Our Social Justice Forum

The Social Justice Forum was launched on 2 November 2015 as a three year project, complementary to the Ministry and Mission committee, to act as a locus of active concern for social justice at St Anne’s. By social justice, we understand how all that we have been given is from God and is shared between us (the social element), and how fair or unfair these shares are (the justice element). Inequality, wealth and poverty are the underlying issues of social justice and we are trying to discern what God is asking of us, the people of St Anne’s Kew, now, in relation to these issues. We held twelve meetings, five focusing on refugees, one on asylum seekers, one on prayer and social justice and five on climate justice. We have followed a Franciscan pattern in our meetings of study, prayer and planning for action.

Please see our Social Justice Forum for reports on our work and full details of our handouts.

Handouts 1-5 cover Refugees, handout 6 Asylum Seekers, handout 7 Social Justice and Prayer and handouts 8-12 Climate Justice.

Social Justice Forum, 2015-2018: a summary.

1. Intention
Launched December 2015 on Franciscan principles: 1. Study; 2. Prayer; 3. Active service.

2. Events
• Twelve meetings, 2015-2018, with average participation by 12. Contact list of 35:
Refugees 6
Printed handout distributed at each meeting and after placed on St Anne’s web site with paper copy on notice board.
Asylum seekers 1
Prayer and social justice 1
Climate justice. 5
• Three public meetings in 2018, with audiences from 40 – 100, on climate change:
1. Laudato Si – Bishop David Atkinson / Father Nicholas King SJ
2. Human Development – Professor Ian Christie / David Nussbaum
3. Kew Gardens – Richard Deverell / Brother Sam, SSF
• Survey completed, Autumn 2018, to assess impact.

3. Outcomes
Actual outcomes included:
• Contact with Breaking Barriers (helping refugees find jobs matching their skills)
• Contact with CARAS (Tooting based charity providing help and support through activities and classes to Refugees and Asylum Seekers)
• Prayer card for refugees
• Declaration of Fellowship, following the Bishop of Southwark, with refugees
• Harvest supper, 2016, cooked by the Chickpea Sisters
• Carbon Fast, Lent 2018
• Church Statement of Intent and Plan of Action in relation to Climate Change
• Contact with Hope for the Future (helping churches contact their MPs about climate change
• Letter to Zac Goldsmith MP and Sarah Olney (Lib Dem candidate) on climate change signed by 100 people
• £925 raised for climate related causes at Climate Change public talks
• Individual engagement with Social Justice issues

4. Next Steps
Claudine and Christopher have completed their three year commitment and wish to step back (but not to disengage).

1. Will M&M take this on?
2. Should we have an annual event at St Anne’s – starting this year with Rowan Williams lecture?
3. What other steps could be taken to build this into the normal life of St Anne’s?

Christopher Stephens and Claudine McCreadie, February 2019