A time for mutual respect
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Welcome again to the Together for the Common Good newsletter.
The causes of the events currently unfolding have been brewing for years. The people have spoken, and for those who didn't realise what was wrong, this is a wake up call about the feelings and experiences of their fellow citizens. Perhaps the sense of crisis will make way for opportunity - for the rebalancing that is required, for the forging of a common life and the rebuilding of social trust. For some time we have been calling for a new settlement for the common good - a balance of interests.
Ideology, of the left or of the right, will not be helpful here: we should be suspicious of promises of false hope. We need an ethics- and virtue-based politics of the common good with a one nation approach and deliverable policies that foster good relationships. This is the moment for honourable, competent leadership that models honesty, responsibility and humility.
There is a unique role for the churches at this point, especially the laity, at the grassroots. The Christian traditions of love, human dignity, reconciliation, family, community and sense of place are needed now. We must work with, not speak for, people in communities who have for too long been left behind. This is a time for mutual respect: to discover who we are, to build relationships with people who may hold different views and live different lives, to be ready for what may yet unfold.
(1 Cor 12-14)
In this newsletter
Below you will find a link to our latest keynote, then details of our next event, followed by our 'what's going on' section (includes links and downloads for you on: 'after the Brexit vote', 'strengthening civil society', 'video and audio links', 'calls for research contributions' - plus our 'related events listings') and finally a quick digest of our recent Twitter activity.
T4CG Keynote: this year's National Justice and Peace Network conference saw Jenny Sinclair, our founder-director, giving a talk entitled Building the Common Good: Our Responsibility. For more details, link to video and her full text, click here.
Jon Cruddas MP also spoke about A virtue and ethics-based politics of the Common Good (click link for his video).
A date for your diary
On Thursday 6 October 2016 at 6.30pm we are holding a public discussion in the City of London on how markets and business can address the challenges set by Pope Francis in Laudato Si' - his encyclical on climate change and integral ecology: Business, Industry and the Common Good: the Challenge of Laudato Si'. Entrance is free and includes drinks afterwards. Registration essential - click here to book your place.
The event brings together speakers from academic, theological and investment practitioner perspectives: Dr Sam Gregg Director of Research at the Acton Institute, USA, Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, Theological Adviser to CAFOD, Sian Ferguson, Trust Executive, Sainsburys Family Charitable Trusts, and Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Chair of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, USA. The discussion is aimed at people working in investment, markets, industry and business, those interested in the practice of Catholic social teaching, and those working to meet the challenge of climate change and inequality. The event is organised by T4CG in partnership with the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham and is supported by CCLA. For full biographies and other details - click here.
More T4CG news
We are working in partnership with a great group of people, led by Alsop High School in Walton, Liverpool, on their grassroots initiative FAITH 2017: Working Together for the Common Good. As part of this we are trialling our 'Common Good Schools' toolkit, building on the success of HOPE 2016 earlier this year. Their six month programme will be neighbourhood-based and social action focused, involving primary and secondary schools, churches of all denominations, fellow faith groups and community groups. Any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. A group of teachers from across Italy are also involved - for details click here.
Our other projects include developing Common Good resources for clergy, lay and religious, students and young graduates. Each piece of work is emerging thanks to pro bono assistance from our associates, and each project will need funding to come to fruition. Alongside this, we continue building relationships across traditions and sectors, curating this website, keeping an active presence on Twitter, and responding to requests from individuals and organisations asking for our advice. We're still waiting to hear from the Charity Commission and making plans to increase our capacity.
What's going on
A few links and downloads collected for you
After the Brexit vote
Know the facts: the Resolution Foundation's report - The Importance of Place - explains the characteristics underpinning the Brexit vote across different parts of the UK.
The Salvation Army calls for more relational conversations with those who think differently as a radical form of political action, in Five ways to live post Brexit and in their Marching Towards Justice guide to community organising and the church.
Read Martin Kettle on a Theresa May government: 'She is not afraid of the state’s economic or social role. Perhaps she is best thought of as a post-liberal politician.'
