BackJustice and Peace Group
The group welcomes new members. It meets four times a year, and more frequently as occasion requires. In the recent past it has studied the question of bio-piracy by the pharmaceutical giants, climate change and global warning, sustainable development, militarism, the impact of globalisation on the world’s poor countries.
This group absorbed the parish CAFOD supporters. Members attended local and national rallies in the Make Poverty History campaign. Parishioners are encouraged to participate in letter-writing campaigns.
Liturgies have been prepared by members in the hope of involving the whole parish in the cause of Justice and Peace, especially during Lent. An ecumenical initiative has been the formation of a Justice and Peace Group with our local Covenant of Churches, and support for the One Work Week Event in Swaythling.
Justice and Peace group work includes:
- Amnesty International: Every year the Parish encourages individuals to send messages of support and solidarity to the victims of torture, human rights abuses and unjust imprisonment. Amnesty International promotes this Greetings Card Campaign from 1stDecember until late January. Representations are also made to local politicians and immigration authorities regarding asylum seekers and rights of asylum. AI magazinesare displayed regularly in the church porch.
- Pax Christi: This international Catholic Peace and Reconciliation movement started in France in 1945, and now thrives in 35 countries. The parish arranges appropriate liturgies and prayer vigils, especially in relation to Peace Sunday (this year 15th January). Members promote peace education, campaign against Arms Trade, and support local CND.
- Traidcraft: this Christian organisation was established in 1979 to fight poverty through fair trade. Traidcraft works with local farm workers and crafts people across Africa, Asia and Latin America, encouraging and promoting their products, and thus helping them to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communties. The Fairtrade mark on products indicates that producers have been paid a fair price for their goods, and that they provide just conditions for their workers. Immaculate Conception has been designated a Fair Trade Parish, agreeing to serve only fairly traded tea and coffee at parish events, and promoting Fair Trade goods. Parishioners are urged to support workers in the developing world.
- CAFOD – A Catholic organisation providing practical help and medical aid in the Third World. The Justice and Peace group support this organisation though awareness raising events, and monthly cake sales (after 10:30 mass) to raise money.