Society of St. Columban © St. Columban’s Widney Manor Rd, Knowle, Solihull. West Midlands B93 9AB Tel. 01564 772096

Justice & Peace





Climate Change: The Agenda for Mission Today. Contains papers and reports presented in 2007 at a Columban international conference in the Philippines on climate change. Columbans in Peru reported that an area of rainforest the size of forty-three soccer pitches disappears in the Peruvian Amazon every 90 minutes and that 22 percent of Peru’s tropical glaciers have melted in the past 25 years. Columbans in Pakistan reported that flash floods in June 2007 displaced two million people after

unusually heavy rain. In a statement from Manila, Columban JPIC representatives, including Fr Peter Hughes from Britain, said that “the endangered Earth demands a new prophetic way of being missionaries”. £6 inclusive of p&p. Special price for the two - £10 inclusive of p&p.

A DVD, books and educational resources have been published by the Columban Missionary Society this week.


DVD - Stations of the Rainforests. For Lent 2010, Columban Faith and Justice in Britain has produced a new DVD, Stations of the Rainforests. This revised audio-visual incorporates more global issues related to rainforest destruction, such as the impact of extractive industries, loss of biodiversity and climate change. Links are revealed with human impoverishment and loss of livelihoods.

A Resource Booklet accompanies the DVD, providing the script, an agenda for meetings using the DVD, a reflection for each of the Stations and material for liturgies.  £7 inclusive of p&p from Columban JPIC Office,

St. Joseph's, Watford Way,

Hendon, London NW4 4TY.

020 8202 2555.



Columbans run stall at environment conference

Ellen Teague

Columbans ran a stall at a London conference last week which explored action by the churches on environmental problems. Lent “is one of the most counter-cultural festivals we have, where abstinence stands against consumerism,” according to Peter Owen Jones, the Anglican vicar from Sussex who presents the BBC's 'How to live a simple life' and who was keynote speaker.  The 5 March day was organised by Christian Ecology Link (CEL) and Ellen Teague ran a stall with Columban resources. Peter Owen Jones felt that church festivals such as Lent could better “synchronise our lives with the life of the planet” and be used to raise awareness of the greatest issue of our times – human destruction of Earth’s life systems. He said he supported moves towards vegetarianism, which means living more lightly on the planet, and indeed grows his own vegetables. He founded the Arbory Trust, the first Christian charity to offer woodland burial.

Owen Jones told an ecumenical audience of 150 people from around Britain that CEL is “a community living out of deep ecological respect” and “I admire each and every one of you”. CEL’s current chair, Catholic Paul Bodenham, called for more people to become CEL members. He said that CEL - with around 900 members - is a movement which has “a sense that the Christian gospel has something important to say about the state of the world” and this “has not really been articulated by the churches”. It was appropriate that behind the speakers in St. John’s Anglican church, opposite Waterloo Station, were two huge murals which contextualised the concern Jesus had for the vulnerable and his close relationship with the natural world. One mural depicted the parable of the Good Samaritan but it was set on Waterloo Bridge. The second was Jesus walking by a river, but rather than the River Jordan it was the River Thames with modern day passers by engaging with him and feeding birds.  

The CEL day also explored green economics, led by Tim Cooper,


a former Chair of CEL and Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University. He felt that Christian ethics challenge the assumptions of traditional economics that more is better, and that existing market structures are adequate to dealing with environmental problems and social injustices. At grassroots level, he pushed for more initiatives such as Fairtrade churches and Christian alternatives to consumerism at Christmas.  CAFOD also ran a stall at the day, introducing its new parish eco-congregation scheme which will be launched in May. Columban Justice and Peace displayed its DVD ‘Stations of the Rainforest’ and a booklet of Christian environmental assemblies for primary schools.

More details and photos available at The website also has an extensive diary of Christian environmental events during Lent.


See a DVD presentation of ‘Stations of the Rainforest’ on the Columban Missionaries website


'Peter Owen Jones (left) with Paul Bodenham, the catholic chair of Christian Ecology Link