Earlier news items

From this part of the website you can view selected items from earlier bulletins that retain some interest or currency.

Update of 12th December 2017:

The December issue of the NW NJPN E BULLETIN opens with the response from world and religious leaders to the current crisis in the Holy Land caused by President Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  In addition to reports of current campaigns and forthcoming events in the North West there are Christmas reflections to remind us of the true spirit of the season.  We wish all our readers the blessings of Christmas-time and look forward to a peaceful New Year where all God’s creation may flourish.

Update of 22nd November 2017:

  • Here is the latest issue of MouthPeace – the 100th edition!

MP 100 Winter 2017-18

MP 100 Winter 2017-18 p (1).pub

Update of 3rd October 2017:

  • NJPN NW Justice and Peace E Bulletin October 2017    The October 2017 edition of the NJPN NW E Bulletin leads with the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (Burma).  There is an extensive diary of NW events plus resources for schools, groups and individuals including a Romero Pilgrimage Walk.  For anyone who struggles with the current Mass wording there is an urgent request to invite our Bishops to introduce the beautiful English Mass translation composed in 1998 which the Bishops’ Conference had approved at that time. 

Update of 29th August 2017:

  • NJPN NW Justice and Peace E Bulletin Sept 2017     The September issue of the NW Bulletin leads with Pope Francis’ comprehensive new document on migrants and refugees which has been welcomed by CAFOD and Christian Aid.  The recent racial tensions in the US are highlighted against a backdrop of the establishment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Other in-depth articles include nuclear weapons, Care for Creation and volunteering overseas plus book and film reviews and an extensive diary for the autumn.


MP 99 Autumn 2017 to print.pub

Update of 2nd August 2017:

  • NJPN NW Justice and Peace E Bulletin August 2017  The August 2017 issue of the monthly e-bulletin leads with reports from the annual NJPN Conference, held last month in Derbyshire, on the theme A Sabbath for the Earth and for the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis.  Also featured are articles on current J&P campaigns plus obituaries of renowned dissidents Irina  Ratushinska and Liu Xiaobo as well as  an extensive diary of forthcoming events across the NW region.

Update of 27th June 2017:


Update of 25th May 2017:

This May/June bulletin goes out in sorrow.  We have lived in Manchester for 33 years, moving reluctantly at first from the Midlands but quickly coming to love the city.  Our younger daughter was born here and has been to countless gigs at the Arena.  Our eldest granddaughter is 8, the same age as Saffie Roussos whose life was cruelly cut short.  We all share the pain and the anger of the terrorist attack but we also share the belief that the city will rise again, strengthened by the love and solidarity of its people, just as it did after the Arndale Centre bombing in 1996.  Hate will not defeat us.  As Manchester performance poet Tony Walsh said in his moving tribute at the Albert Square vigil, we ‘choose love.’

Apologies for the absence of a May bulletin.  My 95 year-old Dad died on Easter Sunday and my time was taken up arranging his funeral.

Anne O’Connor

Update of 21st May 2017:

  • The latest issue of MouthPeace, available here a few days before arrival of the printed version : MP 98 Summer 2017

MP 98 Summer 2017.pub

Update of 1st April 2017:

Update of 3rd March 2017:

Update of 27th February 2017:

MP 97 Spring 2017 final.pub

Update of 13th February 2017:

  • Here is the Lent 2017 leaflet prepared by Anne O’Connor for the NJPN. It contains daily actions and reflections for each day of Lent, based on the scripture readings. It is designed to be printed out in A4 3-fold format. (Also accessible from our Resources page.) lenten-journey-2017


Update of 16th January 2017:

  • Here is the “bumper edition” for January-February 2017 of the latest NW NJPN E Bulletin. It features harrowing eye-witness accounts of the current situation in Kabul and of the dismantling of the Calais jungle.  Other items include home affairs (Poverty Action Week), SVP initiatives, housing and homelessness in the UK, the refugee crisis, the arms trade and mental health issues as well as covering Donald Trump’s inauguration in the US plus recommended resources and a comprehensive diary of events in the North West:  njpn-nw-justice-and-peace-e-bulletin-jan-feb-2017

