Our Network is needed more than ever before,” a former MP and Minister of State at the Foreign Office told last weekend’s annual conference of the National Justice and Peace Network of England and Wales. In a talk entitled, ‘Advocacy and Faith Action’, Sir John Battle, an NJPN patron and activist with Leeds Justice and Peace, said, “we need to shift from charitable action to challenging the causes of injustice in line with the preferential option for the poor.

The 45th annual conference addressed issues crucial to the common good and the well-being of the natural world, with a particular focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Commitments at the end included lobbying politicians and leaders in general, involving the Bishops’ Conference, to remind the UK government of its promises in terms of the SDG goals. “No new oil, coal and gas” was another call and a promise to live more simply as individuals and in our communities.

The 2023 NJPN conference gathered Justice and Peace campaigners from across England and Wales, taking the theme: ‘Sustainability? Survival or Shutdown’. It was held 21 – 23 July in Derbyshire, with around 150 participants. Justice and Peace activists from 16 Dioceses and from National Justice and Peace Scotland, priests from three missionary societies and six orders of religious sisters joined representatives of CAFOD, CSAN, CARJ, Missio, Pax Christi England and Wales, SVP, Archbishop Romero Trust and the Laudato Si Movement to highlight social justice issues, structural injustice, climate change, conflict, and migration.

Click here to read the full conference report.