining canteen serving delicious tea, coffee and sandwiches, concocted by a cohort of formidable ladies, added to their popularity.

On their way to the Myra Hess concerts in October 1939, visitors to the National Gallery couldn’t help noticing the forlorn bare walls where the paintings had been before the war. Before long, a series of temporary exhibitions was organised – a rarity for museums and galleries at the time. There were also rolling displays of contemporary war art organised by the WAAC (War Artists’ Advisory Committee) that Kenneth Clark had helped set up at the outset of war.

By 1942 the bombing raids had lessened. It was now felt that one painting could be brought up to London from Manod every month. It was put on show in splendid isolation with some accompanying documentary material – the first to arrive was Titian’s Noli Me Tangere (about 1514). Every night the work was removed from display and stored in the underground strong room for safety. The arrival of each painting was a news event. The ‘Picture of the Month’ scheme exists in the Gallery to this day.

75 years after VE Day, inspired by the legacy of the Myra Hess concerts, the National Gallery is bringing its pictures to our homes in a major new digital programme of talks and creative sessions, designed in response to the coronavirus lockdown. For more information about online events and exhibitions at the National Gallery visit: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39422

One I enjoyed is:     The meaning of birds in paintings: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUbseVy0kIg&t=4s

CELEBRATING V E DAY IN MARPLE

25 years ago I remember  the Mayor coming to cut a cake in Marple precinct. I was working in ‘The Olive Branch’, the Christian coffee shop on Derby Way and together with other shop keepers we all dressed up. But I can’t remember any other celebrations.  If anyone has any memories of what happened in Marple Precinct ( or eleswhere)  or even has some photos,  it would be lovely to have them.


 

 

QUAKERS JOIN CALL FOR A LIVEABLE INCOME FOR ALL

Quakers in Britain have written to the Prime Minister asking him to ensure no one is left without a liveable income during the Covid-19 crisis. The open letter backs the New Economics Foundation’s (NEF) proposal for a temporary minimum income guarantee, which would be unconditional and not means tested at the point of access

The letter also urges the government to ensure all support is accessible to people marginalised by society, including migrants and refugees, and calls for the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy to be suspended. As many other organisations have pointed out, this policy is increasing health risks as well as causing significant hardship.

Oliver Robertson, Head of Witness and Worship for Quakers in Britain,said: “As Quakers, we have a deep and longstanding commitment to the equality of all people. The state must use its resources to ensure everyone’s basic needs are met, particularly in such a time of crisis. The money already pledged by the government during the pandemic shows that this can be done – so we must speak up for the people who are still falling through the gaps in the safety net.”

The minimum income guarantee would ensure a source of income for all those who need it, while – the NEF proposal suggests – any payments to those whose income exceeds a certain level could be paid back through tax later on. NEF proposes that the income floor be set at £221 a week, the amount that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation assesses is the minimum needed to live decently.

Full text of the letter can be found on https://quaker.org.uk/news-and-events/news/quakers-join-calls-for-a-liveable-income-for-all 

 

 You may remember the inspiring  Thy Kingdom Come  Prayer Vigil on the eve of Pentecost last year hosted at All Saints but attended by people of various church traditions from all over south Manchester.   Sadly this will not be repeated this year.    https://www.thykingdomcome.global/about-us

This message from Reverend Canon Chris Russell, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advisor on Evangelism and Witness, explores this year’s plans including a new element introduced this year. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/stories/thy-kingdom-come-2020-plans-y

 

OPEN LETTER ON MILITARY SPENDING AND COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Yesterday (April 26) 19  peace organisations signed this open letter, appealing for military resources to be diverted to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic which has already claimed the lived of 20,000 people in the UK.   They write:
Covid 19 is a deadly reminder that armed force cannot make us safe. People around the world have the same needs and face many of the same threats. We urgently need to stop accepting “defence” and “security” as euphemisms for war and militarism.

