ST MARY’S PARISH SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUPS
Justice & Peace Initiatives – J&P initiatives at St Mary’s exists to encourage work for Justice and Peace by promoting liaison and communication among Parish groups and individuals and raising awareness of J&P as central to the life of the Church.
- The Mission of J&P is to work with all who share our commitment to bring the good news of Christ’s love and peace to people who are poor, oppressed or excluded.
- Based on the Scriptures — and in particular on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ — on the Church’s Social Teaching and on our own faith experience, the values that inspire us.
- Enriching contacts with other churches and religions that share its aims and are working in thefield of peace, justice and the respect for human dignity.
SVP — ‘Turning concern into action’
Christmas fairs and variety of fundraising events by parishioners. The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need – irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender. SVP tackles poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need. The concept of need is broader than financial hardship, so visiting the sick, the lonely, the addicted, the imprisoned and those suffering from disabilities form a large proportion of the Society’s work. – See more at: http://www.svp.org.uk/
Contact Club — ‘Care in the community’
In 1971, Rev Robert Smithers became Minister of Heath Street Baptist Church at Hampstead. He quickly became concerned about loneliness suffered particularly at weekends by people living alone in Hampstead. He shared his concern with other churches of the neighbourhood and asked if any of them would join in some sort of activity to help the people he had in mind. St Mary’s was the only church to offer to join in. St Mary’s and Heath Street decide to offer some friendship to any who would like to come. Announcements were made that anyone who cared would be welcome for two hours on Sunday evenings. The response was immediate. Some who came had no home, sleeping on the heath or suffered depression and were entrusted to ‘care in the community’, and so on. They were offered two hours of peace and quiet in a warm room with tea, coffee, sandwiches and if they wanted it, conversation. This became the Contact Club and has gone on now for 42 years and continues to do what it can to meet a real need in our community. The weekly attendance is about 40 or more and the staff are volunteers from both congregations. Health Street Baptist Church provides the premises and St Mary’s generous financial support.
Camden Winter Night Shelter, C4WS — Community of Christian Churches in Camden Winter Shelter
This is an ecumenical organisation founded in 2005 providing essential shelter, food and warmth for the homeless in our Borough during the coldest winter months from the beginning of November until the end of March each year. Our parish has given financial support but parishioners may be interested to know that all offers of help or assistance are welcome. For further detail, go to www.c4wshomelessproject.org.
JUSTICE & PEACE RESOURCES AND ORGANISATIONS
Catholic Social teaching – The site seeks to provide you with inspiration and resources in support of the Church’s teaching on social, political and economic issues, informed by Gospel values and the lived experience of Christian reflection http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (Justitia et Pax) – is a part of the Roman Curia dedicated to “action-oriented studies” for the international promotion of justice, peace, and human rights from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church. http://www.justpax.it/eng/home_eng.html
The National Justice and Peace Network links people who have a concern for justice and peace; acts as a hub for the exchange of information; offers support and encouragement for groups and individuals; provides a channel between issues and campaigns. http://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/action.html
Organisations working for Justice and Peace:
Pax Christi, Peace of Christ, is a gospel-based lay-inspired, peacemaking movement. The three major objectives of Pax Christi are:
- the promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence
- providing the means to bring about peace
CAFOD works with partners across the world, wherever the need is greatest, to bring hope, compassion and solidarity to poor communities, standing side by side with them to end poverty and injustice. We work with people of all faiths and none. We work with more than 500 partners overseas, and with partners in the UK – all working to reduce poverty. Inspired by Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching, and the experiences and hopes of people living in poverty, CAFOD works for a safe, sustainable and peaceful world. http://www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign
Aid to Church in Need — ‘Persecuted and not Forgotten’ — Helping persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world through Prayer, and Action. http://www.acnuk.org/campaigns
Progressio — ‘People powered development’ — http://www.progressio.org.uk/content/what-we-do
CARJ — Facilitates, encourages and empowers people of all backgrounds to work within the Catholic community, ecumenically and in the wider society for racial justice. http://www.carj.org.uk/
CSAN — The Caritas network works for the most vulnerable people of society across England and Wales, providing support for families and children, the elderly, the homeless, refugees, the disabled, and prisoners. http://www.csan.org.uk/ & http://rcdow.org.uk/caritas/