Catholic Conference to explore ‘Justice at Work’

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National Justice and Peace Network

Catholic Conference to explore ‘JUSTICE AT WORK’

33rd Annual Conference of the National Justice and Peace Network,
Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire
15-17 July 2011

More than 300 Justice and Peace campaigners from across England and Wales will gather in Derbyshire 15-17 July to raise awareness of working conditions in the context of today’s economy and modern society. They will explore the dignity and reality of contemporary work from a Christian perspective and in the light of Catholic Social Teaching. The title of the conference is ‘JUSTICE AT WORK – A Place of safety, fulfilment and growth?
A keynote speaker is the deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Frances O’Grady. She will quote Catholic Social Teaching in support of a plea to unite against the injustice of the present economic situation.

“Catholic teaching recognises that the relationship between an employer and a worker is a fundamentally unequal one and that therefore unions have an important role at work and in society, building solidarity and providing a voice for working people” she will say. She will point out that faith groups have worked with trade unions on many issues such as the ‘Living Wage’ campaigns. “Community trades unionism has never mattered more than now” she says; “the TUC is committed to playing our part through a unique alliance of unions, charities, faith and community groups, patient and parent organisations – and the millions of ordinary people who share our concerns about the impact of the public spending cuts”.
Frances O’Grady became TUC Deputy General Secretary in January 2003, the first woman ever to hold this post. She has lead responsibility for a wide range of key areas of policy development across the TUC’s work. In April 2007 she was appointed to the Low Pay Commission.
David McLoughlin is Senior Lecturer in Theology at Newman University College and honorary Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His interests include the inter-relationship between theology and social and political life and specifically the world of work. He is a founder member of the Movement of Christian Workers.
Jon Cruddas MP was a member of the Transport and General Workers Union from 1989 until his election in 2001 when he became MP for Dagenham. As deputy political secretary to Tony Blair he worked on the introduction of the minimum wage.
John Battle is a former National Co-ordinator of Church Action on Poverty and was MP for Leeds West from 1987 until he stood down in 2010. He was a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Prime Minister’s envoy to faith communities. He is now active in his local community.
Sheila Kambobe is the Deputy Director of the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Lusaka, Zambia, a key CAFOD advocacy partner working on many areas of economic justice. She has worked in UN programmes in Sierra Leone, East Timor and Cambodia.
There will be personal testimonies on the experiences of: church employment, young people, discrimination as a Moslem woman, and of good practice in the workplace.
Topics to be covered include: Vulnerable workers – seafarers, migrant domestic workers, rural workers, garment workers, those in informal and unregulated work, as well as women involved in prostitution; an overseas perspective of empowering workers from CAFOD and Progressio; challenges of working in the not-for-profit sector; prospects for the ‘green economy’; alternatives to the arms trade; conflict resolution; finding a work/life balance; understanding work in the context of Creation theology; exploring the issues through art; and a worship preparation workshop.

Workshop leaders include Niall Cooper (Director of Church Action on Poverty), Martin Foley (Director of Apostleship of the Sea), Christine Allen (Director of Progressio), Rosie Bairwal (National Coordinator of the Catholic Association for Racial Justice), and Alison Gelder (Director of Housing Justice).
A ‘Question Time’ panel on the Saturday evening – including theologian David McLoughlin, Unite’s National Officer Rachael Maskell and chaired by Bishop William Kenney – will take questions from the floor.
Agencies will be displaying goods, resources, and information at the ‘Just Fair’ marketplace.
Children and young people are a vital part of the NJPN conference. There will be a crèche for children under 5 and a specially designed Y-KIDS Programme for 5 to 11 year olds. 12 to 18 year olds will explore the conference theme in an active and thought provoking weekend led by the InReality Youth Team from Hallam Diocese.


Ellen Teague on 020 8954 6255

Booking forms can be downloaded from website or contact the NJPN Administrator at:

Tel:020 7901 4864


The National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN), a leading grassroots campaigning network, encourages prophetic witness, raising awareness of justice and peace as central to the life of the Catholic Church.
UK registered charity no. 1114947 Company no.5036866
Registered Office: 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX