Development
 

Diary (Social Justice)



Social Justice

Social Justice is a term used to denote the ideals of the dignity and harmony of people in societies characterised by a wide and fair distribution of economic resources and political power.

Society ensures Social Justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social Justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.
Social Justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of humanity. The person represents the ultimate end of society, to whom it is ordered:  What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defence and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.
            Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn1928-9

2017

Image: A Mass Sleepout

Sleep in the Park – a mass sleep-out to end homelessness in Scotland. For Good.
 
Saturday 9th December 2017
 
Social Bite, a proactive charity working around Scotland with and for homeless people, is organising the world's largest ever sleep-out and are hoping to attract 9,000 people to Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens. The charity hopes that by raising funds and working together, the people of Scotland will create such an impetus that homelessness will be eradicated over a five-year period.

    Read More...

Image: Give Me Five: Petition

The “Give Me Five” campaign aims to lift 30,000 children in Scotland out of poverty by increasing child benefit by £5 a week per child. While the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill is welcomed, setting out as it does ambitious targets to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030, this campaign seeks urgent action now to meet the needs of the 260,000 children living in poverty in Scotland today.  

To add your support to the campaign please sign the petition and write to you MSP here   Read More...

Image: How Pope Francis Reframes the Politics of Being ‘Prolife’

Commonweal reports on an in flight press conference given by by Pope Francis.

Read the article.   

Image: Give Me Five Useful resources for Caritas Students

 

Justice and Peace Scotland have linked up with the Scottish Catholic Education Service to provide an opportunity for Caritas students to take part in the Give Me £5 campaign aimed at topping up child benefit.

Click on the link for a select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign    Read More...

Image: Give Me Five: Paper Petition

Download a paper petition here   Read More...

Image: Modern Slavery

The recent arrest of five people  in Surrey on suspicion of modern slavery offences has highlighted this issue once more.

ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) Anti-Human Trafficking Group along with The Albertus Institute and Edinburgh University have organised a discussion day on slavery and human trafficking with the emphasis on Scotland.
Entitled ‘More Slaves Today than at any Time in Human History’ Exchanging Scottish and International Perspectives on Human Trafficking '  it takes place on Saturday October 7th in Edinburgh. Details.

Anti Slavery Day is on 18th October

    

Image: Take One Action Film Festival

Since 2008, Take One Action Film Festivals have engaged tens of thousands of people with hundreds of world-class films, showcasing inspiring stories that comment on issues of global concern.

 

Programme for this year's festival   

Image: Good Money Week Event in Eastwood

Good Money Week is 8th-14th October.

Eastwood Ecumenical Peace & Justice Forum is planning to hold a meeting to mark Good Money Week on 2nd October 2017 in East Renfrewshire.  The purpose of Good Money Week is to draw awareness to the range of opportunities which exist for those wishing to know what choices there are to invest in ethical financial products.

    Read More...

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos

There are two new J&P videos available on our YouTube channel.

Give me Five Campaign. This is the campaign to petition the Scottish government to add £5 per week per child to Child Benefit. This short video covers the main points of the campaign,
 

Responding to Refugees and Migrants.  As you know, Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants. This short video puts these points into an easily accessible format.


    

Image: One Big Picnic

Community groups brought together by the Interfaith Food Justice Network in Glasgow invite you all to come along to George Square on Sunday 3rd September to share some free food and a blether at One Big Picnic!

This is a free event open to the general public to celebrate the diversity of Glasgow’s residents and bring people from all different backgrounds together.

The event is being organised by a group of local people from diverse backgrounds including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Humanist, Buddhist and non-religious who are working together to deliver One Big Picnic in order to promote dignity, community and food justice.   

Image: Child poverty report prompts calls from bishops to end benefits freeze

An article in the Church Times indicates that Church of England Bishops are growing concerned after the Child Poverty Action Group reported that some parents were no longer able to meet the costs of caring for their children   

Image: Statement from Catholic Bishops of America

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops President and Domestic Justice Chairman Call for Prayer and Unity in Response to Deadly Charlottesville Attack.   Read More...

Image: Rabbi Lerner on anti-Semitism and racism after Charlottesville

Rabbi Michael Lerner from the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and editor of Tikkun magazine writes: Many of us spiritual progressives have been in deep grief for the loss of life of Heather Heyer, the woman killed by a Nazi fanatic who also wounded 19 other anti-racist activists.   Read More...

Image: Tens of thousands' of modern slavery victims in UK

Modern slavery and human trafficking is far more prevalent than previously thought, with a recent crackdown lifting the lid on the scale of the crime and potentially tens of thousands of victims in the UK, the National Crime Agency has said.   Read More...

Image: Faith leaders pray for world peace in Japan

Religious leaders have met in Japan to pray for peace in the world and as a response to Pope Francis asking them to foster dialogue, friendship and peace.   Read More...

Image: Government fails unaccompanied children in Europe

By closing the Dubs scheme, the Government has left unaccompanied children at the mercy of traffickers.   Read More...

Image: The 'four forgotten famines' that the world never hears of

IT should be making more headlines but it isn’t. There are many good reasons why it should be all over our news pages, and very few to justify why it’s not. The most obvious reason as to why this story should have greater news prominence is that more than 20 million lives hang in the balance, among them 1.4 million children of whom 600,000 could die in the next three to four months. It’s not as if there has been any shortage of warnings either.  In March this year Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, spelt out the magnitude of the crisis.   Read More...

Image: Caritas Anchor House needs your vote

Caritas Anchor House in east London has beaten hundreds of projects across the UK to be shortlisted in the latest Stoves Community Kitchens campaign, and is in the running to win up to £5,000 worth of kitchen appliances.   Read More...

Image: Pope appeals for end to 'aberrant plague' of human trafficking

Pope Francis called for increased efforts to end human trafficking on Sunday 30th July 2017. The Holy Father’s appeal came in remarks following the Angelus prayer with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square and the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, sponsored by the United Nations.   Read More...

Image: Scotland's Nonviolence Conference hears message of peace


Read the Independent Catholic News report on the first Scottish Nonviolence Conference at Kinnoul, Perth 14th-16th July 2017. 

The conference was organised by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (England and Scotland) Justice and Peace Scotland and the Church of Scotland. Participants came from groups including the Scottish Episcopalian Church, Quakers, Methodists, Pax Christi, Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Conforti Institute.

Watch the videos of both speakers talks at the link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUKmIIIRRX_YRS_PlNBAr2A   

Image: Holiday hunger is a human rights issue— Scotland’s children have the right to food

Máire McCormack part of the commission for Children and Young People Scotland writes about children from low-income families going hungry during the school holidays.   Read More...

Image: Weekly Catholic Social Teaching Quotes

Relaunch of our Catholic Social Teaching Quotes - ideal for parish bulletins!

Quotes selected to match Mass readings or upcoming social justice dates.   Read More...

Image: UK accepts fewer than half the child refugees it promised to take under Dubs Amendment

A new article in The Independent highlights that several children granted rights to live in the UK are "leading a hand to mouth existence wandering around France"   Read More...

Image: Scottish Nonviolence Conference Perth 14th -16th July 2017

 

There is still time to book your place on Scotland's Nonviolence Conference - "Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence"  at the beautiful St Mary's Monastery, Kinnoul, Perth from Friday 14th July - Sunday 16th July 2017.  Day or weekend passes available.    Read More...

Image: Pope honors 'rebel' priests censured by the Vatican for their commitment to the poor

Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to northern Italy on Tuesday to honor two 20th-century parish priests whose commitment to the poor and powerless brought them censure from the Vatican.   Read More...

Image: A Colloquium on Judaism

An opportunity to reflect on and deepen our understanding of Judaism. The colloquium will be lead by Fr. David NeuhausS.J., Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel and Pastoral Coordinator for migrants.

Friday 25th–Saturday 26thAugust 2017
ConfortiInstitute, Calder Avenue, Coatbridge, ML5 4JS   Read More...

Image: 'Make friends with people from other religions' say Faith Leaders

Leaders of the world’s major religions released a joint appeal this week calling on people of the world to get to know and make friends with people from other faiths.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis urges Christians to welcome poor into their homes for lunch


Announcing the 1st World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis invites Christians to “create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance. ”   Read More...

Image: Destitute Immigrants in the UK are threatened with having children removed

Homeless immigrants are being told they can secure housing for their children but not themselves, effectively forcing them to break up their family or sleep rough with their children.   Read More...

Image: Minister Annabelle Ewing encourages reporting hate crimes to counteract rising incidents

While this Herald article suggests that hate crime is on the increase, Scotland’s community safety minister urges people to report such ‘ appalling acts’ and  condemns ‘…any crime motivated by prejudice' as 'absolutely unacceptable’.   Read More...

Image: New Vatican Nuncio to Great Britain meets with the Queen
The new Apostolic Nuncio was received by the Queen on 8th June, marking the beginning of his tenure in Great Britain.  Archbishop Adam's position will require him to keep the Vatican abreast of Brexit developments.
 
  Read More...
Image: Pope appeals for One Minute for Peace initiative

Pope Francis has appealed for prayers and international participation in the 'One Minute for Peace' initiative to be held Thursday, 8 June, at 1pm Rome time.   Read More...

Image: Holy See calls for international solidarity to solve global challenges

“For the wellbeing of our human family and the promotion and protection of the common good there is an urgent need to recognise the role of international solidarity as an essential element for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights by all,”


    Read More...

Image: Letter from Calais - Appeal for Volunteers

Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary visited Calais on 30 May, taking clothing, cash and bedding donated by various groups and individuals. He found a situation that was superficially calm, yet worrying: worries that have since been confirmed as correct.   Read More...

Image: Election 2017

Marian Pallister, the Vice-Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, has examined the party manifestos, looking at the issues of most concern to justice and peace. The results can be accessed in the attached file.   Read More...