Update of 30th November 2016:

Update of 17th November 2016:

MP 96 Winter 2016-17.pub

Update of 13th  November 2016:

Here is the set of weekly Reflections for Advent 2016 produced by Anne O’Connor. Click on the links to download the PDFs:

And here is the poster for the J&P Advent Reflection being held at Wistaston Hall on Sunday 4th December, led by Mary Kilcoyne: advent-reflection-4-12-16

Microsoft Word - 20161204 SDJP&SR ADVENT REFLECTION poster Final

Update of 31st  October 2016:

Update of 26th September 2016:

Update of 30th August 2016:

MP 95 Autumn 2016 .pub

Update of 26th August 2016:

Update of 28th July 2016:

Update of 30th June 2016:

Update of 30th May 2016:

Update of 18th May 2016:

MP 94 Summer 2016 cover page

Update of 28th April 2016:

Update of 23rd March 2016:

Update of 28th February 2016:

  • Here is the Spring 2016 issue of MouthPeace: MP 93 Spring 2016     It is available on the website just a few days in advance of the circulation of the printed version.

MP 93 cover page

Update of 25th February 2016:

  • Here is the March 2016 issue of NJPN NW Bulletin. It covers a wide range of issues plus tributes to two well-loved Justice and Peace activists who have died recently: Louise Zanré Da Silva, until recently Director, Jesuit Refugee Service, and Mike Simpson, former J&P Worker for Shrewsbury Diocese. NJPN NW Justice and Peace E Bulletin March 2016

Update of 22nd February 2016:

  • We have received the sad new of the death of Mike Simpson. He died on Saturday 20 February at the age of eighty-five after a long period of ill health. He was a tireless worker in the cause of justice and peace, the first person to be appointed as J&P worker in Shrewsbury Diocese. May he rest in peace. Here is a note of appreciation prepared by Joan Sharples:  Mike Simpson RIP

Update of 5th February 2016:

Update of 27th January 2016:

  • Here is the Lent 2016 leaflet prepared by Anne O’Connor for the NJPN. It contains daily actions and reflections for each day of Lent, based on the scripture readings. It is designed to be printed out in A4 3-fold format. (Also accessible from our Resources page.)   A LENTEN JOURNEY 2016

Update of 23rd January 2016:

Update of 3rd December 2015:

Update of 27th November 2015:

  • Here is the poster for the J&P Advent Reflection being held at Wistaston Hall Crewe on Sunday 6th December: Advent Reflection 6-12-15    The speaker is Terry Gorman from Aid to the Church in Need.

Advent Reflection 6-12-15

Update of 20th November 2015:

  • Go to our Resources page for the series of Weekly Reflections for Advent 2015 prepared by Anne O’Connor.

Update of 30th October 2015:

Update of 29th September 2015:

Update of 4th September 2015:

MP 91 Autumn 2015 a.pub

Update of 27th August 2015:

  • Here is the September 2015 issue of the NJPN North West e-bulletin. This issue includes a number of items on the issues associated with refugees and asylum seekers, and a full diary listing.

Update of 27th July 2015:

  • Here is the August 2015 issue of the NJPN North West e-bulletin   This issue includes a full account of the 2015 NJPN annual conference at Swanwick, “The Things that Make for Peace”.

Update of 29th June 2015:

This issue includes full items and useful links relating to the 17th June Climate Change Lobby, and the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ .

Update of 29th May 2015:

  • The Summer 2015 issue of MouthPeace will shortly be mailed. You can see it online now: MP 90 Summer 2015

90 Summer 2015 a.pub

Update of 1st May 2015:

NB: this version of the bulletin gives the correct date of 20th June for the Liverpool J&P Commission Annual Assembly. You may have seen an earlier version referring to 20th May – this was an error. Here is the poster for the event:

Liverpool Justice and Peace Commission

Update of 23rd February 2015:

  • The Spring 2015 issue of MouthPeace will shortly be mailed. You can see it online now: MP 89 Spring 2015

MP 89 cover pageUpdate of 9th February 2015:

