Justice & Peace Group
“The spirit of the Lord … has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives and the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free.”
Isaiah 61: 1-2
Minutes of the J&P Group: Click Here
The Justice and Peace Group (J&P) was set up in 1998 in the Parish of St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Austell to formulate the parish's Covenant with the Poor. The group has gone on to promote a wide range of issues from the support of local people in need and campaigns against the global arms trade and third world debt. We work to support the Parish Priest to highlight for the parish areas of need and the opportunities and means to respond. We are made up of parishioners and members of the Ordinariate group with a particular interest in issues of social justice. Anyone interested is very welcome to join.
CAFOD: One member of J&P is the parish CAFOD contact, liaising between the group and CAFOD's Community Participation Co-coordinator for the South-West. Members of the group regularly attend six-monthly updating meetings with the Co-coordinator and representatives of parishes from across the Cornwall Deanery. With the support of the Parish Priest, the group arranges for members of the congregation to speak at all Masses on the weekend before the Lenten & Harvest Fast Days, which are well supported by the parish.
Throughout the year two collection jars are put out before and after all masses, one for unwanted foreign currency, the other for copper and other coins. Money raised goes towards the CAFOD Hands On project in the Magdalena Medio region in Colombia.
In 2019 we embarked on a recycling scheme to raise funds for CAFOD. A box was placed in the narthex to receive unwanted and broken costume jewellery (including single earrings), watches, mobile phones, cameras, iPods, tablet computers, binoculars etc as well as foreign or UK currency of any age, even if unchangeable. When a sufficient amount has been collected it is sent off to a recycling company and we receive a cheque for the proceeds, made out to CAFOD. We also partake in an ink cartridge recycling scheme.
A refugee support system does not exist in Cornwall but two members of the group collect and deliver food, clothing, bedding and small items of household equipment for the Devon and Cornwall Refugee Service based in Plymouth. They drive up about every six weeks.
The problem of homelessness in Cornwall is a serious one. J&P supports the St Petroc’s Society which is pledged to end street homelessness in Cornwall. Regular donations of food from the parish are taken to St Petroc’s. Two of the current members are volunteers at St Petroc’s. The “Friends of St Petroc’s in St Austell” holds its quarterly meetings at St Augustine’s.
The Fairtrade Foundation works to ensure that food producers in developing countries are not exploited. To this end J&P helped St Augustine’s declare itself a “Fairtrade Church” together with other churches in the Cornwall Deanery. This means that only fairly traded tea, coffee and sugar are used on church premises. During Fairtrade Fortnight in March we try to spread the word with events such as a “Fairtrade Café” where people can sample fairly traded food.
During Advent money and gifts are collected for St Petroc’s and Refugees via the “Advent Giving Tree.”
During Lent alms are collected for one local and one international charity recommended, after discussion, by the J&P group.
Holocaust Memorial Day: The parish now marks Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January with prayers for all victims of genocides past and future.
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation: Pope Francis has declared 1st September to be a ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ to highlight the Christian response to climate change. We held a Prayer Vigil on that day in 2018 and in 2019 the Creation Celebration Season ran from 1st September to 4th October (Feast of St Francis) with a series of events involving the whole parish.
Children of the Parish: We think it is important that the children of the parish are encouraged to take part in as many events as possible. They contribute to the Holocaust Memorial Day with a display, have written prayers for the vigil on 1st September and have celebrated ‘fairtrade fortnight’ with games and activities as well as by preparing and eating fairtrade food.
The work of the J&P Group is not only about raising money. Issues such as slavery, trafficking, genocide, climate change, recycling, energy conservation, pollution, racism are all of great concern.
Joining the J&P Group: If you would like to join the J&P group, or drop in to see what it’s like, you would be most welcome. Perhaps you have a particular interest or skill you could contribute to the group.
Meetings: We meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 6.00 to 7.00 pm at the church in the St. Cuthbert Mayne room.
For more information contact John Ballard
Tel: (01726) 61206
Mob: 07941 639413