Image: Scotland needs new child poverty targets say MSPs

Targets aimed at reducing child poverty in Scotland are too 'long range' according to a report issued today by the Scottish Parliament’s social security committee.   Read More...

Image: Come Spirit of Peace

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling on Christians worldwide to join in prayer for just peace in the Holy Land by taking part in a Pentecost prayer service.   Read More...

Image: Traffickers and smugglers exploit record rise in unaccompanied child refugees

Slavery and prostitution among horrors faced by child refugees and migrants after fivefold increase in number of lone minors crossing borders since 2010-11   Read More...

Image: Calls to extend Bangladesh Accord to protect garment workers

May 2017 is the fourth anniversary of the first major binding supply chain agreement ever implemented in the apparel industry for overseas suppliers: the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Accord secured a contractual commitment by brands to stand by their suppliers and ensure safety repairs would be completed and reported on transparently, among other things, after years of brands’ struggling with a cut-and-run approach to supply chain monitoring.   Read More...

Image: Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland Pre-election letter

Society “will be judged on how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens” say Scotland’s Catholic Bishops in pre-election letter.   Read More...

Image: Africa's New Slave Trade

Six months after Muhammed Yusuf had been sold, tortured and forced to watch as a friend died, he found himself back at the parched, dusty bus station where his ordeal began, facing the man who had made him a slave.   Read More...

Image: Launch of Centre for Theology and Justice – Connecting faith and action

“We are all on a journey with God towards a vision of God's kingdom of justice, of shalom. The Centre for Theology and Justice seeks to respond to the questions we encounter on that journey.  We do not journey alone, we journey together, sharing ideas, resources and engaging in theological reflection.”
    Read More...

Image: Call to cancel Somalia debt as millions face starvation

World leaders gathering in London have been urged to cancel drought-hit Somalia's debt as millions of people in the African country face starvation.
Famine has already gripped South Sudan, with hunger killing many there and in Somalia, while a national emergency has been declared in Kenya and there are fears of a new wave of drought in Ethiopia.   Read More...

Image: Anniversary for Catholic Charity Dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima

As the Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions – Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima is celebrating its 70th anniversary.   Read More...

Image: 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

Just released by the World Bank, a visual mapping of progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development goals which include: ending poverty, good health, access to education, sustainable cities. Each section highlights progress and challenges.

Access the Visual Map

It takes a wee while to load, so be patient.
    Read More...

Image: Care4Calais Report

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

In Its latest report, it comments there are no signs of improvement to the refugee crisis.

    Read More...

Image: Report reveals 'horror of hunger among children during school holidays'

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a report detailing the “horror of hunger amongst children during school holidays”.Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), along with various schools, councils and foodbanks, submitted evidence of children going without food in the holidays.   Read More...

Image: Trump and the U.S. Catholic Church: The First 100 Days

An American publication reviews the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.   Read More...

Image: Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have produced a very useful resource "Explore" for the upcoming elections.   Read More...

Image: The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone - Pope Francis

Pope Francis releases a TED talk emphasising equality and solidarity between all peoples and all faiths.   Read More...

Image: Scottish Imam talks refugees and religion with Pope Francis

An Edinburgh Imam who met Pope Francis last Month has said the Holy Father is building a friendship between Christianity and Islam.   Read More...

Image: UK to take 130 more lone refugee children

Peer criticises ‘shocking mistake’ as ministers say ‘administrative error’ meant they underestimated available places.   Read More...

Image: Ask an Election Question

A UK general election has been called for 8 June 2017. Now is a vital opportunity to speak up for the poorest communities and work together for the common good. We must encourage and challenge all political parties and candidates to show how they will do the same.   Read More...

Image:  Over 65's not claiming the benefits they are due

Over 200,000 over-65s in Scotland are struggling financially, according to new research for Age Scotland.

The charity said despite one in five pensioners struggling, an estimated £292 million in Pension Credit and Housing Benefit is going unclaimed each year.   Read More...

Image: Is your favourite fashion brand ethical?

Find out more in the latest 2017 Ethical Fashion report just released by Baptist World Aid Australia. It surveys the practices of 106 companies these include leading Australian brands as well as multinationals operating in Europe and USA. It considers all stages of the production process from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and the use of child and forced labour and the payment of a living wage. The website provides details on the methodology used and case studies.   Read More...

Image: Launch of a Global Campaign on Military Spending

A week ago the Ministry of Defence proudly announced that the UK is "stepping up across the globe: the fifth largest defence budget in the world and largest in Europe, rising by around £1Bn a year" How will this promote sustainable security with research and investment into those things that will keep us truly safe?   Read More...

Image: Secularism Poses a Great Threat to Society

Bishop Philip Egan has urged Catholics to “lead the new evangelisation of our land” in a hard-hitting Easter sermon at Portsmouth cathedral.   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis - The media need to tell the whole story on migration

When it comes to solving the immigration crisis, the media need to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start explaining the big picture, shedding light on the causes behind migration.   Read More...

Image: Campaign for Personal Independence Payment to be scrapped

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) should be scraped and Disability Living Allowance reintroduced, according to an online campaign   Read More...

Image: Easter Sunday

He Is Risen, Alleluia.

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: Easter Vigil

Read our Easter vigil reflection here.

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: The Passion of Our Lord

Read our Good Friday reflection here

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: The Last Supper

We have complied four very short reflections, covering Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. 

From everyone at Justice and Peace Scotland, we hope you have a very blessed Easter   Read More...

Image: Pope Francis' Laundrette opens for the poor in Rome

The first washing machines and tumble dryers for the homeless in Rome whirred into action on Monday as 'Pope Francis' Laundry' opened its doors to provide a much needed service.   Read More...

Image: Easter appeal to aid action on homelessness  Scottish Churches Housing Action today issued an Easter appeal

 

Based on the Gospel quote that the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast (Matt 13:33), SCHA claims to be a crucial ingredient in Scottish churches' work to tackle homelessness.

    Read More...

Image: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Populorum Progressio

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's Basilica for the 50th anniversary of the encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' 

Text of sermon   

Image: Pope urges more action on human trafficking

In a message to the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference in Vienna, Pope Francis called Human Trafficking "a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, and an atrocious scourge"

Text of Message   

Image: Death penalty: an offence against human dignity	   	    Justice and Peace Europe appeals for amending the Catechism of the Church

Press release from Justice and Peace Europe

 

    Read More...

Image: Kirk Collaborates to create a Peacemaking Resource

The Church of Scotland has teamed up with a renowned peacemaking organisation to create an innovative new resource designed to use the power of the Bible to resolve conflict.   Read More...

Image: Calais - Things Have Never Been So Tough

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was.   Read More...

Image: Lenten Reflections

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent, – Water is a gift for everyone; breaking down the dividing walls.   Read More...

Image: What do we know about sanctions and food bank use?

Everybody should have access to good food.  Nobody should go to bed hungry.

    Read More...

Image: Beyond The Headlines

Trying to understand what happened in the news?

We go beyond the headlines to try and make sense of the issues.
This time – what was happening in Hungary last week”   Read More...

Image: Petition For Fair for All Trade Deals

Liam Fox, Our new International Trade Secretary has already started informal trade talks with over ten countries including China, Australia and the US. Please take a minute to sign this petition make sure these deals will protect trade with the poorest countries.
    Read More...

Image: International Women's Day

On International Women's Day - Justice and Peace Scotland would like to thank all of the women out there involved in the Justice and Peace movement following in a long line of inspirational women.   Read More...

Image: International Women's Day

International Women's Day takes place this Wednesday, 8 March. To mark the day - the fourth annual Voices of Faith event takes place in the Vatican. The initiative was started by Catholic philanthropist Chantal Goetz, "to enhance the dignity, participation and leadership of women and girls through persistent and good storytelling." Voices of Faith is supported by the Fidel Goetz Foundation, Caritas and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
    Read More...

Image: Ask your MP to take action this Thursday

This Thursday 2 March, MPs will debate UK policy on torture in Westminster. Please ask your MP to be there.   Read More...

Image: The Continuing Presence of Archbishop Romero

Easter Monday marks the 28th anniversary of the martyrdom of Monseñor Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who once said, ‘as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me I will rise again in the people of El Salvador.’ Rodolfo Cardenal SJ writes about the legacy of Archbishop Romero – very much alive in the Church today.   Read More...

Image: Church Action on Poverty Sunday 26th Feb

On 26 February, raise funds to help transform the church!
This Sunday, we ask: if our churches are to be communities that put the poorest first, how must we change? What must we let go of? What sacrifices are we called to make?  How can we allow God to transform us into what Pope Francis has called a “poor Church for the poor”?   Read More...

Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.   Read More...

Image: Scrap the 'domestic abuse victim tax' - please sign the petition
Please sign the new petition calling for the UK Government to scrap the ‘cruel and callous’ tax on victims of domestic abuse. The petition calls for the UK Government to remove the 4% collection charge on child maintenance payments that applies to parents using the ‘Collect-and-Pay’ service.
 
  Read More...
Image: Conference on Populorum Progressio 18th March, 2017. Renfield St Stephen's Centre

 

The programme for the day begins with a morning input by Fr Donal Dorr MD. Fr Donal is a priest of St Patrick’s Missionary Society, and well-known author and presenter. His book Option for the Poor and for the Earth is recognised a classic in its field. Later in the morning, there will be an opportunity for discussion with Fr Donal. 

The afternoon will see Duncan Maclaren KCSC, discuss Integral Human Development and the contribution we in Scotland can make. It also gives us a forum for consideration of the import of the Dicastery for IHD which Pope Francis has created and which came into operation on 1st January this year.

This conference is free and open to all.

