Communications Manager Liam Purcell explains why Church Action on Poverty is a partner in the new Centre for Theology and Justice.
Many of us who work at Church Action on Poverty are very aware of the power and importance of theological reflection in our work. We have a greater impact when our action flows from our faith and values. When we reflect on what we learn from our campaigns and our community projects in the light of scripture and faith, we often deepen our understanding and come upon fresh insights. Taking time to reflect helps us to stay energised and focused on our mission.
Sadly, our experience is that many people in churches are working hard to tackle poverty, but don’t feel equipped to reflect theologically on the questions raised – or even to include the issues in their regular prayer and worship. Most people aren’t aware of the wide range of resources available to help them, from organisations like ourselves and Christian Aid. Many don’t see the connections that exist between issues like climate, change, domestic poverty and international poverty when viewed in the light of the gospel. And many people think that theology is just something for ministers and academics – not an activity and resource for all people of faith.
So we’re very pleased to be part of the new Centre for Theology and Justice, based at Manchester’s Luther King House. By working together with other partners – Christian Aid, Luther King House, and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland – we hope to overcome some of those barriers, and help people to connect their faith more strongly with action for social justice.
The Centre aims to…
- make churches more aware of the wide range of resources available from the partners on justice, spirituality and liturgy
- organise lectures, workshops, research days, theme weeks and conferences
- gather and share grassroots stories
- build a network of speakers
- carry out research
- enrich theologically the work of all of the partners
The Centre will be launched on Wednesday 10 May 2017 with the inaugural David Goodbourn Lecture ‘Is justice enough? A radical christian response to the current humanitarian and ecological crisis‘. This will be chaired by David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, and presented by Father Augusto Zampini, an Argentine Roman Catholic priest, currently the theological adviser to the UK aid-development agency CAFOD and an Honorary Fellow at Durham University, Roehampton University and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He has been lecturing on theology, Christian ethics and human rights since 2004.
The launch takes place at Luther King House, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5JP from 3:45pm to 6:00pm.