Military personnel have taken part in building the Nightingale Hospital in London and the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff. The arms company Babcock is diverting some resources to produce ventilators. These initiatives, which involve just a small percentage of the armed forces and arms industry, should be the first step in reallocating “defence” resources to defending us from the most serious threats to our security.

While NHS staff struggle with insufficient protective equipment, nuclear submarines patrol at a cost of billions, powerless to defend us from a pandemic. While some armed forces personnel are helpfully delivering medical supplies, others are increasing military tension by participating in NATO exercises – scaled back but not cancelled despite coronavirus. UK troops train Saudi forces who have attacked civilians in Yemen.

The UK government’s security reviews in 2010, 2015 and 2018 identified pandemics as a serious security threat. Despite this, they chose to increase spending on armed force, maintaining the seventh highest military expenditure in the world. Recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya demonstrate that deep-seated problems cannot be solved with bombs. War makes the whole world less safe.

Money diverted from military budgets could contribute towards NHS and social care costs, initiatives to assist those losing their jobs and support for people whose mental health is affected by isolation. Longer term, we need to re-orient the economy towards socially useful production and shift “defence” resources away from militaristic approaches and towards tackling serious threats to human security, including pandemics, poverty and climate change.

Yours,
Peter Glasgow, Chair, Peace Pledge Union
Dr Philip Webber, Chair, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Sophie Neuburg, Executive Director, Medact
Theresa Alessandro, Director, Pax Christi (UK)
Mererid Hopwood, Chair, Cymdeithas y Cymod
Danny Beever, Chair, Veterans for Peace (UK)
Richard Bickle, Chair, Fellowship of Reconciliation (England and Scotland)
Andrew Smith, Campaign Against Arms Trade
Brian Jones, Vice-Chair, CND Cymru
Colin Archer, Global Campaign on Military Spending (UK Working Group)
Paula Shaw, Secretary, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (UK)
Jinsella Kennaway and Mélina Villeneuve, Demilitarise Education
Kate Hudson, General Secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
David Webb, Chair, Yorkshire CND
Eileen Cook and Janet Fenton, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Scotland)
Tim Devereux, Chair, Movement for the Abolition of War
Lynn Jamieson, Chair, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Monica Frisch, Director and Treasurer, on behalf of Conscience: Taxes For Peace Not War
Philip Austin, Co-ordinator, Northern Friends’ Peace Board
(Symon Hill at the Peace Pledge Union co-ordinated this letter.)

 

 

NOBYL DISASTER REMEMBRANCE DAY . In the early hours of April 26,1986, an explosion occurred in reactor No. 4 after a safety test, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, blowing off the top and spewing huge amounts of radioactive material into the sky. This is the world’s worst nuclear accident. The explosion “spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation” (UN). Read more on https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39434

 

APRIL 22  was  INTERNATIONAL EARTH DAY

An interfaith message issued for Earth Day, 22 April, is calling for ambitious and urgent action to address the climate emergency, urging that “efforts to rebuild economies put people’s health before profit.”

The message acknowledges and mourns the trauma, anxiety, vulnerability and loss of life around the world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among already vulnerable communities. “We are appalled by the increase in human rights violations, including racism, extreme surveillance, xenophobia, misuses of emergency powers and domestic violence,” reads the message.

But their message is ultimately one of hope. “We also witness more time for reflection,” reads the text. “We proclaim loudly that we were already living in a state of emergency prior to COVID-19.”

The full message can be read on  www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/an-interfaith-earth-day-message-in-times-of-covid-19-and-climate-emergency/view

Leela Ramdeen , Chair of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, (CCSJ) and Director of CREDI   suggests some  things we can do to demonstrate our love for our earth:

1. Develop an environmental spirituality.

2. Assess our lifestyle and consumption. Practice these four ‘Rs’ for sustainable living: Reuse, recycle, reduce, restore.

3. Prevent pollution, reduce our carbon footprint, and become advocates for God’s Creation.

4. Promote sound environmental management practices e.g. energy efficiency, water conservation, waste avoidance, composting, using environmentally responsible products, and car-pooling.