Tickets from Eventbrite   

Image: Pope meets representatives of indigenous peoples

Pope Francis met with a group representing indigenous peoples ahead of his Wednesday General Audience, speaking to them about the need to "reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories"

Details   

Image: One Day Without Us National Day of Action.

1 Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on 20th Feb 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.

For 24 hours, migrants from inside and outside the European Union, and everyone who supports them, are invited to celebrate the contribution that migrants make.

Details of Scottish events here   

Image:  UK failing to protect refugee children

The UK is failing in its responsibility to protect some of the world's most vulnerable people, says the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Independent Catholic News

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Statement

    

We were shocked and disappointed to learn that the UK Government intends to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. To have stopped this programme at fewer than 12% of the original commitment of 3,000 children is reprehensible.   Read More...

Image: Refugee Scheme Closes After Accepting Just 350 Children

The Government has decided to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. 

  
Image: English Bishops denounce Trump Travel Ban


On Sunday, 5 February, Cardinal Vincent, spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour about the executive order issued by President Trump which suspends the refugee acceptance programme for 120 days, prioritises refugee claims of religious-based persecution and imposes a travel ban on nations from a countries of 'particular concern' (seven, predominantly Muslim, countries have been named).

Full details on Independent Catholic News website

And the the lead bishop for migrants, Bishop Paul McAleenan, an auxiliary of Westminster Diocese, called on Catholics to oppose Trump’s ban.

Full details in The Tablet   

Image: Disability Rights

A new report alleges that disabled people are having their human rights violated by the UK government.The findings are contained in a report by Inclusion Scotland, working with colleagues in England and Wales, on how disabled people’s rights are being met. It concludes that there is evidence that the UK government is breaching its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

Read the Scottish Report

    

Image: President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration

Statement by Justice and Peace Scotland on the Executive Order 'Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States'   Read More...

Image: Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January, 2017

Further information

Holocaust Memorial Day

Events in Scotland

How can life go on? (film)   

Image: Holy Land Coordination

The Bishops' annual visit to Holy Land, 14-19 January, promoted dialogue and the building of bridges on the 50th anniversary of occupation.

The photo shows Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, the President of Justice and Peace Scotland, at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza

Further information and final communique


    

Image: Radio Alba Scottish Christian Internet Radio

Radioalba.org is sponsored by Glasgow Churches Together, by the music committee of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and by ACTS. 

Marian Pallister, Vice Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, gives a monthly reflection on Justice and Peace issues. See Events Diary.   

Image: New US Administration

The Sisters of St Joseph of Boston have put together a prayer calendar for the first 100 days of the new administration.

The content encourages unity and reconciliation and offers support to people who may be vulnerable to policy changes. 

Download the calendar here.   

Image: Spirituality of Conflict A lectionary-based resource, looking at bible stories through the lens of conflict, and the lens of peace.

 

Spirituality of Conflict is a website dedicated to reading the gospel texts through the lens of conflict and reading conflict through the lens of the gospel texts. lt publishes reflections for the gospel reading for every Sunday of the three year lectionary cycle

www.spiritualityofconflict.com.   

Image: Pope rejects economic system that discards people not considered 'useful'

"A world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane"

Independent Catholic News   

Image: Inspirational Music In our blog, teacher, lecturer and musician Dr. Frank O'Hagan gives a personal view on the use of music to inspire work for social justice.

 

Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant (Henry David Thoreau).

    Read More...

Image: Hidden Treasure International Taize Weekend: Birmingham

Hundreds of young adults (16-35) from across Europe will be travelling to Birmingham in the spring - to take part in a gathering led by the Taizé Community from Friday 28th April - Monday 1st May 2017.

The weekend will explore the theme of Hidden Treasure: The small and often hidden ways in which Christians are nourishing their faith through prayer, and acts of solidarity with those in most need.

Further details   

Image: Pope Francis's address to the members of the diplomatic corps

Pope Francis's address to the diplomats accredited to the Holy See touches on issues of social justice - migrants, arms race, nuclear weapons, climate change. 

Full text of the address.   

Image: Doing good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century

The Christian think Theos has launched 'Doing Good', a report on the future of Christianity, drawing on a decade of research.

 

It is available to download from the Theos Website   

Image: Justice and Peace Sunday, 8th January, 2017 Letter to all parishes from Bishop Nolan.

 

In his letter to parishes, Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, President of the Justice and Commission, reflects on the need for peace in our world.   Read More...

2016

Image: Signs of the Times? "The church must continually examine the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel" Gaudium et Spes, 1965. p.4.

 

In the United States, a parish in New Jersey,  St. Anne Parish, Fair Lawn, held a prayer service with a difference. Participants reflected upon issues such as immigration, the economy and prejudice with prayers interspersed by Pope Francis' words.

Read the full NCR article   

Image: A Christmas Message from Pope Francis

The birth of Jesus should remind world of the suffering of children today, pontiff says in Christmas Eve address at Vatican

Read More   

Image: The Christmas Message In our blog, Commission member John Seenan urges activity for Justice and Peace as one way of responding to the Christmas message.
  Read More...
Image: Church and Homelessness Survey

The charity Word on the Streets has teamed up with Church Housing Trust and Housing Justice to create a short survey about how your church responds to the needs of homeless people.

The purpose of the survey is to find out what churches are doing for homeless people and the challenges faced in meeting the seemingly increasing demand. This information will be used to inform church leaders and policy makers about the role the church community is playing, and the support and resources needed.

Access the survey   

Image: Regaining trust and countering fear Human Rights as a tool against transgression and populism

 

Statement on Human Rights Day - 10th December -  adopted by Justice and Peace Europe    

Image: Church Action on Poverty Ask your MP to call for a review of benefit sanctions

 

The Government claims that benefit sanctions improve people's employment prospects. But a recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) showed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has no direct evidence for the effectiveness of sanctions, has failed to analyse the data it holds about sanctions, and has refused to share data with other researchers or assist those researchers. 

CAP asks us to contact our MP to press for a review.   

Image: Loving one another Gender Based Violence

 

Christian Aid Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church have released a new biblical resource that addresses gender-based violence. It is available for download from the Christian Aid website   

Image: Caritas Cares Report End poverty in Europe - Our solutions to make it happen

 

The 1st in the new Caritas Cares Report series, this report contributes to the European debate on the role of welfare as a poverty preventing tool. 

Access at:http://www.caritas.eu/publications   Read More...

Image: Interfaith Week: the Interfaith Food Justice Declaration Event In our blog, Commission member Grace Buckley reports on activities during Interfaith Week


I have to admit that I could not claim any great knowledge of Interfaith Week in the past but this year it really impacted my awareness with two events in particular raising its profile in Glasgow: the launching of Interfaith Glasgow as a separate charity at Glasgow City Chambers on 14th November and the signing of the Interfaith Food Justice Declaration at the new Glasgow Central Gurdwara on 17th November.     Read More...

Image: New Social Outreach Initiative

The Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh marked Scotland’s national day by launching a new social outreach initiative, Caritas Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.    Read More...

Image: UK Immigration Centres Record 218 Hunger Strikers in Three Months An article in the Guardian states that figures obtained through FoI reveals the scale of desperation among asylum seekers in UK.   
Image: St Andrew's Day Anti Racism March and Rally No to Racism: protecting rights, defending communities
Join us for the march and rally. Details on STUC website.   
Image: End Hunger UK This campaign, supported by Church Action on Poverty amongst others, aims to put pressure on government and politicians to take seriously the issue of hunger in the UK. See the campaign's website for more details.   
Image: Simon Community Appeal for Sleeping Bags

Simon Community Scotland is also urging the general public to donate rucksacks and handbags full of essential items, such as food, clothes and toiletries for men and women. 

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Image: Experts Prove Link between Sanctions & Foodbanks

 

An academic study has proven the link between benefits sanctions and foodbank use. Oxford University experts have mapped official sanctions data against foodbank referrals figures and concluded that a "robust link" exists.   Read More...

