Pope Francis calls us to be 'a Church which is poor and for the poor'. For the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) this means to be with those on the margins as equal partners, enabling them to find their own solutions to the issues they face. The NJPN Conference 2019 is working with Church Action on Poverty, which is undertaking a three-year project to challenge the Churches about where they put their resources. It will hear from 'communities of praxis' who are already involved on the margins.
A recent study suggested that child poverty is becoming the 'new normal' in parts of the UK and rising rapidly in major cities.
Research by the End Child Poverty Coalition indicated that more than half of children were 'trapped' in poverty in some areas.
The problem was worst in cities such as London, Birmingham and Greater Manchester, said the report. The UK Government was urged to take measures including reversing cuts to children's services and reforming Universal Credit.
Responding to the report, Niall Cooper, director of Church Action on Poverty, said it is "simply not right" that child poverty is becoming the 'new normal' in increasing parts of the country. He added: "Surely it is within our power as a society to offer more to our children and young people? As Christians, we must speak out more loudly and with greater urgency. It's time to end child poverty in the UK".
The NJPN conference will explore building Churches that are interested in building the kingdom, not just growing the Church; listen to voices from the margins; expect to be challenged and changed by our neighbours; put an emphasis on sharing food and hospitality; are hungry and thirsty for justice.
Speakers are Revd Deirdre Brower Latz, has worked as a pastor in urban/marginalised communities in Bristol and Manchester and lectures at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester. And Professor Anthony Reddie: the leading scholar in the practice of Black Theology in grassroots communities of faithful practice. The Conference Chair will be John Battle, former Labour MP, Chair of Leeds Justice & Peace Commission
There will be workshops from a range of organisations and speakers, all looking creatively at how our churches can be more open to people on the margins.
Children and young people:
Children and young people are a vital part of the NJPN conference. There will be a crèche for children under five and a programme of activities for 5-11-year-olds. 12-18-year-olds will explore the conference theme in an active and thought-provoking weekend.
NJPN is committed to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable people. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to attend conference. Our rates for children and people on low incomes are subsidised. We count on the generous donations of those who can afford a little extra to make that possible
The conference will take place 26-28 July at Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire.
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