Justice and Peace Scotland         

Dear Justice and Peace Supporter

Travels of a Social Justice Co-ordinator

Whilst it’s been only two months since I last wrote one of these columns, a lot has happened. The unexpected calling of a General Election (very unexpected given the PM’s denial of such a possibility for the previous 9 months!) has given all of us who work for social justice and peace to take up that prophetic role to ‘speak the truth to power’, and to look at the campaigning by all parties with critical eyes. Whatever the result, our work goes on! The last two months have bought unexpected sadness too. For me the bombing of a concert in Manchester (my hometown) caught me off guard in a way I could never have expected. We know from the press that the hurt caused by these actions is not limited to one city, and my prayers, and I’m sure many of us, have kept the community on Barra in our hearts in recent weeks. When these events happen we often say “well next time it could be us”, but I think for many of us we never truly believe it will be. I was however, and remain immensely proud of the response by Manchester, to open doors to those in need, and as a city to face down extremists hoping to create division. The events in Manchester, and London in recent weeks show the resilience of love, and the need to be working harder for peace and inclusion across our communities.

With summer now beginning many J&P groups will be taking breaks as people go on holiday, and enjoy a well-earned rest. You all deserve it! We know that the work does not stop, just because we aren’t meeting, and I know that our Church will continue to reach out to the margins, and seek the face of Jesus in those who are suffering, through the little acts of kindness which we try to show each day. For me, my break has been had this last week in a special way, going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land walking in the footsteps of Jesus. I will write more about this in the coming weeks (keep an eye on the website!). For now I will end with part of the reflection we used for the Third Station, Jesus falls for the first time, when walking the Via Dolorosa through Jerusalem;

In this fall, Jesus gives meaning to humanity’s suffering. … There are moments of suffering which seem to deny God’s love. Where is God in death camps? Where is he in mines and factories where children work like slaves? Where is God in the boats sinking in the Mediterranean?

Jesus falls under the weight of the cross, but he is not crushed by it. Behold Christ is there; an outcast among outcasts, a failure among so many other failures, a fallen victim among so many shipwrecked souls.

God takes all of this upon himself; a God who out of love does not show his omnipotence. But in that way, precisely in that way, having fallen on the ground like a grain of wheat. God is faithful to himself; faithful in love.

Future Events:

Faslane Annual Witness for Peace – (SCANA) Saturday 10th June 2017 at 12 noon – North Gate

This Saturday, 10th June, we hope you will join us for the Annual SCANA witness for Peace at Faslane event. Justice and Peace Scotland will be there and we are hoping that you will be too! Archbishop Tartaglia has written a statement which will be read out on his behalf. Justice and Peace Scotlad have commissioned a short film about nuclear weapons and film footage will be taken at Faslane for the film. With the nuclear weapon ban treaty process beginning at the UN in New York on Thursday 15th June and the UK government’s refusal to attend lets send the message to the UN that the Scottish people support the ban treaty even if our leaders won’t!

Dungavel Solidarity Gathering – Sunday 25th June 2017 at 1pm

We will be at Dungavel Detention Centre on Sunday 25th June at 1pm. Please join We are planning a gesture of solidarity for those incarcerated in Dungavel at our gathering with kites and the scattering of Scottish wild flower seeds around Dungavel. This event will also be captured on camera for a film Justice and Peace have commissioned about Dungavel so we are really hoping for a good turn out on the day.   Please support us.

Nonviolence Conference – St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoul, Perth 14th-16th July 2017

There are still some places available on the Nonviolence Conference at Kinnoul, ‘Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence’ Contact the J&P office on 0141 333 0238 for more information/ a booking form, prices start from only £10.

Social Justice Quotes

To support churches in promoting Catholic Social Teaching each week a section of church teaching is selected to fit with the weekly mass readings and/or upcoming social justice events. These are available in advance for church newsletters and bulletins from the Justice and Peace website, and are shared through social media. Please promote the use of this resource within parishes. For moreinformation please contact the office.

[Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees]

Shoulder to Shoulder: an interfaith pilgrimage – Ben Ledi

Sunday 2 July 2017, 10.30am-6.30pm

Ben Ledi, near Callander, FK17

Christian Aid Scotland and Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees are pleased to present Shoulder to Shoulder, a pilgrimage walk for all people regardless of their religion or belief.

Together we’ll walk the well-worn paths of the ancient and spiritual mountain of Ben Ledi, near Callander. This 10km walk will take in sights including Rock of Embers and a panoramic view of the Highlands, and will be themed around sanctuary and refugees.

It’s free to take part in this pilgrimage, however you are encouraged to raise funds for a project or charity which works with refugees, especially one with a faith basis.

Please register via Eventbrite


Volunteering Opportunity Edinburgh Weekend Club

We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals from different faith, religion, and belief backgrounds who would like to contribute and plan an integration project for refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Weekend Club is an initiative that seeks to respond to the social isolation experienced by many refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants arriving in Scotland. Providing a relaxed and fun environment at monthly events, the Edinburgh Weekend Club enables its participants to meet new people, build friendships, improve their English and learn more about Scottish culture and history. YOU will have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in people’s lives.

To find out more or to download the role description and application form visit our website http://www.sfar.org.uk or contact Sabine Chalmers schalmers@churchofscotland.org.uk.
We would love to hear from you!

For more information, please email Amy Menzies or call her on 0141 241 6138.

Event: Mindful Peace Walk.

Organisers: Jointly organised by the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP, Scottish Charity, SC038996, and the Edinburgh Sangha of the Community of Interbeing.

Venue: Lauriston Castle, 2 Cramond Road South, Edinburgh. EH4 6AD.

Date: Sunday 18 June 2017.

Time: 12 noon. Gather in front of Lauriston Castle for 12 noon.

Cost: Admission Free. Just come along on the day. For further information:

Contact: Neill Walker, mesp2017@hotmail.com , 0131 331 4469.

Show world changing films in your community. Follow this link for screenings


Refugee Festival Scotland events calendar

This year’s Festival runs from 20 June to 2 July. With art, music, theatre, food and drink and community and family events, it really is a festival for everyone.


What are we doing in Scotland on World Refugee Day?

Where: George Square, Glasgow City Centre

When: Tuesday 20 June, 11am – 12pm

On World Refugee Day 2017 we will take a moment to ‘stand with’ refugees in Glasgow city centre.

We will form a human chain within George Square, showing our solidarity with refugees around the world and our connection to refugees in Scotland.

RISE Theatre is a Christian Theatre company and we are currently taking bookings for a church tour of our new, original play about Blessed Oscar Romero.

Dates available from 27th September – 24th November 2017.
Visit www.risetheatre.co.uk for more information about us and see below for more information about the production Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador.

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