Image: Please pray for our much loved former president Bishop John Mone RIP Bishop John died in his sleep shortly before 6am on Friday 14 October. May he rest in peace. Paisley diocesan website   
Image: Justice & Peace Europe: Statement on Europe Build bridges of justice rather than walls of fear
The Final Declaration from the European Justice and Peace Commission, International Workshop and General Assembly, Luxembourg, 30 Sept-3 Oct 2016   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 2016 16th - 22nd of October Challenge Poverty Week aims to bring together organisations from across civil society - from grassroots community groups to national voluntary organisations, trade unions and faith groups to highlight what they are doing to address poverty.
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Image: Citizens Advice Scotland: 'Living at the Sharp End’ New Report Exposes Severe Poverty In Scotland
The new CAS report, ‘Living at the Sharp End’, is based on Scottish CAB evidence over the last four years, as well as a survey of CAB clients and special focus groups of those who are living in severe poverty. It finds that the social security system is failing to provide the essential safety net that is meant to stop people falling into poverty.   Read More...
Image: Impact of poverty costs the UK £78bn a year, says report Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that dealing with the effects of deprivation costs £1,200 for each person in Britain
Dealing with the effects of poverty costs the public purse £78bn a year, or £1,200 for every person in the UK, according to the first wide-ranging report into the impact of deprivation on Britain’s finances. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) estimates that the impact and cost of poverty accounts for £1 in every £5 spent on public services. (Katie Allen The Guardian)    Read More...
Image: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2014/15 Statistics published by the Scottish Govt 28/6/16
This publication presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland.  The estimates are used to monitor progress in reducing poverty and income inequality.  The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2014 to March 2015   Read More...
Image: Fairer taxation strengthens social justice Statement of Justice and Peace Europe on recent decisions of the Council of the European Union. 'In a period of growing income inequalities taxation must become fairer. That everybody and every company pays its fair share of taxes must be a key policy goal.'   Read More...
Image: Referendum voices from the Churches and Justice and Peace groups around the UK At a meeting on 1 June 2016 members of English and Welsh National Justice and Peace Network executive expressed great concern at the content and tone of the debate on the forthcoming European referendum. Read this full statement and other church voices on the EU referendum from around the UK'    Read More...
Image: Small is still beautiful:  Rerum Novarum 125 years on, by Archbishop Leo Cushley Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh is marking the 125th anniversary of a landmark Papal encyclical – Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum – by re-proposing its social teaching as 'enormously relevant to modern-day Scottish society’s pursuit of the common good'. “At the foundation of Pope Leo’s vision was an unshakable belief in the intrinsic value of every man, woman and child,” writes Archbishop Cushley in the Scotsman, 9 June, 2016. “The measure of any political, moral or economic order was to be the degree to which it threatened or enhanced the life and dignity of the human person.”   Read More...
Image: Too poor to eat: 8.4 million struggling to afford to eat in the UK A review of the new UN data by the Food Foundation and Oxford University shows that the number of people who are food insecure in the UK goes far beyond those using charitable food assistance such as food banks. These new data raise important questions for the Government:   Read More...
Image: Call for UK churches to build a 'church of the poor' Prominent church leaders and thinkers have issued a call to action for all the UK's churches, echoing Pope Francis' wish to see "a poor church, for the poor".  (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: CARITAS EUROPA: listening to the periphery Marian Pallister, Argyll & the Isles Justice and Peace Commissioner and SCIAF ambassador travelled to Lourdes with SCIAF for the Caritas Europa conference at which strategies for 2016 to 2020 were discussed. Issues discussed by delegates included family and child poverty, the refugee crisis, and the world financial situation. These are Marian’s personal reflections on the conference.    Read More...
Image: Destitution in the UK A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
1.25m people, including over 300k children, are destitute. This report defines destitution in the UK, looking at how many people are affected, who they are, and the main pathways in and out of destitution. It looks at the impact and experience of those people directly affected.   Read More...
Image: Use new powers to tackle poverty, Scottish parties urged  Poverty Alliance Manifesto Scottish Parliament Elections 2016
THE LEADING ALLIANCE of anti-poverty campaigners and charities have urged the major parties to pursue a more radical agenda using Holyrood's new powers. Build a Scottish social security system, roll out the Living Wage, and tackle stigma of poverty: this is the message issued by anti-poverty campaigners keen to see Holyrood's new powers used effectively.   Read More...
Image: Bishops urge Catholics to 'be active participants in shaping a better society' In a letter which was read in all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes on the weekend of 9/10 April, Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops urged parishioners to be 'active participants in shaping a better society' not simply 'passive spectators' they also encouraged greater participation in the political process, suggesting; 'you might well consider it worthwhile to join a political party'.   Read More...
Image: Poverty in Scotland 2016 Poverty in Scotland 2016 is the latest edition in the series from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and partners and provides a useful and informed overview of the poverty and anti-poverty policies that will form the context for the next elected Scottish Parliament set to enjoy significant new powers.   Read More...
Image: SCPO Scottish Elections 2016 resource The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office have put together a collection of topical briefings designed for Scottish church groups who are planning an election meeting / hustings event.   Read More...
Image: Growing Economic Inequality and Taxation - A Challenge for Europe and the World European Justice and Peace Acction
The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (Justice and Peace Europe) annual Concerted Action 2016.  The theme “Growing Economic Inequality and Taxation – A Challenge for Europe and the World”.   Read More...
Image: Faith in Throughcare - could you volunteer? Faith in Throughcare works in local communities in some of the most challenged areas of Scotland. They recruit and train volunteers from all walks of life to mentor someone returning to their community after a short prison sentence. They are currently active in North Glasgow, Greenock/ Port Glasgow and Kilmarnock.   Read More...
Image: Church Action on Poverty Sunday - 7 February  Break bread with Church Action on Poverty

Food is a gift from God. But in the UK today, thousands of people are denied access to that gift by injustices that leave them destitute. Churches play a vital role in sharing food with those who need it – and speaking out to ensure that nobody goes without. Break bread with us on Church Action on Poverty Sunday!   Read More...

Image: New Bedroom Tax Research Confirms Campaigners’ Fears Joint Public Issues Team blog
Announced quietly, on the last day of Parliament in 2015, the findings from the Government-ordered evaluation of the bedroom tax make disturbing reading. 75% of those affected are cutting back on food.  The bedroom tax was one of the most controversial and widely condemned policies included within the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2012   Read More...
Image: Homeless Sunday 24 January 2016 Through prayer and reflection, Homeless Sunday offers an opportunity to listen to what God has to say about homelessness, and to consider what action we are being called to take. Homeless Sunday 2016 will be held on 24 January, with the theme Connect, Challenge, Commit.   Read More...
Image: Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2015: Scotland Read the latest study co-funded by Crisis and JRF that provides an independent analysis of the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments across in the UK; this report focuses on Scotland.   Read More...

2015

Image: Public in Scotland: need for food banks ‘fundamentally wrong’ A new poll revealed a huge majority of people in Scotland believe the need for food banks is a sign that something is ‘fundamentally wrong’ in our society. The research, which was commissioned by Oxfam Scotland, also indicates strong support for action to reduce the need for food banks – and wider food insecurity – in Scotland.   Read More...
Image: Resources for the Day of Prayer for Peace Bishop Nolan’s letter is the primary resource for the day. A copy has been posted to every parish in Scotland and is available to download here from 2 January. Please try to ensure that it is read out in your parish. It represents the Scottish contribution to the universal Church’s message. Resources are available for use in the parish   Read More...
Image: Future Scotland: Social Security…The Story So Far The Scottish Government have released an update on the Fairer Scotland discussions that have been taking place across the country, the report focuses on how Scotland might use the further Social Security powers to be devolved as part of the Smith Commission settlement.   Read More...
Image: Cafod Advent Calendar Visit the CAFOD Advent Calendar each day during Advent, and join in prayer and share the gift of hope. Inspired by our faith, we wait with joyful hope for Christ to come into our world. And we stand alongside our sisters and brothers who hope to lift themselves out of poverty.   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 17-23 October 2015

More than 900,000 people in Scotland live in low income households. In a rich country like ours this is unnecessary and unacceptable. Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for you to raise you voice against poverty and show what is being done to tackle poverty across. Organisations large and small supported Challenge Poverty Week last year, and we hope even more get behind it this year.   Read More...

Image: UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17 October Event in Glasgow
On October 17 1987, 100,000 people from around the world gathered together in Paris to bear witness to people living in poverty throughout the world.  The event was organised by the international movement ATD Fourth World and during it a large commemorative stone was unveiled, part of which reads, 'Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated.  It is our solemn duty to come together to ensure that these rights are respected'.    Read More...
Image: Details of welfare cuts and the impact of the budget on the most vulnerable  It would be quite misleading to describe the 2015 Summer Budget as a "one nation budget" or as favouring "working families" and "giving the nation a pay rise" in any meaningful sense, says Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. On the contrary it hits low income households and disabled people, and will increase further Britain's alarming levels of inequality. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Measuring Poverty by Counting the Faults of the Poor The Government is intending to change how it measures child poverty. We will move from counting people’s ability to afford the basics of everyday life to counting a selective and set of personal characteristics which muddle the causes and effects of poverty. The question asked by the proposed measures is not “Are you poor?” it is instead “What personal flaws can your poverty be blamed on?”. (Joint Public Issues Team)   Read More...
Image: Mandela Day Sat. 18th July.

Volunteers needed to help with loading the book container on Mandela Day - Sat. 18th July (10am - 12 noon) Formal send off of the container at Glasgow City Chambers at 2pm. Plus event in Ayr.   Read More...

Image: Concern over additional seven-day Universal Credit waiting period The government has announced that it intends to proceed with proposals to introduce a seven-day waiting period before claimants are eligible for Universal Credit which is already paid a month in arrears. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: A Scotland Without Poverty - New Report For 12 months from May 2013 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation supported the Poverty Alliance to carry out a range of activities that would help ensure that the voices and experiences of those living on low incomes in Scotland were included as part of their UK Anti-Poverty Strategies research programme. This short report highlights what, for the communities and individuals we have engaged with, a Scotland without of poverty would mean to them. It sought to identify what some of the main challenges are, and how these may be addressed over the short and longer term.

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Image: Call on the new Government to rethink benefit sanctions Today's benefit sanctions system is unjust and damaging to some the country’s most vulnerable people. It is clear that it punishes people who need support and drives many into desperation and hunger. Please help make MPs aware of this grave injustice.   Read More...
Image: Scottish Bishops issue Election Letter In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic churches in Scotland, Scotland's Catholic Bishops, will urge parishioners to participate in the 2015 General Election and to be informed by the teachings of the Church. The detailed statement will list; Life, the Family, the economy, Human Freedom, Peace and Evangelisation as key areas   Read More...
Image: The Election, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching One of the issues that voters will be considering ahead of the General Election on 7 May is membership of the European Union, an institution whose origins are rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The same principles are helpful in deciding who we will vote for; and what expectations and limitations we would like to see placed on the government that eventually forms. (Thinking Faith)   Read More...
Image: Church agencies say Budget fails the poorest  Church agencies have expressed their disappointment at the Budget, which they say will hurt the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas. Helen O'Brien, Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) which represents 41 Catholic charities in England and Wales, said: "whilst the increased funds Church agencies for children's mental health services and support for small charities through Gift Aid regulations are welcome, significant further cuts for welfare and public spending in this year's Budget Statement will fail to stop the squeeze on the most vulnerable.   Read More...
Image: General Election 2015: Briefing There is a wide range of election briefing  available online. Some of this briefing also contains useful instructions for mounting a hustings.  If you are thinking of organising hustings, it is important to be aware of legal responsibilities. It is also important to remember that this is an election for the Westminster Parliament, whose jurisdiction is restricted to reserved matters     Read More...
Image: 100,000 children hit by benefit sanctions last year - time to rethink sanctions Please call on your MP to rethink the unjust and inhumane benefit sanctions regime- Church Action on Poverty Campaign

If you commit a crime, no criminal court in the UK is allowed to make you go hungry as a punishment. But if you’re late for an appointment at the Jobcentre, they can remove all your income and leave you unable to feed yourself or your family for weeks at a time. Email your MP now!   Read More...

Image: All women should have access to protection International Women’s Day on 8 March is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come but also on what still needs to change to create a more equal and diverse society. One area in which change is desperately needed is the treatment of asylum seeking women in the UK. (Refugee Council)   Read More...
Image: Nearly 100,000 children affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14, say churches A new report from a coalition of major UK Churches has revealed that around 100,000 children were affected by benefit sanctions in 2013/14. It also shows that in the same period a total of nearly 7 million weeks of sanctions were handed out to benefit claimants. The new data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, featured in the 2 March,episode of Channel 4's Dispatches, entitled 'Britain's Benefits Crackdown.'  (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Report launched into Emergency Food Aid New research from the Poverty Alliance has highlighted the extent of emergency food aid provision across Scotland, showing that many organisations and groups are giving urgent support to thousands of Scots every year. As part of a Scottish Government funded study into the role of food banks and other emergency food aid provider’s 167 providers of emergency food aid were identified. The research also showed that many of these organisations were providing more than food alone.   Read More...
Image: UN World Day of Social Justice: 20 February UN World Day of Social Justice  Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.   Read More...
Image: Justice and Peace Lenten Resources Excellent downloadable Lenten resources have been produced by J&P activists in Shrewsbury Diocese on behalf of the English and Welsh National Justice and Peace Network. They include ‘A Lenten Journey: Action and Reflection Suggestions for Lent 2015’.   Read More...

2014

Image: It shouldn't cost money to be poor! Call for action to end the unfair 'Poverty Premium' In the UK today, people on low incomes pay the highest prices for many essential goods and services: for food, for fuel, for finance, for furniture, and even funerals. This 'Poverty Premium' costs the average low-income family an extra £1,300 every year. The Scottish and UK Governments both need to take urgent action to end the injustice of the Poverty Premium.  Please send an email today to urge them to do so.   Read More...
Image: Pope Francis’ Message on Social Justice At a recent meeting (27-29 October) in Rome organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis met with the leaders of Popular Movements whose commitment in the search for social justice is well known. The Pope’s address to participants is a stirring restatement of many of the themes he has recently put at the forefront of his pontificate. ‘I accompany you with my heart on this journey. Let us say together from our heart: no family without a dwelling, no rural workers without land, no worker without rights, no person without the dignity that work gives.’   Read More...
Image: Death of Gerard W Hughes SJ Fr. Gerry Hughes SJ, probably known to many readers, either personally for his social justice work in and beyond Scotland, as well as through his writings, died last week at the age of 90. Here is an appreciation by the order to which he gave he gave his life. It was certainly a life worth celebrating and he influenced many of us.   Read More...
Image: Number of low-paid workers across Britain hits record high The proportion of employees in low-paid work across Britain increased from 21 to 22 per cent last year - to just over five million people - a Resolution Foundation report has revealed. Low Pay Britain 2014, the Resolution Foundation's annual audit of low pay across Britain, finds that the number of people earning less than two-thirds of median hourly pay, equivalent to £7.69 an hour, rose to 5.2 million, an increase of 250,000 on the previous year. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Child poverty map shows shocking levels of hardship across Scotland The Campaign to End Child Poverty published (15 Oct) figures that provide a child poverty map of Scotland. The new statistics, released during Challenge Poverty Week in Scotland show levels of child poverty at local authority and ward level for MP’s constituencies. According to the new figures, one in three children in Glasgow live in poverty, while more than a quarter of children in five other local authorities are also growing up in poverty: Clackmannanshire (26%), Dundee (28%), East Ayrshire (26%), Inverclyde (26%) and North Ayrshire (27%).   Read More...
Image: Living Wage Week 2-8 November What is Living Wage Week? Living Wage Week takes place each November, it is a UK-wide celebration of the Living Wage and Living Wage Employers. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the Living Wage and the Living Wage Employer Mark   Read More...
Image: Disabled Scots left destitute by new payments system CAS report says disabled Scots are being left in poverty by delays in new system
A new payments system is forcing many disabled Scots into poverty for months without the means to pay for basics like food, fuel and housing - according to a new report by Citizens Advice Scotland. (Third Force News)   Read More...
Image: Challenge Poverty Week 12-18 October 2014 More than 800,000 people in Scotland live in low income households. In a rich country like ours this is unnecessary and unacceptable. Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for you to help fight poverty and hardship in Scotland. More than 40 organisations and groups supported Challenge Poverty Week last year, and we hope even more get behind it this year.   Read More...
Image: Post-2015 development agenda centre stage at UN General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly opened its 69th annual session on 16 September with the body's new President declaring that it would be a historic opportunity to formulate a post-2015 development agenda that is transformative, brings tangible results in fighting poverty, and leads to improving lives of all people. (Ekklesia)   Read More...

'This briefing is not in support of either YES or NO viewpoints. It examines the topic of the Referendum and tries to put the issue in the context of Catholic Social Teaching; with a view to assisting people to come to their own decision through an awareness of this tradition.'   Read More...

Image: Statement on Fergusons of Port Glasgow from Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley Commenting on the closure of the Ferguson Shipbuilders yard in Port Glasgow, Bishop John Keenan said:  “Together with the entire community of Port Glasgow and the whole population of Inverclyde, I was deeply saddened to hear the news last week that Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow had gone into administration after more than 100 years in business.”   Read More...
Image: How can our faith help us in our reflection on the upcoming Independence Referendum?

What are our hopes and dreams for our nation, whatever the outcome of the vote? If you would like to take time to reflect on these questions, and support others to do the same, why not lead a Referendum reflection group? The aim of the groups is to assist parishioners in reflecting on the referendum through the prism of faith; in particular to consider what our hopes are for our nation, and what values we wish to foster whatever the outcome of the vote in September. Materials are available here, written by Miriam McHardy from The Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.   

Image: Independence Referendum: prayers and liturgical material

ACTS has prepared prayers and liturgical material for use on the Sundays before and after the Scottish Independence Referendum (Thursday 18th September 2014). These prayers and liturgical materials are freely available for direct use or adaptation either in a main service or for small groups.   Read More...

Image: Welfare reforms fail the Prime Minister’s new family test, says TUC The majority of social security cuts announced by the government will fall on working families, who will suffer twice the level of benefit losses as out of work families, according to a new report published on 22 August by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Paisley diocese - launch of Just Faith

Just Faith is a joint outreach initiative by Justice & Peace, SCIAF and Mission Matters Scotland. The aim of the project is to share the social justice work of the Church and to encourage Catholics to connect our faith with action for change.  The launch event for Paisley Diocese will take place on Friday 29 August from 6pm – 8pm in the diocesan office, Incle Street, Paisley.   Read More...

Wednesday 6th August at 7pm in Holy Cross Parish Hall, Croy J&P are hosting; "Referendum Debate- Moral Choices?" The Justice & Peace Group has arranged an “Any Questions”-type evening. Both campaigns are sending good speakers: Jamie Hepburn MSP for “Yes Scotland” and Cllr. Jackie Burns for “Better Together”.  The former has been MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth since 2011. The latter is currently the deputy leader of South Lanarkshire Council. Morag Donaldson is a member of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland and was involved in producing “Our Vision imagining Scotland’s Future. She will open the evening by a short presentation of their conclusions. As you know the Church of Scotland Council like Justice and Peace are non political and such will aim to ensure that an informed debate takes place.   
Image: UK 'Sleepwalking Into Violating Disabled People's Human Rights' The UK government is risking "systematic violation" of international human rights law in its treatment of disabled people, charities claim. Britain is a signatory to a binding UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, and the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights. Austerity measures and welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax mean the rights of disabled people to independent living, work, and social security have been undermined, causing significant hardship, say campaigners,  (The Guardian, 07/07/14)   Read More...
Image: Tough Love or Tough Luck Two reports published by the Scottish Government Welfare Reform Committee in June highlight the real and damaging impact of sanctions and benefit reforms across Scotland. Evidence shows the biggest impact of welfare reform falls on the poorest and especially those living in Glasgow whose working age residents lose the equivalent of £620 a year although a number of other older industrial areas across Scotland are also hit hard. The reports are available here.



  
Image: New Statistics Show Increasing In-Work Poverty in Scotland Figures published on July 1st 2014 by the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality show a rise in the number of people in Scotland living in poverty, and highlights the continuing increase in in-work poverty.  In 2012/13, 16 per cent of people in Scotland were living in poverty, compared with 14 per cent the previous year.  In real terms, this means that there are now 820,000 individuals are now living in poverty in Scotland. The report found that children were the group most likely to be living in poverty, with 19 per cent of children living in poverty, compared to 15 per cent of working age adults and 15 per cent of pensioners. (Poverty Alliance)   Read More...
Image: Pope Francis on being careful

‘The media recently carried various versions of a story claiming that Pope Francis had offered an opinion on the Referendum. This item puts the matter in context and fully explains what Pope Francis actually said.’   

