They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
Peacemaking lies at the heart of the biblical story, and remains a central Christian vocation, yet conflict remains inevitable. Our work is to examine the challenges to peace and wellbeing today and to offer alternative approaches to violence.
Peacemaking a Christian Vocation
Jesus called us to be peacemakers, both in terms of preventing bloodshed as well as building constructive links with God, ourselves and other people.
In 2006 the Methodist and United Reformed Churches produced a report titled ‘Peacemaking: A Christian vocation’. This explores a Christian perspective on peace and conflict in the context of new challenges facing us today.
You can order a copy of ‘Peacemaking: A Christian Vocation’ free by emailing Liz Millard. (We ask that you cover the cost of postage)
A global movement seeks to introduce a ban on the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Secretary of State, William Hague, tells Church leaders that the government remains committed to working towards a world without nuclear weapons but then acts against one of the most promising initiatives.
Nuclear Ban Treaty
Throughout 2017 the United Nations is holding negotiations to create a legal framework for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. Our churches have long held the position that nuclear weapons are ‘a critical moral issue of our time’ and therefore we welcome this treaty and have produced a briefing for you about the negotiations, why the treaty is needed, and what you can do to take action towards banning nuclear weapons – forever.
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church have been outspoken in their opposition to a replacement of the Trident nuclear submarines. Renewal of Trident is incompatible with the UK’s desire to encourage global nuclear non-proliferation.
Trident is likely to cost the UK a staggering £3.7 billion per year over the next 15 years. In addition to moral and ethical concerns, there are also serious economic arguments against renewing it. Trident is a large drain on our budget with very little to show for it.
Consequently we would all be…
Unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – have been a hot topic in the news since 2012/13. These cost-efficient combat machines are changing the nature of warfare and potentially the dynamics of international relations.
The CIA is using drones to carry out targeted killings in contravention of conventional interpretations of international law. This is setting a dangerous new precedent.
We have investigated the possibility that the ready availability of drones makes recourse to military intervention more likely, their use for targeted killings, their implications under international law, and the ethics of increased automation in the use of technology.
The central bodies of the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church have passed resolutions calling on the Government to state its position on the legality the use of drones for targeted killings. You can see our Churches’ Submission of Evidence to UK Defence Committee (.pdf version here) here published 25 March 2014.
Peacemaking Sunday is held each year on the nearest Sunday to the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September. We encourage Churches and individuals to celebrate Peacemaking Sunday.
Fellowship of Reconciliation – Peacemaking Sunday 2017
In 2017 the Peacemaking Sunday resource was created by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The resource can be found here.
When I needed a neighbour: refugees and sanctuary –
Peacemaking Sunday, 18 September 2016
The theme for the 2016 resource was solidarity with refugees. The focus of our prayers on Peacemaking Sunday were for the success of meetings held by the UN and world leaders on refugees and migrants. We also prayed for our churches to continue to express concern for and act in solidarity with refugees. The resource was compiled and prepared by JPIT member David Bradwell, Co-ordinator of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees.