he Anglican Peace and Justice Network (APJN) Steering Group met in Cuddington, Aylesbury, England, from December 2nd – 5th. In a spirit of prayerful reflection and sharing, those present affirmed and strengthened the network’s mission, which is based on the 4th Mark of Mission: ‘To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation’.
The Steering Group received reports from various regions of the Anglican Communion on how the church, in particular Anglicans, has been engaging in peace and justice issues. One among these was the ongoing challenges in the South Sudan conflict involving political tribalism and other difficulties that leaders face in bringing peace to the region.
Other concerns involved the devastating effects of recent hurricanes in the Bahamas and wider Caribbean that have disproportionately hurt the poor and vulnerable. The annual occurrence in the West Indies of storms of greatly increased intensity has increased fear not only during the hurricane season, but has made people to live with the fear year-round of what the next hurricane season might bring.
Members also discussed issues of forced migration, the rise of nationalism across the world, challenges for Indigenous peoples in reclaiming their identity and heritage, child marriages, declines in children’s rights, and gender-based violence.
The APJN Steering Group affirmed the aim of the network as: to enable and encourage Anglicans working for peace with justice by
- walking alongside those who contribute to peacebuilding
- connecting people with common interests
- standing in solidarity with those working to make a difference to the lives of the oppressed in every society
The Steering Group’s areas of focus for the short, medium and long term include, but are not limited to, migration, gender, environmental Justice; reconciliation; advocacy; economic justice; the arms trade, Safe Church, the Church’s role in ministering to those who have been traumatized by conflict.
The network asked for the prayerful support of all in the Anglican Communion to bring into being God’s Kingdom of justice and peace for all.
Those present at the meeting were:
- Mrs Sue Claydon (UK)
- Revd Dr Luiz Coelho (Brazil)
- Brad Frey (UK) representing Christian Aid (one day)
- Revd Canon Dr. Phil Groves (UK), APJN Convener
- Venerable Katete Jackson Jones (Zambia)
- Dr Andrea Mann (Canada)
- Revd Dr Paula Nesbitt (USA)
- Ms Sue Parks (UK)
- Most Revd Samuel Peni (South Sudan)
- Revd Canon Reid Simon (West Indies)
- Rt Revd Alan Wilson (UK)
Appreciation was expressed to the members of the Benefice of the Wychert Vale in the Diocese of Oxford who shared their hospitality with visiting members of the Steering Group. Thanks were also expressed to the Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham (Diocese of Oxford), a member of the group and the local bishop, for his welcome and encouragement.
For further information contact Revd Canon Dr Phil Groves, Coordinator, Anglican Peace and Justice Network.
Anglican Peace & Justice Network, December 10, 2019