  • The poster gives the details of the J&P Election Planning Meeting to be held on Saturday 28 February at St Columba’s in Chester from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Members of the Commission will be available after the meeting to speak to if anybody in interested. Please bring along a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.          To register for the day please contact Pauline McCulloch at the Curial Offices telephone 0151 652 9855 or email Pauline.mcculloch@dioceseofshrewsbury.org                          J&P Election Planning Meeting Poster

J&P election planning workshop 28-2-15

Update of 28th January 2015:

  • Lenten Reflection: Joan Sharples and Bryan Halson started the tradition of producing a Lent reflection leaflet for Shrewsbury Diocese Justice and Peace Commission with a Scripture verse or short reflection and an action idea for each day. Anne O’Connor took over the leaflet from Joan when the Worker’s role was terminated and continues to produce this popular prayer aid, composed by former Commission member Bryan Halson, on behalf of the National Justice and Peace Network. Here is the leafet for the forthcoming season of Lent: Lenten Reflection 2015  .    It may also be accessed from the Resources page.

Update of 8th January 2015:

  • Here’s the poster for the  Shrewsbury Diocese Justice and Peace Day of Reflection. This is  for parish reps & anyone who is interested or involved in Justice & Peace work/issues 10.30am – 3pm St Columba’s, Plas Newton Lane, Chester CH2 1SA on Saturday January 24th. Speakers to be confirmed. Everyone is warmly invited, Bishop Mark will join us for the beginning of the day. Tea & Coffee will be provided but please bring a packed lunch.

JP Day of Reflection 24-1-15

Update of 26th November 2014:

  • The Winter 2014-15 issue of MouthPeace is about to be distributed: MP88 Winter 2014     All the back numbers can be seen on the MouthPeace page of the website.

Update of 16th November 2014:

  • Go to our J&P Youth Page for Justice and Peace: Faith Into Action  – the 2014 issue of the 10 page resource pack for young people. Prepared by Anne O’Connor.

Update of 10th November 2014:

  • Go to the Resources page for the series of Advent Reflections for 2014, produced by Anne O’Connor.

Advent Reflection 2014 WEEK 1   Advent Reflection 2014 Week 2   Advent Reflection 2014 Week 3  Advent Reflection 2014 Week 4

Update of 6th November 2014:

Advent Reflection 7-12-14

Update of 1st October 2014:

Update of 29th August 2014:

Update of 23rd August 2014:

  • The Autumn 2014 issue of MouthPeace will be mailed very shortly – see it here now: MP 87 Autumn 2014

Update of 26th July 2014:

– This very full issue includes a report by Ellen Teague of the National J&P Conference, her account of Bishop Kevin Dowling’s Tablet Annual Lecture, and an extensive J&P calendar and list of events running up to the end of the year.

Update of 2nd June 2014:

  • MouthPeace 86 Summer 2014  is now out. The frontispiece cites moving words from Pope Francis at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during his Holy Land Pilgrimage. Among a full range of articles are an item on the make up of Shrewsbury’s new Commission for Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility, and short reports on J&P activities from groups around the Diocese.
  • The June 2014 issue of the NJPN North West e-bulletin is now out. Highlights include a feature on the installation of Malcolm McMahon as the new Archbishop of Liverpool, an item on Rowan Williams parliamentary lecture on the inequalities of power, and a note on the Independent on Sunday’s “Happy List” – serving as an excellent antidote to those “Rich Lists” so revered in other journals.

Update of 2nd May 2014:

  • The May issue of the NJPN North West e-bulletin has been circulated, including a comprehensive listing of events and activities to the end of July:

NJPN North West Justice and Peace E-Bulletin May 2014

Update of 10th March 2014:

Update of 25th February 2014:

  • The Spring 2014 issue of MouthPeace journal is now available on the website, a few days in advance of the circulation of the printed copies:  MP 85 Spring 2014

Update of 17th February 2014:

Update of 5th February 2014:

  • Here you can download “A Lenten Journey”, Action and Reflection Suggestions Lent. Following on from our own 2013 Lenten Leaflet Bryan Halson, formerly a member of the Shrewsbury Diocese Commission for Justice Peace & Social Responsibility, has once again compiled a 3-fold A4 leaflet with daily reflections and simple practical actions for use throughout the seaon of Lent, at the request of NJPN, the National J&P Network. (You can also access it from our Resources page):   Lenten Journey 2014
  • Maura Garside, Secretary of the new JP&SR Commission has arranged for the circulation of this note on Human Trafficking to all diocesan clergy:

“Bishop Mark asked the newly refreshed Justice and Peace Commission to promote the Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking on Saturday 8th February.  He also urged the Commission to positive action in the causes we uphold.  Therefore the request below to promote this Anti Human Trafficking Forum in Frodsham Methodist Church on Saturday 29th March 2014 from 9.30am – 4.30pm is very timely and the programme appears geared to positive steps to combat this evil.   It also has the support of Churches Together in Cheshire.  Would you please promote this event in your parishes and encourage anyone interested to attend.”

Update of 27th January 2014:

  • Bishop Mark commissioned the new Shrewsbury Diocesan Commission for Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility at a Mass at the Evron Centre on Saturday 25th January. Click here for Bishop Mark’s homily, as posted on the diocesan website. The new Commission is set to meet four times a year, chaired by Canon Philip Moor VG. It was confirmed that Maura Garside will serve as Secretary and Ged Cliffe as Treasurer.

Update of 18th January 2014:

Information received from Brian Potter, Our Lady’s Shaw Heath J&P Group, about a talk the group is holding at the Evron Centre on 13th February:

You may have heard of Fr.John Boles, a Missionary Priest working in Peru. He returns home every 4 years and joins his family in Stockport. His brother-in-law (Fr.Peter Sharrocks) is at St.Peters Hazel Grove. We are delighted that Fr.John has accepted our J & P invitation to give a talk about his work in Peru on Thursday 13 February to be held at the Evron Centre,Cale Green (7.30pm-9pm), before he returns to Peru later in February. Please see the poster attached for full information.

Best Wishes,

Brian Potter. (Our Lady’s J&P Group Shaw Heath Stockport)

Tel 0161 485 8312. e mail: bmpotter@talktalk.net

Update of 10th January 2014:

Anne O ‘Connor writes:

The New Year heralds an exciting new initiative: a monthly e-bulletin for the North West linked to the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) to provide information and support for Justice & Peace groups in Lancaster, Liverpool, Salford, Shrewsbury and Wrexham dioceses. The editorial team comprises: Ann Kelly, NJPN Administrator; Maggie McSherry, Lancaster; Steve Atherton, Liverpool; Jean Raymond, Salford; Marian Thompson, Shrewsbury (MouthPeace Editor); Tony McNicholl, Wrexham and Anne O’Connor, former e-bulletin editor for Shrewsbury diocese and now on NJPN’s Media and Marketing Group. NJPN has a wealth of resources and is the only independent umbrella organisation for England and Wales to cover the whole spectrum of J&P issues.

The new NW e-bulletin will focus on current campaigns, follow the J&P calendar and publicise local events.

We will use our E-Bulletins page to provide a link to the NW bulletins as they appear – here is the first one: NJPN North West Justice and Peace E-Bulletin January 2014

Update of 26th November 2013:

  • MouthPeace Winter 2013-14 – now available to view on the website, just a few days in advance of the printed copies being circulated.  MP 84 Winter 2013-14
  • “Living out God’s Call to Holiness”– the title of the talk being given by Fr Peter Phillips at the 2013 Advent Reflection. The Advent Reflection has been an important feature in the J&P calendar for many years, and this year’s forthcoming event has been organised by the “old Commission”. We hope that many people can join us at Wistaston Hall for the Reflection and Shared Table on Sunday 8th December. Fuller details on the poster: Advent Reflection 2013

Update of 24th October:

See the Resources page for the Advent 2013 Reflections prepared by former Commission member Anne O’Connor for each of the 4 weeks of Advent.