5. Enjoy nature and live in harmony with it.     For more to think about see https://www.earthday.org/

On Easter Sunday, by invitation the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan, Italian global music icon Andrea Bocelli gave a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to the world.      You can see the recorded concert here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=huTUOek4LgU&feature=emb_title    Download the hymn sheet and sing along here:  https://AndreaBocelli.lnk.to/Hymnsheet

A PHOTO OF BRIAN PERCIVAL

Thank you to John Sutch who managed to find this photo of Brian Percival. He thinks it was taken in 1990 at St Paul’s  at a joint signing of a pledge for the Decade of Evangelism.  Brian Holland (the one signing) was a local preacher at Jubilee Methodist.

Rev. Brian Percival  died on April 10th (Good Friday ) after suffering for some time with motor neurone disease. Brian was the vicar at St Paul’s Compstall for about 18 years. He was very well liked and respected by his congregation.  He also was a keen supporter of the work of Churches Together and willingly took on the role as Chair in 1991 and again in 2000.   

 

CLAP AGAIN TONIGHT AT 8 PM  FOR ALL KEY WORKERS

Who are the key workers? 

The Government considers the work of the following people is critical to the COVID-19 response and if they are parents provision will be made for their children if needed.

Health and social care      This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and special  list staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare   This includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services   This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government   This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods    This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security    This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport   This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services   This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

This is taken from    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Let us hope that when this is over as a society we will still remember who these key workers are and treat them well.

 

CLAP TONIGHT AGAIN AT 8PM TONIGHT

for healthcare workers, emergency services, armed services, delivery drivers, shop workers, teachers, waste collectors, manufacturers, postal workers, cleaners, vets, engineers and all those who are out there making an unbelievable difference to our lives in these challenging times.    Show we appreciate their service to us.

For those who are self isolating and depending on neighbours and friends to shop etc.  you too are serving by staying safe and well.

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”  read the full poem by Milton when he went blind on 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44750/sonnet-19-when-i-consider-how-my-light-is-spent

April 3    TODAY  has been designated   THE DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE.

Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation

Praise to you Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the source of all consolation and hope.

Be the refuge and guardian of all who suffer from abuse and violence.

Comfort them and send healing for their wounds of the body, soul and spirit.

Help us all and make us one with you in your love for justice as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.

Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating your praise, both now and forever.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.     Amen.

 

“STAY SAFE”  we are now saying to each other as we  stay at home . But sadly for some people home is not a safe place.

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime.

During lockdown, cases are expected to rise. While most of us see home as a safe space, for some it’s where they feel most at risk.

You can call the Domestic Abuse team on 0300 123 5101, but if in immediate danger and able to access a phone, call the police.

*Please share to make sure everyone knows where to get help if in danger in their own home*

 

 

“STAY SAFE”  we are now saying to each other as we  stay at home . But sadly for some people home is not a safe place.

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime.

During lockdown, cases are expected to rise. While most of us see home as a safe space, for some it’s where they feel most at risk.

You can call the Domestic Abuse team on 0300 123 5101, but if in immediate danger and able to access a phone, call the police.

*Please share to make sure everyone knows where to get help if in danger in their homes

 

 

The solitary figure of Pope Francis alone in St Peter’s Square in Rome delivering his address to the world last Friday evening. 

I was particularly struck by the comment ” In this world, that you, Lord,  love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. ”  The full text of the address can be read on    https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/39230

 

NHS LAST NIGHT –  March 27th

Just before 8,  I opened the front door – suppose I was the only one there!  I started to ring the little cow bell ( with a sound that carries great distances) and up and down the road I heard people clapping.  Cars hooted as they passed on the Stockport Road .

Our neighbours are a young couple who both work in hospitals in Manchester and they were both out clapping too. When the clapping stopped people were shouting thank you to them.

We are truly grateful for the NHS and all its wonderful workers. Please keep praying for them.

See below for a message from a relative in North Yorkshire who works in intensive care at James Cook hospital in Middleborough
AN URGENT APPEAL FROM AN NHS FRONT LINER- a joke or a fact not a misery pact!

COVID 19 has now reached us and we are valiantly trying to hold back the tide. My fellow colleagues in intensive care units and hospitals in the UK and across the world are working day and night to restore hope to families in desperate need of it.

Though starting on the back foot we have personal protective equipment, ventilators and years of training. Most importantly I have my fellow professionals whom I would trust with my own and my family’s life.

We are used to working with stretched resources and as always will do the very best with what we’ve got. I am expecting things to get bad (possibly very) but we are strategically planning for this eventuality. We are anticipating a marathon and not a sprint. I am also fully anticipating on looking back on 2020 as being one of my proudest experiences of working with my colleagues in the NHS.

Having done multiple inventory checks, we are particularly in short supply of jokes, quips and witty banter (especially virus related). Any donations to the front line from self isolation would be gratefully received. Credible, critically appraised instruction from the medical world on how to slay this monster is fundamentally important too.

We remain extremely well stocked in paranoia, hysteria and misinformation- can we politely decline no more donations are at all necessary for the foreseeable future.

The Corona virus pandemic will pass and one way or another we will get through this. It would be nice to think that no matter how bad things should get, we did what Brits do best and never lost our sense of humour or turned on one another. As so often in our history, desperate times have proven to be the catalyst for the greatest of things and a reminder of what really matters.

Stay safe, stay at home and away from each other, and see you on the other side

Posted March 24 th

COVID-19 “IMPENDING HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE IN THE HOLY LAND”

 

 

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of  The Holy Land Coordination has urged us all  to support people in the Holy Land affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

“As we approach Easter amid this global pandemic, we must not forget the impact on our sisters and brothers in the land of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.

“Not only is this a major healthcare crisis, but necessary closures at this time of pilgrimage are also having a devastating impact upon the local economy.

“On top of this the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Gaza, where the healthcare system has effectively collapsed and people are trapped in the most overcrowded conditions on earth, points to an impending humanitarian catastrophe.

“In the face of these unprecedented challenges, we can stand in solidarity with the people of the Holy Land through our prayers and  support the humanitarian agencies working on the ground.”

To find out more and to donate :

https://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/

https://www.embraceme.org/news/message-embrace-covid-19

UN Relief and works organisation for Palestine refugees in the near east

https://www.unrwa.org/

Medical aid for Palestinians

https://www.map.org.uk/

 

 

LIGHT A CANDLE OF HOPE MARCH 22ND

This Mothering Sunday light a candle in your window at 7 pm to pray for hope

BE STILL AND LISTEN

It is good sometimes not to read but to  listen to someone reading to us.  They can bring out meanings we had never noticed before ….. or  just make us laugh.

‘Reading Matthew in Lent’ is a series of simple podcasts prepared for the Lent, offering a daily reading from St Matthew’s Gospel from Ash Wednesday to Easter Monday.                But it is never to late to start!
https://www.cbcew.org.uk/series/reading-matthew-in-lent/

For the children – and the young at heart!  Grandparents who are sadly missing their time with their grandchildren might like to pass it on .

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK  MAY 2019  This year we sent off a cheque to CA for £8238.71.  This is only £9.57 less than last year which is marvellous given the current uncertainty in the country.  Working together as a team has made this possible and a big thank you to everyone who was involved before, during and after CA week.   This money was raised by our street collections throughout our area and £542.30 from the plant sale.   Without this our figure would have been considerably down as last year we did not have the plant sale.  

Last year we focused on replacing our CROSS ON COBDEN EDGE

Thanks to the support of our local churches, local groups and many individuals we raised the necessary money and on July 23rd the new wooden cross was put in place.

We are so grateful to all who helped in any way to achieve this.

 We held a service of Celebration and Thanksgiving under the new cross on Sunday September 16 at 4 pm .   The new cross was then dedicated.