Places are still available at the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) annual conference 26-28 July in Derbyshire. All are welcome. The title is 'Forgotten People, Forgotten Places - Being Church on the Margins'. The conference is a great opportunity for Justice and Peace activists to network and, this year, the focus will be on addressing poverty in Britain.
Pope Francis calls us to be 'a Church which is poor and for the poor'. 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 churches already working with people on the margins of society.
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 are 'trapped' in poverty in some areas. The problem is 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 listen to voices from the margins and learn of churches that put an emphasis on sharing food and hospitality and work for justice.
Speakers are Revd Deirdre Brower Latz, who has worked as a pastor in urban/marginalised communities in Bristol and Manchester, and Professor Anthony Reddie, a leading scholar in the practice of Black Theology in grassroots communities. The Conference Chair will be John Battle, former Labour MP and 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 are a vital part of the NJPN conference and a separate programme is available for them.
The conference will take place 26-28 July at Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire.
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