[Jump to content]

The Parish The Sacred Heart and St. Margaret Mary. East Dereham, Norfolk

Justice & Peace Group

Dereham Justice and Peace Group – what is it?



Why did we form?

The Dereham Justice and Peace group formed in 1992. The Sisters of Notre Dame were opening a new school in Kulende, Nigeria and working in the parish.   The group formed to encourage support the sisters' works organising specific collections. By learning from the National Justice and Peace organisation we also try to provide the parish information on social and political issues affecting the vulnerable anywhere in the world. This has been done by our newsletters and functions with guest speakers.


Background within the Church

The Second Vatican Council had proposed a body of the Church "to stimulate the Catholic Community to foster progress in needy regions and social justice on the international scene". From this Pope Paul VI established a Pontifical Commission to investigate a new body.  Two months later, Paul VI   "its name, which is also its programme, is Justice and Peace". After a ten-year trial, Paul VI gave the Commission its definitive status, When, in 1988  Roman Curia was reorganised, Pope John Paul II changed its name from Commission to Pontifical Council and reconfirmed the general lines of its work.


Objectives and mandate of this Commission

Pastor Bonus set up Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the following terms: "The Council will promote justice and peace in the world, in the light of the Gospel and of the social teaching of the Church especially as regards relations between workers and employers. These relations must be increasingly marked by the spirit of the Gospel. 

It will assemble and evaluate information and research on justice and peace, the development of peoples and the violations of human rights.  It will foster relations with international Catholic organizations and with other bodies, be they Catholic or not, that are sincerely committed to the promotion of the values of justice and peace in the world.  It emphasises the need to promote peace, it will maintain close relations with the Secretariat of State, especially when it deals publicly with problems of justice and peace in its documents or declarations".


UK J & P Movement and Network.

(here is a link … !! http://www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/about_us.htmlMichael has been at it again )

 The National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) encourages work for Justice and Peace by promoting liaison and communication among diocesan groups and individuals. A network of diocesan members, field workers, agency representatives and individuals is maintained.

The Network was started in 1978 and has held annual conferences since that date. Its members are representatives from diocesan Justice and Peace Commissions or groups. Also affiliated to the network are agencies and organisations working in the field of Justice and Peace, religious and missionary orders with a special calling for justice and peace work.  Although both the roots and ethos of the network are strongly Catholic, many of the hundreds of small J&P groups around the country now function ecumenically (e.g. Fakenham) and some are now seeking to operate pan-faith.

Much of the work of the Network links into the campaigns organised by affiliated agencies. As well as working on global issues like the cancellation of third world debt, groups and commissions around the country are involved in national and local issues: credit unions, housing and homelessness, supporting refugees and asylum seekers, environmental issues etc.


Where are we now?

We have continued over the years to get speakers on J+P issues, holding functions, producing newsletters, petitions and having collection envelopes available for Kulende. We have been a consistent donor to the community in Kulende, giving between £1000 and £2000 per year. A year in school including teaching food and uniform is about £60.


What is Justice and Peace for?

-          To help people understand the suffering, injustice and violence in the world today.

-          To assist in giving ideas and promote thought about taking concrete actions for a better world.

-          To work within Church structures, at parish level to raise awareness and promote closer connection with those suffering injustice.


What do we do?

-          We need to work with existing groups e.g. Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Pax Christi and Society of Vincent de Paul (SVP) and groups who may not have specific justice agenda, e.g. Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM) etc.

-          Cooperate wherever possible with other bodies, both within and outside the churches, with whom we share a common agenda, e.g. Aid Agencies like CAFOD, Christian Aid and OXFAM, the various human rights, peace and disarmament organisations, and those campaigning against poverty and deprivation.


What can you do?

-          Make yourself aware of the injustices in today’s world by reading and researching.

-          Support organisations combating injustice e.g. CAFOD.

-          Donate to causes to support those in need.

-          Sign petitions against injustices.

-          Write/email to your MP or others dealing with any injustices that they can influence.

-          Pray for those in need.


Who are we?

-          Veronica Bell

-          Ian Campbell

-          Marion Campbell

-          Michael Fenton

-          Brian Moran

We meet the second Monday of the month at the house one of the group.

If you want to know more please ask one of us.


What do we Want?

            More members to work in our committee (just ask – no fees – no pay – just work!!)

            You to instigate areas for our research (we do not want to be confined to support of "pet” projects).

            Your prayers for the whole J & P movement. The world is vast and the unfortunate number billions - God will help if called upon.



Article written by Richard May


Parish News

Parish Group News

Click here for today's readings provided by Universalis.