Update of 6th October:

Final celebration for Shrewsbury Diocese’s “old”  Justice and Peace Commission

25 former members of the Shrewsbury Diocese Justice and Peace Commission, spanning the past three decades, met together on 5 October 2013 at All Saint’s, Sale to celebrate past achievements and renew old friendships.  We were delighted that our first lay Chair Charlie Burchell was able to join us, as well as newly retired Chair Tony Walsh.  Joan Sharples, until recently J&P Co-ordinator for the diocese, was also present plus former Worker Ann Gill.  The Commission’s first paid worker, Mike Simpson, was not able to attend but sent warm greetings via Joan. 

In an intimate and very moving Mass celebrated around the altar we shared memories and expressed our hopes for the future.  The bond between us remains strong as does our continued commitment to work for justice and peace in our broken world.   As one participant said: “the love between Justice and Peace people is deep-rooted and through that love we have revealed our love for others and for our world.”   Another member shared that he had become involved in Justice and Peace hoping to change the world, but he came to realise that the greatest change had been to himself. 

In the quiet time after communion we listened to an extract from a homily by Oscar Romero who has a special place in our hearts and has been a source of inspiration to us all.  We finished with a delicious buffet, prepared by Fr Ned’s parishioners, which was enjoyed by all with enough left for one of our group to take to a local shelter. 

That day’s celebration marked the end of an era but the work will carry on, by our own individual actions, in our parish communities and by the dioces’s new Commission which will commence shortly.  We wish them well and pray for the success of their endeavours. 

Photo collage of the gathering held on 5th October 2013 at All Saints, Sale. Photos by Tom Ormiston.Click to enlarge

Photo collage of the gathering held on 5th October 2013 at All Saints, Sale. Photos by Tom Ormiston

Update of 1st September 2013:

  • The September 2013 version of our e-bulletin is now available:Shrewsbury Diocese JP&SR E-Bulletin September 2013

  • The bulletin, compiled by Anne O’Connor,  contains an update on the re-constitution of the Diocesan JP&SR Commission. The former Commission members are very appreciative of all the work that Anne O’Connor has put into the e-bulletins and many other aspects of the Commission’s work over the years – and we are all extremely glad that she will be able to continue her good offices in association with the National Justice and Peace Network.

Update of 22nd August:

Update of 17th July:

A short synopsis has been prepared of Brian Davies’ talk “Drawing Inspiration from Vatican II” which was held was held at St Columba’s Chester on Saturday 18th May. Follow these links for the synopsis: Drawing Inspiration from Vatican II – synopsis  and for Brian’s PowerPoint presentation: Receiving Vatican II

Update of 28th June:

The current Commission held its final meeting at St Anne’s Nantwich on Wednesday 26th June 2013. From September 2013 the diocese intends that a new Commission will have been appointed by Bishop Mark to take over the area of work.

Canon Philip Moor VG was present at the final meeting and was able to clarify a number of points regarding the new Commission:

  • The new Commission will be chaired by himself, on behalf of Bishop Mark.

  • Its membership of 12 will include a mixture of new and current members – letters of invitation will be sent out shortly, as will letters to existing members not being re-appointed. The diocese is very grateful to everyone who has served on the Commission over the years.

  • Pending the appointment and start of the new Commission there will be a transitional period during which the current Commission will continue important aspects of its work – including MouthPeace magazine and the monthly E-bulletins. In addition, the current Commission will help to host the quarterly meeting of the National J&P Network to be held at St Columba’s Chester on 14th September, and will continue with the arrangements for the annual Advent Reflection at Wistaston Hall on 8th December.

For this interim period Tony Walsh and Bernard Payne remain as Chair and Vice-Chair but will not be serving on the new Commission. Michael Crawley has now retired as Secretary, this role now being undertaken by Maura Garside – Maura’s contact details are included in the Contacts page of this website.

