RC Parish of St. Peter & Good Shepherd
Bearsted and Harrietsham, Kent
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Annual Report of the Justice & Peace Group
The Justice and Peace group meets on the ?rst Tuesday of every month bar August. The following are current members: St Peter's — Wieslaw Kordek, Janet O’ Neill, Marie Quarman (Chairperson) Holy Cross — Helen Judges, (Secretary) Methodist Church — Daphne Bower, Ann Smith Father Geoff gives us his support..
Kate Place has moved from the parish and thus has withdrawn from the group. I would like to thank her for all the energy and commitment she showed whilst she was a member.
Peace Sunday had been celebrated on 15th January. Pax Christi cards had been distributed at Holy Cross, The Methodist Church and St Peter's.
ln October at St Peter's/Good Shepherd food clothing and other goods were collected for the Maidstone Day Centre and a cash collection which raised £250. Holy Cross also collected food for Maidstone Christian Care. Unfortunately Maidstone Housing Sounding Board has been disbanded as a result of changing personnel and the new housing plan.
Action for powerless people.
Parishioners from all churches sent Christmas cards to Prisoners of Conscience. We are grateful to Helen for continuing to organize this. We continue to monitor and take action where appropriate to help Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Geoff Dunstall, a member of Holy Cross spoke to the July meeting ofJustice and Peace on his work with various charities in the Maidstone area. Geoff pointed out that there were many ways in which people could get involved in the work of various charities and organizations. Many needed help with funding and also volunteers. It is hoped that Geoff may be able to supply us with further information in the future..
The school that The Methodists were supporting in Uganda had now been built. it had been financed by the sales of tea/coffee. Daphne has kept us informed throughout the year on campaigns organized by Action Aid. These include the campaign to draw the government's attention to tax loopholes being exploited by large companies in the countries in which they operate, thus denying revenue to those needy countries, and also to the UK. Also discussed was the sex trafficking of children in India; land grabs and its relationship to food; and the work of Action Aid in Kenya to help a community file a case against the council and a bio fuels company.
Supporting families and children in developing countries.
Traidcraft continued throughout 2012 in St Peter's to raise a steady, although declining income, especially at Christmas. Both Holy Cross and the Methodist Church had stopped running stalls due to lack of demand now that supermarkets were stocking more fairly traded goods. The Charity Stall, which sells a variety of goods donated by parishioners, now raises more moneyt
Appeals at St Peter’s/Good Shepherd
The Lenten Appeal raised £380.33 for CAFOD's campaign for Thirst For Change. This contributed to - the final national figure for CAFOD of £18.6m including the Government's match funding. At Holy Cross the appeal was held under the title Count Your Blessings and the Methodist Church contributed to Water Aid and Action for Children. The Advent Appeal raised £340 for CAFOD's Hungry for Change appeal.
Justice and Peace Meetings
Marie attended a Justice and Peace Training Day at St George's Cathedral in Southwark on Saturday 10th March and attended workshops on Campaigning, and Catholic Social Teaching. Marie also attended the Justice and Peace SpringAssembly at The Friars at Aylesford on 19th May. This focused on Food Security.
Marie continues to be the parish representative and attended the CAFOD Mass ofThanksgiving and Celebration at Westminster Cathedral on 28th January.
Bearsted Parish Magazine
Helen submitted articles in April and May on Christian Aid Week. Marie submitted an article in November on "A Christian Response To Systematic injustice".
St Peter's/Good Shepherd Parish Newsletters
Janet has supplied the weekly parish newsletter with information relating to Justice and Peace throughout the year.
This year has been busy. All our group members have continued their commitment to working for human rights and justice and combating poverty and we thank them for their efforts.