Image: Scottish MEPs Sign Pledge to Tackle Poverty Four of Scotland's recently elected MEPs have signed the European Anti Poverty Network's pledge to tackle poverty.  The four who signed the pledge were Labour party MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler, and SNP MEPs Alyn Smith and Ian Hughton.    Read More...
Image: 3.5m Children Predicted to be in Poverty by 2020 The level of child poverty in Britain is "a stain on our national conscience", leading charities have said as a Government adviser warns today that its reforms are failing to tackle the problem. While the economy may be improving and home-owners are benefiting from rising prices, a shocking report published today by the nation's social mobility tsar predicts that Britain will have 3.5 million children living in poverty by 2020. (Emily Dugan, Independent, 09/06/14)   Read More...
Image: European Elections 2014 The following series of resources provides useful background as well as things to consider in the run up to the Elections on 22 May 2014.   Read More...
Image: UK is violating the basic right to food, say charities More than 20 charities, including , the Child Poverty Action Group and Church Action on Poverty have signed a statement accusing the UK of violating the basic right to food. The action follows a letter to the government from 600 Christian clergy and bishops seeking urgent action on the scandal of foodbanks and food poverty, a similer statement from Jewish leaders, and the nationwide End Hunger Fast and many others - in solidarity with 900,000 people going hungry or short of food. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: The media argument over welfare reform The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), meeting in Dundee from 14-16 April 2014), has passed an extensive motion on welfare reform and the effects of poverty in the UK. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow supported this motion on behalf of the National Union of Journalists in Scotland, with particular reference to the role of different sections of the media and its relation to policy-making. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Age is not a factor - email action Scottish Churches Housing Action is backing a call to MSPs to reject a change proposed in the current Housing Bill.  Shelter Scotland and a range of other organisations agree that introducing an age criterion into letting houses runs the risk of making discrimination against young people worse.  Social landlords such as councils and housing associations want to introduce this measure.  

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Image: Disabled and sick people call for an overhaul of failing jobs support system A key new report published on 9 April highlights the failure of the government's employment support and sanctions system for disabled people and spells out the alternative approach and attitude needed. Beyond the Barriers has been researched, written and produced by disabled and sick people themselves, through the Spartacus Network, an online research and advocacy organisation. It has been co-published by Ekklesia and is already attracting support from major charities, politicians and figures in public life. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: New research shows continuing harm caused by bedroom tax New research shows that the number of households hit by the bedroom tax has fallen by just 15 per cent during the last year, with nearly six out of seven affected households unable to avoid a cut in rent support. The research, sourced under the Freedom of Information Act by advocacy outfit False Economy, reveals that the number of households subject to the bedroom tax – which results in a reduction in their housing benefit – has actually increased in some local authorities, and barely fallen in others. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Take action for fairer supermarkets Traidcraft campaign
One man in Brussels is on the verge of a decision which could stop bullying by Europe’s biggest supermarkets. In these next critical weeks will you help to keep the pressure up?  Whether you’ve already taken action on this issue or not please add your voice now. Call on the Commissioner to announce tough European action on supermarkets. Email Commissioner Barnier today.   Read More...
Image: Housing support cuts 'risk putting families into debt', says charity The Children's Society has made a strong response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee report on housing support in the reformed welfare system. Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, commented: "This report shines a spotlight on the damage that some of the government's changes to housing support are causing many of the UK's poorest children and families. (Ekklesia)

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Image: End Hunger Fast - join the national day of fasting on April 4th

Britain is hungry. Half a million people used food banks in the last year. Charitable support programmes are rapidly expanding but nonetheless a quarter of families are shrinking portion sizes. 5,500 people were admitted to hospital for malnutrition last year. No one should go hungry in Britain. More and more people are just one unexpected bill away from facing bare cupboards. This is a national and moral crisis and government must act to protect the half a million going hungry in Britain.   Read More...

Image: Walking the breadline - Church Action on Poverty Campaign Plus new 'End Hunger Fast' campaign launched
Last year, half a million people in the UK depended on emergency food aid. The single most common reason for people to need food aid is that their benefits have been changed, delayed or stopped. The explosion in food poverty and the use of food banks is a national disgrace. It undermines the UK's commitment to ensuring all its citizens have access to food - one of the most basic human rights.   Read More...
In February 2013 the Church and Society Council supported So Say Scotland to host the Thinking Together Citizens Assembly. From this experience a simplified event was made available for congregations to facilitate community-wide discussions in a neutral, safe space. It was intended as a method of opening up discussion on the values folk want to see in Scotland in the future by focusing on 3 questions:   Read More...
Image: Archbishop condemns the UK Government's austerity programme as a ‘disgrace’ Archbishop Vincent Nichols  condemned the UK Government's austerity programme as a ‘disgrace’, leaving increasing numbers of people to face “hunger and destitution”.  In a hard-hitting interview published in the Telegraph, the Archbishop of Westminster said that while the need to reduce spending on benefits is widely accepted, the Government’s reforms have now destroyed even the “basic safety net”.   Read More...
Image: New report says five million workers excluded from recovery A new report, Working for Poverty, from the Living Wage Commission (a 12 month independent inquiry into the future of the Living Wage, chaired by Archbishop of York John Sentamu) says the economic recovery will have no effect for one in five workers unless employers pay a Living Wage. (Ekklesia)     Read More...
Image: Bedroom Tax The Scottish Government's Welfare Reform Committee has published its Interim Report on the 'Bedroom Tax'.  The report looks at whom the 'bedroom tax' is affecting and makes the case that it may cost more than it saves and possibly breaches tenants' human rights.

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Image: Iain Duncan Smith's latest attack on welfare branded 'offensive' Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's latest comments on welfare and benefits are offensive, misleading and out of touch, say critics. He has compared his role in cutting welfare with the work of abolitionists and likened receiving benefits to slavery. Charities and NGOs, are now getting behind a new initiative called 'Who Benefits?' which aims to share personal stories to illustrate the reality of who needs help, why they need it and the difference that it makes. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Consultation on Scottish Welfare Fund The Scottish Welfare Fund was established earlier this year as an interim replacement for the discretionary Social Fund. The Scottish Government is now consulting on plans to give the SWF a secure statutory footing. The consultation on the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill is open until 7 February 2014. The consultation is also seeking views on options for independent scrutiny of decisions made by Local Authorities on applications to the SWF.   Read More...
Image: Poverty & Homelessness Action Week 25 January – 2 February 2014
Poverty & Homelessness Action Week includes Poverty Action Sunday and Homelessness Sunday. It is organised by Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action.   Read More...

2013

Image: Foodbank users need justice more than charity, says church leader The head of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council says that what she wants for Christmas is real justice for people currently reliant on foodbanks. Her comments came in the wake of a Westminster debate on foodbanks, provoked by a petition signed by 142,000 members of the public, in which many MPs on the government side were dismissive towards heart-rending stories of suffering associated with the alarming growth in food poverty across the country. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Government ignored independent reviewer on incapacity benefit changes

The UK government pushed disabled people from Incapacity Benefit (IB) to the failing new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) system against the wishes of their independent, expert assessor, it has been revealed. Yet by 2010 when the decision was made it was clear, say critics, that there were significant flaws in the process. People with mental health and fluctuating conditions were not being fairly treated and successful appeals against “fit for work” decisions soared to 42 per cent. (Ekklesia)   Read More...

Image: Please sign the welfare assessment petition  Let's get the welfare assessment petition over the line! Welfare changes and cuts are already harming disabled and sick people across the UK. Please sign the WoW e-government petition calling for a cumulative impact assessment. Just over 15,000 more signatories are needed by 12 December to help trigger a parliamentary debate. Read, sign and promote the petition   Read More...
Image: Disabled being hit hardest by the Bedroom Tax in Scotland Disabled and sick people in Scotland are being hit the hardest by Westminster's cruel Bedroom Tax. New figures published by Citizens Advice Scotland shows 80 per cent of the 82,000 in Scotland affected by the damaging tax are disabled. CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch commented: "Like so many of the recent welfare reforms, this is a measure that is principally hitting the most vulnerable people in our society, making their difficult situations even worse." (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Prisoners Week 17-24 November Time to Change? is the theme of this year's Prisoners Week  Prisoners Week is an opportunity to reflect on change that leads to better care for all affected by crime and imprisonment. What changes might be needed to support citizens returning from prison? Change is welcomed by some, others are more cautious. It’s tempting to think that everyone else needs to change.   Read More...
Image: EDM 620: Support for People During Reconsideration of Employment and Support Allowance Please ask you MP to sign this Early Day Motion
That this House notes that at present people who apply for employment and support allowance (ESA) and are declared fit for work can ask for this decision to be reconsidered prior to lodging a formal appeal; further notes that at present people can continue to receive ESA at the assessment rate during this period; welcomes the introduction of reconsideration in all cases as of 28 October 2013; expresses concern that people will no longer be able to claim ESA during this period;   Read More...
Image: Benefit cap struggling to meet its aims, CIH research shows The government’s benefit cap will struggle to deliver its objectives of saving taxpayers’ money and encouraging people into work, according to the first major study on the cap’s implementation. The conclusions follow research led by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) into the initial impact of the cap in Haringey – one of four London boroughs chosen by the government to implement the cap early.   Read More...
Image: Church Action on Poverty: Back the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off Email your MP
Church Action on Poverty are concerned about the tidal wave of human misery caused by irresponsible lending. The worst single group of irresponsible lenders are the payday loan companies, who rip off millions of people and trap them in spirals of debt. We need proper regulation and enforcement to make this stop. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new proposals for regulating payday lenders. They are a step in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough.   Read More...
Image: Archbishop urges prayers for Grangemouth workers. Archbishop Leo Cushley has called for prayers for all those affected by the closure threatened Grangemouth plant, situated in his Archdiocese and has urged those “in a position to influence” to work towards “fair outcomes” for all those involved. 
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Image: Challenge Poverty Week 13-19 October The Week is being co-ordinated by the The Poverty Alliance and is centred around the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which takes place annually on 17th October.  Challenge Poverty Week will bring together a wide range of groups and individuals to highlight what is being done to tackle poverty in Scotland and to build momentum for greater action. For more information you can download this paper: Scotland’s 1st Challenge Poverty Week.   
Image: Child Poverty in Britain is Causing 'Social Apartheid' Britain risks 'sleepwalking into a world where inequality becomes so entrenched that our children grow up in a state of social apartheid', according to a leading charity. In a damning report to be published next week, the National Children's Bureau finds that, in many respects, child poverty is now a bigger problem than during the 1960s, when it carried out a seminal study, Born to Fail?. The report compares aspects of children's lives today to data from the Born to Fail? cohort study of 11-year-olds, carried out in 1969. It finds that significantly more children are growing up in relative poverty today - 3.6 million compared with 2 million - and claims that these children suffer "devastating consequences throughout their lives". It adds: 'Today, although there have been some improvements, overall the situation appears to be no better, and in some respects has got worse.'  Guardian 24/08/13
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Image: Wellies in the summer This article on child poverty throughout Scotland was written by Marian Pallister, Justice and Peace Commission member for Argyll and the Isles. The latest figures show that nearly one sixth of children in Argyll and Bute are living in poverty. The article was published in the Scottish Review.   Read More...
Image: Bedroom tax ruling ‘devastating news’ for disabled families The High Court dismissal (30 July) of a legal challenge to the ‘bedroom tax’ will increase the risk of homelessness for disabled families and those with vulnerable children, Shelter is warning. Lawyers acting on behalf of 10 claimants brought the case against the Department for Work and Pensions, supported by evidence from Shelter. The claimants argued that the bedroom tax unfairly discriminates against disabled people by failing to recognise their needs, and that it violates the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.  The High Court ruled today that the reduction of their housing benefit is legal, on the basis that the Government has made an extra pot of money available to local councils to help those affected by the penalties. However, the claimants, along with Shelter, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Birmingham City Council, argued that this money (known as Discretionary Housing Payments, or DHP) is not enough to meet the need.
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Image: Scotland's wealthiest households are now 273-times better off than the most deprived