The meeting on 26th June agreed to the publication of the “Popular Annual Report” which provides a concise summary of the activities of the Commission for 2012-13 – the final 12 months of its present incarnation. The printed leaflet will be circulated with next issue of MouthPeace and be made available in other ways – but the electronic version may be viewed here: 2013 jp popular report final

Update of 12th June:
Breaking Open the Word” – the flier for the NJPN’s 2013 Annual Conference, 19-21 July: NJPN Conf 2013

Update of 25th January:

  • “A Lenten Journey”: An A4 3-fold leaflet of Daily Actions and Reflections for Lent 2013 has been prepared by Bryan Halson on behalf of the Commission and has been added to our Resources page. LENTEN JOURNEY 2013
  • “Justice and Peace Stations of the Cross”: As a companion to the Lenten Journey, a Justice and Peace Stations of the Cross in A4 3-fold format has been added to our Resources page.  STATIONS OF THE CROSS 2013

Update of 8th December 2012:

Commission Open Meeting:  Click here for a copy of the report of the meeting held at All Saints, Sale on Saturday 6th October: JP&SR Commission Open Meeting 6-10-12  We are grateful to everyone who attended, and to Maura Garside for drawing together this report. The Open Meeting format was found to be very helpful and constructive and it is the Commission’s intention to hold further such gatherings on a regular basis.

Update of 27th November:

Advent reflections: See the Resources page for the week-by-week reflections for Advent 2012 prepared by Anne O’Connor.

MouthPeace: See the MouthPeace page to view the Winter 2012-13 issue. The print version will be mailed shortly.

Update of 10th November:

Developments within the Diocese: Following Mgr Philip Egan’s departure from Shrewsbury Diocese to become Bishop of Portsmouth, Bishop Mark has asked Fr Philip Moor VG to take responsibility for the work of the Commission. Tony Walsh and Bernard Payne, as Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission, met Fr Philip on 26th September to consider future arrangements, and it was agreed to have such meetings on a regular basis. Fr Philip was not able to attend the Open Meeting arranged for 6th October, but he asked that a fully positive message be conveyed regarding Diocesan support for the work of the Commission and of parish J&P groups.

Open Commission Meeting ‘The Way Forward’:Forty people from J&P groups across the diocese met on 6 October to discuss ways of supporting one another and continuing our work. Facilitated by Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi, we looked at our strengths and achievements and outlined plans for the future work of the Commission and its support of the individual J&P groups. We were delighted that Joan Sharples was able to join us for the final session when she was presented with a gift in token of our appreciation of her 19 years as Co-ordinator. A presentation was also made to Ann Gill, former J&P Worker and a previous Treasurer of the Commission in recognition of her many years’ service. A full report of the Open Meeting will be sent out shortly to all participants, and will also be discussed with Fr Philip.

We have a section of the website devoted to the Year of Faith. This runs from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013 and was proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We have developed a J&P Calendar which will be regularly updated. We hope it will help groups and individuals renew their commitment to the gospel message throughout the Year of Faith.

Update of 15th August

See our August e-bulletin for coverage of a wide range of topical issues, including the broad arrangements for the Commission’s next full meeting on Saturday 6th October. This will be an Open Meeting, drawing on contributions and expertise from J&P and CAFOD groups and interested individuals from around the diocese.

MouthPeace editor Marian Thompson is currently working on the Autumn 2012 issue, so expect to see that in early September. It will include coverage of the very stimulating National J&P Conference held at Swanwick in July with its main focus on China.

We await news from the Diocese of the departmental changes arising from Mgr Philip Egan’s appointment as Bishop-elect to the Diocese of Portsmouth. As head of Shrewsbury’s Department of New Evangelisation Mgr Egan’s listed responsbilities included Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility. We trust it will prove possible for Commission Chair and Vice Chair to have discussions with Mgr Egan’s successor in advance of the Commission’s Open Meeting on 6th October.

Update of 19th July

See our July e-bulletin for coverage of a wide range of topical issue. It also outlines our suggestions for the Commission’s meeting on 6th October, which is proposed to be an Open Meeting, drawing on contributions and expertise from J&P and CAFOD groups and interested individuals from around the diocese:

Open Commission Meeting ‘The Way Forward’
As a Commission we’ve been buoyed up and greatly encouraged by the supportive comments we’ve received from J&P and CAFOD groups around the diocese. However we’re very aware that groups will no longer have the benefit of Joan’s advice, encouragement and expertise and many of them have expressed concern about the future of J&P work in the diocese. So we’re going to throw open our next scheduled Commission Meeting on 6 Oct 2012 at All Saint’s Ashton-on-Mersey, Sale 10.30am – 4pm for people from the groups to join us to look at the way forward. We’ll be sharing our concerns now that we no longer have a worker and exploring ways to maintain a strong J&P presence in the diocese.
Please pencil in this date – there will be more info in the next e-bulletin.

