Churches to discuss credit crunch

 Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is to hold a one-day conference on 'The economic crisis: towards sustainable economies and livelihoods'.

The aim of the conference is to examine the root causes of the current economic crisis from a faith perspective, and what the churches' distinctive role in addressing the crisis should be in terms of their prophetic, pastoral and partnership responsibilities.

The conference will take place on Tuesday 20 January, from 10am to 4pm at Methodist Church House, 25, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Media are invited to attend. All proceedings will be on the record.

A former member of the Dutch parliament, and one of Britain's leading Christian commentators on economic and climate change issues will be the main speakers at the conference.

Bob Goudzwaard, professor emeritus of economics and social philosophy at the Free University in Amsterdam, a former member of the Dutch parliament, and co-author of "Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises", will speak on "The underlying causes of the global economic crisis".

The other keynote speaker is Ann Pettifor, former head of the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign, and now campaign director of Operation Noah, the first Christian campaign focused exclusively on climate change. Ann Pettifor is the author of 'The Coming First World Debt Crisis', and her conference topic will be 'The impact of current economic factors on sustainable lifestyles'.

The Revd Dave Bookless, director of A Rocha (meaning 'The Rock'), a Christian environmental and nature conservation organisation with a strong community emphasis, will give a theological response to the keynote addresses.

John Ellis, who previously worked at the Bank of England and is now a senior staff member of the Methodist Church in Britain, will set the scene for the day.

Michael Bartlet, parliamentary liaison officer for Quaker Peace and Social Witness, will sum up and suggest possible ways forward for the churches.

Other contributors will include:
* John Reynolds, chief executive officer of Reynolds Partners, an independent investment bank , and chairman of the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group;
* Murdo Macdonald, policy officer for the Church of Scotland's Society, Religion and Technology Project;
* Geraint Hopkins, policy officer at Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales);
* Paula Clifford, head of theology for Christian Aid;
* Niall Cooper, national coordinator of Church Action on Poverty, and the Get Fair campaign;
* Alison Gelder, chief executive of Housing Justice.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together, and serves them on their shared journey towards full visible unity. It is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland works closely with the 'Churches Together' bodies that focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. For more information see:

Source: CTBI

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