A new major report from Oxfam, entitled Our Economy highlights the widening wealth gap in Scotland and calls for a change of economic approach. There is a useful account of some of the leading features of the report and comment here

    

Image: Goal of Economics and Politics is to Serve Humanity ‘In a letter to David Cameron, on the occasion of the G8 Meeting in Belfast, Pope Francis asks that ‘for the theme “to attain its broadest and deepest resonance, it is necessary to ensure that all political and economic activity, whether national or international,” makes reference to humanity. “Indeed, such activity must, on the one hand, enable the maximum expression of freedom and creativity, both individual and collective, while on the other hand it must promote and guarantee their responsible exercise in solidarity, with particular attention to the poorest.”’   Read More...
Image: Archbishop Tartaglia speaks on injustice of benefit reforms Archbishop Tartaglia has written to Iain Duncan Smith to ask him to rethink Government tactics on health benefit reform   Read More...
Image: Speak out about the scandal of hunger in 21st century Britain The benefits system is causing hundreds of thousands of people to go hungry. Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam have launched 'Walking the Breadline', a report which shows that food poverty is growing out of control in the UK. Rising prices, spiralling unemployment, and attacks on our social safety net are having a terrible impact. Half a million people are dependent on emergency food aid. Please take action email your MP
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Image: Can Scottish politicians understand that social justice is about everyone?

‘An interesting recent consideration of politicians’ understanding of the meaning of ‘social justice’ by the political commentator Gerry Hassan which points to a lack of clear ideas.’

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Image: Biggest ever increase in UK foodbank use: 170% rise in numbers turning to foodbanks in last 12 months.  Numbers given emergency food 100,000 higher than anticipated.  UK Foodbank charity The Trussell Trust says this must be a wake-up call to the nation   Read More...
Image: Scrap Trident – Defend Disability Rights Since early in 2010, that the cornerstone of the coalition government’s deficit reduction plan was radical and savage cuts to welfare spending. After announcing initial plans to reduce the benefits bill by £18 billion per year by 2014-15, they have ramped up the anti-welfare rhetoric further this year with the announcement that a further £10 billion is to be cut with a new round of reforms from 2017. What is absent from the government’s announcements on welfare ‘reform’ so far, however, is an analysis of just who it is that stands to lose and how exactly that loss will affect them. To some extent, the sheer complexity of the welfare system has assisted the government in hiding the cumulative impact of the changes.
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Image: Benefit cuts: Monday (1st April) will be the day that defines this government Those on low incomes, after all the vicious talk dismissing them as cheats and idlers, will be hit by an avalanche of cuts
Not many know what is about to happen on Monday: neither those about to be knocked down nor those sailing too high above them to notice. But historians will see it as the day that defines the Cameron government.  An avalanche of benefit cuts will hit the same households over and over, with no official assessment of how far this £18bn reduction will send those who are already poor into beggary. (Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, Thursday 28 March)

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Image: Towards a Just Economic Order: Challenges of Catholic Social Teaching National Conference for the Year of Faith organised by Justice & Peace, SCIAF, Catholic Parliamentary office, and Edinburgh Archdiocesan J&P office
Friday 12th (7.30 – 10pm) and Saturday 13th April (9.30-4.30pm), in St Augustine’s High School Edinburgh. This is an important conference which aims to encourage us all to reflect:
• On the current economic crisis and how it affects us and wider society, especially the poor, the marginalised and the most vulnerable. • What an ethical economic system might look like and what Catholic Social Teaching can offer in its development. • What we individually, and as parish and local communities, can practically do to work for change, for a fairer and more just economic system, locally and globally.   Read More...
Image: New report outlines the potential for UK wealth redistribution New research published by the High Pay Centre think-tank reveals that even a modest level of wealth redistribution could make a substantial difference to the standard of living for low-earners, and would not be greatly missed by those at the top. For example, 10% redistributed from those earning £150k+ (about 0.9% of the population) to the bottom 25% would equate to an average 55p per hour pay rise. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Shelter warns of 'bedroom tax' effect on temporary accommodation in Scotland

Applying the bedroom tax to tenants placed in homeless temporary accommodation will have a devastating impact, says Shelter Scotland. Alongside the Chartered Institute of housing in Scotland (CIH Scotland) and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers, the charity has issued a joint letter to Lord Freud, Welfare Reform Minister, urging the Westminster Government to exempt local authority owned temporary accommodation from the under occupation penalties or the so-called 'bedroom tax'. (Ekklesia)



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Image: UN World Day of Social Justice 20 February 2013 is the UN World Day of Social Justice. Its origins, purpose and remit is described as follows: "Social Justice generally means that people should have equal rights and opportunities... There has been a need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment all over the world."  (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Poverty and Homelessness Action Week As Action Week draws to a close, we reflect on how the blame for our economic crisis is being laid on those who are feeling its worst effects. The government and politicians, including the Prime Minister, make the false distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor, the striver and the skiver. Some in the media focus almost entirely on negative stories of those experiencing poverty. The stories of the people who have been made redundant, who have been left with no means of support because of cuts to vital services,  and made homeless because of cuts to housing benefits, are too often marginalised and ignored.
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Image: The blame game must stop: speak out! Every day, people who are struggling to make ends meet are demonised and blamed for their poverty. Politicians and the media use abusive language and images. Scroungers. Skivers. Chavs. Underclass. This language is used to fuel mistrust by contrasting supposed ‘strivers’ with ‘skivers’. It is used to justify cuts to our safety net, which will drive hundreds of thousands of people further into poverty. It dehumanises and degrades people who are already struggling to survive. It adds to the growing gap between rich and poor, by denying a Fair Say to millions of people. If you oppress the poor, you offend the one who made them. (Proverbs 14:31)   Read More...
Image: Thousands of disabled and sick people will be hit by new ESA/WCA changes Hundreds of thousands of disabled and sick people will be wrongly found fit for work and lose vital financial support if government proposals timetabled for 28 January go through, a new analysis finds.  The Employment and Support Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 2012, were tabled at the end of last year but have not been discussed by Parliament. They will reduce entitlement to ESA, meaning that Work Capability Assessments will find even more genuinely sick and disabled people fit for work, says the briefing, which has been complied by a team of professional disabled people.   Read More...
Image: Mythbuster: Tall Tales about Welfare Reform Ben Baumberg, Kate Bell and Declan Gaffney for the website SENSCOT tackle some of the most common welfare myths. Welfare reform is almost inevitably contentious. Answering the question of who should receive how much financial support relies on often competing conceptions of fairness, with rival views about who needs, and who deserves, our help, not to mention the most just and efficient way of providing it. These issues are worth debating – but the current debate is being conducted on shoddy terms. Myths and stereotypes abound.   Read More...
Image: Mythbuster: Tall Tales about Welfare Reform

Ben Baumberg, Kate Bell and Declan Gaffney from the website SENSCOT tackle some of the most common welfare myths. Welfare reform is almost inevitably contentious. Answering the question of who should receive how much financial support relies on often competing conceptions of fairness, with rival views about who needs, and who deserves, our help, not to mention the most just and efficient way of providing it. These issues are worth debating – but the current debate is being conducted on shoddy terms. Myths and stereotypes abound.

  

http://www.senscot.net/view_art.php?viewid=13021   Read More...

Image: Housing costs cause stress and depression for millions, says charity A new YouGov survey from the housing and homelessness charity Shelter has revealed the emotional strain faced by millions of families as they struggle to meet their housing costs. The findings follow on from Shelter's research earlier this month, which showed 7.8 million people are constantly struggling to keep up with their rent or mortgage, an increase of 44 per cent from the same time last year. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Banks, the state and money: the trillion dollar coin? Why should banks be allowed to create money and lend it to the State, taking interest payments from taxpayers, when the State can create its own interest-free money, ask Bernadette Meaden, reporting on an intriguing suggestion from campaign group Positive Money. (Ekklesia)   Read More...
Image: Untrue that benefits cap protects disabled people, critics point out Government claims that disabled people have been protected in the government's Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill are untrue, say critics of the measure. Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, commented last night: 'This bill doesn't protect disabled people. In fact, it cuts support for the many disabled people who are looking for work.' 'Since the 'emergency Budget' of 2010, £500 million has been taken from the pockets of disabled people, said Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn. (Ekklesia)
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Image: Poverty & Homelessness Action Week – 26 Jan-03 Feb 2013

CAN YOU CAST THE FIRST STONE?  From tenants shipped out of their local authority and to the periphery of cities because their housing benefit does not cover their rent any more, to disabled people threatened to have their benefit cut if they do not engage in work; from vulnerable women and children denied succour as a result of cuts in local services to the unemployed and people on benefits – vulnerable people are increasingly being cast in a negative light by the press, even by politicians.

    Read More...

Resources


Image: Give Me Five
16/09/2017
Give Me Five
Useful resources for Caritas Students

 

Justice and Peace Scotland have linked up with the Scottish Catholic Education Service to provide an opportunity for Caritas students to take part in the Give Me £5 campaign aimed at topping up child benefit.

Click on the link for a select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign 



Image: Give Me Five: Paper Petition

Download a paper petition here



Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos

There are two new J&P videos available on our YouTube channel.

Give me Five Campaign. This is the campaign to petition the Scottish government to add £5 per week per child to Child Benefit. This short video covers the main points of the campaign,
 

Responding to Refugees and Migrants.  As you know, Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants. This short video puts these points into an easily accessible format.


 



18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of information resources to assist Caritas students who are undertaking the child benefit Give Me Five Campiagn



18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Give me 5
18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Give me 5
18/08/2017
Give me 5
Useful resources for Caritas Students

A select list of resources to assist Caritas students involved in this campaign.



Image: Weekly Catholic Social Teaching Quotes

Relaunch of our Catholic Social Teaching Quotes - ideal for parish bulletins!

Quotes selected to match Mass readings or upcoming social justice dates.



Image: Election 2017
31/05/2017
Election 2017

Marian Pallister, the Vice-Chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, has examined the party manifestos, looking at the issues of most concern to justice and peace. The results can be accessed in the attached file.



Image: 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

Just released by the World Bank, a visual mapping of progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development goals which include: ending poverty, good health, access to education, sustainable cities. Each section highlights progress and challenges.

Access the Visual Map

It takes a wee while to load, so be patient.
 



Image: Report reveals 'horror of hunger among children during school holidays'

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a report detailing the “horror of hunger amongst children during school holidays”.Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), along with various schools, councils and foodbanks, submitted evidence of children going without food in the holidays.



Image: Is your favourite fashion brand ethical?

Find out more in the latest 2017 Ethical Fashion report just released by Baptist World Aid Australia. It surveys the practices of 106 companies these include leading Australian brands as well as multinationals operating in Europe and USA. It considers all stages of the production process from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and the use of child and forced labour and the payment of a living wage. The website provides details on the methodology used and case studies.



Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent?
A place to call home

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.



Image: Looking for something for your Parish for Lent

A place to call home?‘ a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.



Image: New US Administration

The Sisters of St Joseph of Boston have put together a prayer calendar for the first 100 days of the new administration.

The content encourages unity and reconciliation and offers support to people who may be vulnerable to policy changes. 

Download the calendar here.



Image: Doing good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century

The Christian think Theos has launched 'Doing Good', a report on the future of Christianity, drawing on a decade of research.

 

It is available to download from the Theos Website



Image: Crisis Homelessness Monitor 2015: Scotland
Read the latest study co-funded by Crisis and JRF that provides an independent analysis of the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments across in the UK; this report focuses on Scotland.



Image: Restoring Faith in the Safety Net
New research highlights growing gaps in the welfare safety net
For far too many people, instead of providing security against hunger, the ‘welfare safety net’ is itself a contributory factor in creating insecurity and destitution. Restoring Faith in the Safety Net,  published by Church Action on Poverty, calls for urgent action to restore faith in the safety net. TAKE ACTION



Image:  'A blueprint for Scotland's future'
Commission on Housing and Wellbeing Report

On 10th June 2015 the Commission on Housing and Wellbeing published its report 'A blueprint for Scotland's future' The Commission selected eight types of wellbeing that were potentially relevant to assessing the benefits of good housing - home, community, employment, income, health, education and environmental sustainability.



Image: “The European Crisis and its Human Cost – A Call for Fair Alternatives and Solutions”

Caritas Europa’s new report on the  impact of crisis reveals disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation in the seven EU countries worst hit by the economic crisis; Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.  The report “The European Crisis and its Human Cost – A Call for Fair Alternatives and Solutions” – is the second annual edition in a series of in-depth examination of the human impact thatausterity policies are having on people in the EU. Italso documents the growing number of people struggling with poverty and social exclusion.



Image: European Elections 2014
The following series of resources provides useful background as well as things to consider in the run up to the Elections on 22 May 2014.



Image: Pope Francis’ Lenten Message
Pope Francis’ Lenten Message concentrates on the theme of poverty. ‘Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.’    The Message forms a good basis for reflection at this time of year.



Image: The Joy of the Gospel

To conclude the Year of Faith, and as a reflection on the Bishops’ Synod on Evangelisation last year, Pope Francis has published an Apostolic Exhortation with its title from the opening words – Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel.



Image: Report on Social Justice Conference
Here is an account of the proceedings of the joint Social Justice Conference on the theme Towards a Just Economic Order: Challenges of Catholic Social Teaching, held in St Augustine’s School, Edinburgh, on Friday 12 April and Saturday 13 April. For those who were able to attend, it will be a full reminder of the content, although no substitute for the experience. For those unable to attend, it will be a fund of learning as well as a source of reflection. Thanks again to all who made it possible.



Image: Welfare Benefit Changes
A Guide for Parishes
This Guide is the work of Miriam McHardy, Edinburgh Archdiocesan Co-ordinator for Justice & Peace and is meant as an overview. If you have specific enquiries about this material as it affects you or someone you know, please contact the relevant agencies of government, or one of the organisations linked to in the guide. Another useful resource is Truth and Lies about Poverty



Image: Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2013
What are the most significant poverty trends in Scotland today? JRF's sixth study of poverty and social exclusion in Scotland highlights a huge rise in unemployment for under-25s, and stark and growing health inequalities.




Image: Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2012
Is tackling in-work poverty the key for anti-poverty initiatives? The 'low-pay, no-pay' jobs market keeps millions in poverty and holds the economy back The annual Monitoring poverty report, written by the New Policy Institute, analyses trends to tell the story of poverty in the UK today. A set of 50 indicators covers a wide range of issues, ranging from low income, worklessness and debt, to ill-health and education. The report reveals the extent of in-work poverty and the dynamic nature of poverty, caused by people cycling in and out of work and an underemployed workforce. For the first time, the report examines the impacts of the current Government’s policies on poverty and exclusion.




A copy of the Justice and Peace Sunday Letter from our President, Bishop Moran, has been sent to every parish to be read out. Please ask your parish priest to publicise the Justice and Peace Commission and its work by reading the letter at Mass. The letter will be posted on the website nearer the date of the feast.



'Social theologian Fr Donal Dorr has an interesting perspective on the background and legacy of the Synod document 'Justice in the World' on its 40th anniversary'



5 May 2011




Planning an Election Meeting



In the face of sweeping public spending cuts and a UK government economic strategy which targets the poor to pay for a crisis produced by the wealthy, a group of Christians in public life (activists, ministers and theologians) have issued this statement calling for Christian unity with others in the movement to resist the cuts in public and welfare provision



Why we need a socio economic inequality duty in Scotland
This briefing argues that the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament should act urgently to place a duty on public sector bodies that requires them to exercise their functions (including budget setting) in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.



Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a report called ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland 2010’ which provides a comprehensive analysis of trends and differences between groups. It includes a broad review of relevant Scottish policy, using the framework of Achieving our Potential, the key Scottish policy document on poverty.



Low pay affects at least 20% of women and 15% of men in Scotland. Whilst all parts of Scotland are affected by low pay, rural areas tend to have higher proportions of workers living on low pay. In 2009, 70% of workers in food and beverage services were paid less than  £6.61 an hour. These are just some of the key findings contained in this briefing.







The Trades Union Congress has produced a new report to highlight the costs of long term unemployment. The report reconfirms the clear links between poverty and unemployment, but also highlights the impact that long term unemployment can have on individuals and communities. It provides clear evidence regarding the need to do more to stop the rise in long term unemployment.



Image: An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK – Summary
Report of the National Equality Panel
The gap between rich and poor is wider now than 40 years ago, a government-commissioned panel has reported.



Image: Work and Worklessness among Households in Scotland 2009
The Scottish Government has published a report on the extent of work and worklessness in Scotland. One in three housholds in Glasgow have no earned income coming in although in 2008, the total number of children living in workless households in Scotland was 120,700, down 11,300 over the year. Of the 120,700 children, 73.7 per cent (88,900) live in a lone parent household.



Image: Justice & Peace Scotland Handbook




A summary of the Scottish Government Discussion Paper
In January 2008 the Scottish Government launched a discussion paper on tackling poverty in Scotland. This provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to talk to the Government about poverty, inequality and deprivation in modern day Scotland. The intention is to create a discussion that will inform the Scottish Government’s development of a ‘framework’ to tackle poverty. This briefing paper summarises the main elements in the discussion paper and highlights the opportunities for responding to it.



Image: Leaflet: A Just Cause for a Fairer World
Material for The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated in Scotland on 8th January 2006 and designated by the Bishops' Conference as a day of prayer for justice and peace.



Lord Richard Best, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, gave the annual Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) lecture on Thursday 15th September, 2005, at The Royal Society, George Street, Edinburgh.