justice and peace commission
The Northampton Justice and Peace Commission forms part of the Prophet Vicariate and was formed in 1986 when Bishop Thomas attended its inaugural meeting on 25th September.
The principal role of the Commission then was to advise and inform the Bishop, and to help him promote prayer and action for Justice and Peace in the Diocese.
The aims of the Commission are:
» to support the work of the diocesan Co-ordinator – to advise and inform the Bishop
» to encourage and support groups
» to plan programmes and strategy
The Commission seeks to be a visible sign for Justice and Peace in the Diocese and the wider community. It’s work is based on Gospel Values and Catholic Social Teaching.
The Commission is made up of members from Parishes all over the Diocese. Any one is welcome to join. We meet approximately 4 times a year at St Mary’s Church, Dunstable to discuss and plan Diocesan Justice and Peace issues.
The next meeting of the Commission: Due to the coronavirus the next meeting will be on a date to be advised
Regular events include a Mass for Justice and Peace, an biennial Diocesan Conference, and occasional conferences covering a variety of issues (such as Inter Faith, the environment)
We are promoting Fairtrade in our Parishes, and have recently qualified as a Fairtrade Diocese, meaning that more than 50% of our parishes have become involved!
Our campaign to become a Fairtrade Diocese began in 2006 with the full support of Bishop Peter (now Emeritus), the Diocesan Pastoral Council, and the Council of Priests.
Why was it important to become a Fairtrade Diocese?
By choosing Fairtrade products, we play our part in enabling farmers and workers to bring about change today in their own lives and communities, as well as sending out a signal for justice in wider international trade. Becoming a Fairtrade Diocese shows that we, as the Catholic community of Northampton want to live more justly in a fairer world. It also demonstrates our solidarity with the poor and disadvantaged rural producers in the developing world and helps show other local communities that we have a practical commitment to helping those in need.
To qualify for Fairtrade Church status a parish must:
» Use Fairtrade tea and coffee for all it’s meetings and events
» Increase the use of other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits, drinks
» Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and at other opportunities throughout the year
The livesimply project is based on God calls us to live simply. We are asked to look hard at our lifestyles, and to choose to livesimply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. It’s not just about money. It’s a challenge to reflect, celebrate and take action in order to work for justice, and to be happier in ourselves as a result. It’s about seeking what we need rather than grasping for more, sharing not hoarding.
You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor, but you are giving them back what is theirs… The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.” St Ambrose
Over several years the Catholic community has been asked to respond to the livesimply challenge by making promises in Justice and Peace and other parish groups, in youth and Confirmation groups, and as tutor groups and whole schools.
This initiative encourages communities everywhere to take action for justice. Any community can get involved, large or small, from the flower-arrangers and altar servers at church to school tutor groups and religious.
Challenges range from ‘Saying Grace’ to ‘Form an Environmental Plan’ to ‘Pray about Homelessness’ to ‘Eating Simply’.
The vision for the livesimply challenge is that by making more explicit the link between faith and action, global social justice will become a mainstream concern for a more diverse range of Catholics. More Catholics will change their attitudes, lifestyles and behavior in response to the challenge and make a clear and lasting commitment to action for social justice.
livesimply encourages people to deepen their faith and discern in prayer what they are called to be and do. People are challenged not only to learn about ‘the Church’s best kept secret’ but then to respond through prayer and liturgy, through campaigning, through local action, and through lifestyle change.
In September 2019 Emeritus Bishop Peter said:
‘I encourage parishes to think seriously about becoming Live Simply parishes and receiving the award. It can be a means of bringing the parish community closer together to llive simply, sustainably and in solidarity’.
The livesimply award will recognise parishes’ achievements in putting these principles into action. From supporting the SVP, CAFOD and fair-trade to ‘greening’ our church buildings, there are many ways parishes can win an award.
To qualify, your parish must carry out a simple parish self-assessment and demonstrate how it will bring the livesimply principles to life.
To find out more go to the campaign website – click here.
Who We Are
Our Contact details
Fr. Tony Brennan
c/o St Mary’s Church
82 West Street
Dunstable LU6 1NY