Update of 14th July

On Wednesday 11th July came the announcement that Mgr Egan had been appointed Bishop-Elect to Portsmouth Diocese, his ordination to take place at the end of September. We offer Mgr Egan our congratulations and our prayers for his future work in the Diocese of Portsmouth. His appointment does mean, however, that no purpose would have been served by the special meeting planned for 24th July. The Commission now awaits news of Mgr Egan’s successor as head of the Department of New Evangelisation and will seek discussions as soon as is feasible. In the meantime, thought is being given to the most productive format for the Commission’s next scheduled meeting, Saturday 6th October.

Update of 4th July

The Commission has had to establish a new date for its first meeting with Mgr Egan in the “post-Joan era”. This is to be held on 24th July. The Commission continued with its previously-scheduled meeting of 27th June, and this included consideration of the actions currently shown for Year 3 of the Commission’s Three Year Plan that remain feasible in the new circumstances. We will provide further updates on the website as soon as we can.

Update of 16th June 2012

Commission members are currently involved in a number of discussions about its operations in the new era without a paid co-ordinator, and these include a special meeting with Mgr Philip Egan, Vicar General and Head of the Department of New Evangelisation, to be held on 20th June. In the meantime:

  • Marian Thompson has completed the editing of the Summer 2012 issue of MouthPeace, and Steve Atherton has kindly agreed to undertake the printing at LACE. You can also see it in PDF format on this website. It includes an account of the events leading up to Joan’s redundancy, along with a number of tributes to her outstanding work for the Commission and the wider field of J&P.
  • Anne O’Connor has agreed to work on the e-bulletin. The June 2012 issue has been circulated this week, and can also be seen on the website.
  • See the Commission Contacts page of the website for revised contact details.

Update of 2nd June 2012

The Diocesan Board of Trustees met on Wednesday 30th May and confirmed, for financial reasons, the compulsory redundancy of Joan Sharples. This means that Joan will very shortly be leaving the Diocesan service after nineteen years, and that the Commission will be without paid support.

Everyone on the Commission is extremely sad that so hard-working and inspirational a figure as Joan has been required to leave the diocesan service in such circumstances. We offer our prayers and good wishes for her future endeavours. Her contribution to J&P work within the diocese and further afield will not be forgotten.

The Commission must now develop its own thoughts about the way ahead in the absence of any paid support, and discussions will be held with the Vicar General Mgr Philip Egan, who has departmental responsibilities covering the Commission’s area of work. In developing our thoughts and ideas we will be very aware of our tradition of collaborative working, such as with CAFOD and J&P in Liverpool Archdiocese, and of the importance attached to MouthPeace journal.

Statement by Tony Walsh, Commission Chair:

At the Commission’s Core Group meeting on Wednesday 9th May, Joan Sharples informed us that she had been called to a meeting at the Shrewsbury Diocese Curial Offices with Fr. Philip Moor, Head of the Department of Administration, and Carol Lawrence, Financial Secretary. The main purpose of the meeting was to inform Joan that a compulsory redundancy process concerning her position as Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility Coordinator, had been initiated. The final decision about the redundancy will be taken by the Diocesan Trustees, at a meeting to be held on Wednesday 30th May.

The Core Group discussed the possible implications and consequences of such a decision and agreed the need to seek further information. It was decided that myself and Bernard Payne, as Commission Chair and Vice Chair, should seek an early meeting with the Vicar General, Mgr. Philip Egan, to clarify the situation and to inform him that the loss of the Coordinator would have a serious adverse impact on the work of the Commission. This meeting has now been arranged for Friday 1st June, and is in addition to a meeting the Chair and Vice Chair held with Fr Moor and Carol Lawrence on Tuesday 22nd May to look more particularly at the background and procedures associated with the proposed redundancy.

Further information on these matters will be provided as soon as available.

19th May 2012, updated 24th May