Listen to two short broadcasts by Sir Roger Scruton on BBC Radio 4's A Point of View on the nation state, social trust, democracy and the sovereignty of the people. He says: "The common good, rather than mass sentiment, should be the source of law" (in 'A Petition Against Petitions') and "subsidiarity has become a term of 'news-speak' where it means the opposite of what it pretends" (in "Democracy After Brexit").
Read Dr Anna Rowlands’ view from the North East in 'The Fragility of Goodness', where she talks about her experience of holding a post Brexit 'common good conversation' in a pub in Sunderland.
Dr Adrian Pabst explores slgns of post-liberal feeling emerging in the Brexit vote, in 'A Politics of Paradox'
Links to more articles we've liked can be found via our Twitter digest below.
Strengthening civil society
Working to change prison culture: Lemos & Crane have launched a free online training course 'Working in the Good Prison: values, attitudes and activities for engagement with offenders.' For staff in prisons and Young Offender Institutions who want to develop their own values, responsibilities and practice, working together with others to build a humane and rehabilitative culture in custodial environments.
Providing debt awareness and signposting: Have a look at the practical resources from ToYourCredit. Any church can order the debt signposting training for free - it's only 2 hours and includes helpful videos.
Building financial capability: Quaker Social Action are working towards financial capability with Made of Money a programme transforming relationships by untangling feelings about money.
On the role of the church: Church Action on Poverty are asking what it means to be a poor church, for the poor and of the poor
Being good neighbours: Read about the Salaam-Shalom Kitchen in Hyson Green, Nottingham where Near Neighbours have been helping to bring Jewish and Muslim people together breaking down barriers that keep people apart, getting to know each other and supporting those who need a hot meal in their neighbourhood.
Raising awareness about social impact investment: social investment can be a genuine asset class and also meet social need. Read the story of Unforgettable, an initiative started by James Ashwell, inspired by his family’s experiences with dementia.
Walking the walk: to change the way markets work, we have to participate: capital markets can be part of communities and share their values - the Social Stock Exchange is now active in Liverpool/Wirral - read about it here.
Everyone can influence investment decisions: Are you asking your pension provider or bank who they invest with? The TIAA Global Asset Management Survey of wealth advisors and clients found that 77% of clients want their assets to have a positive impact on society. 61% say their advisor has not brought up the topic of responsible investing in the last 12 months. 36% of advisors admit to being unable to provide advice on responsible investments. 90% of millennials want their investments to have a positive impact.
Pray: feel free to use the T4CG prayer
Video and audio links
Watch the inimitable and hilarious Peter Kenyon giving his classic inspirational talk on Asset Based Community Development
Watch Danny Kruger giving a TEDx talk ‘Radical Consensus’, where he talks about how his work with ex offenders has led him to believe that dysfunctional relationships cause social problems, and that this insight may be the key to a new kind of politics.
Listen to Jean Vanier on BBC Radio Scotland (1h 06 minutes in to the programme) in a fabulous, wide-ranging interview with Ricky Ross, lead singer of the band Deacon Blue, talking about L'Arche and his major new book 'Life's Great Questions'. They refer to Jean's talk at T4CG's event at the House of Lords in January last year: 'Living together for the common good: why the strong need the weak.'
Calls for research contributions
New Philanthropy Capital's A Question of Faith, is exploring how faith affects how charities operate, and looking at the benefits and the challenges they face. Over 49,000 charities in the UK are faith based; with a combined income of over £16 billion; 27% of the whole charity sector. Can you help NPC develop a better understanding about the contribution faith-based charities make to our society? Contact Rachel at Rachel.Wharton@thinkNPC.org
Parliament’s Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an Inquiry into Social Care - inviting written submissions by 19th August. The Centre for Welfare Reform is coordinating a joint response by organisations and individuals concerned about the future of public services in this sector and in particular the impact on disabled and older people. They welcome information on good and bad practice - click here to contribute.
We do our best to bring you a range of updates. Do write to us and suggest what we could include next time. We archive selected items from our newsletters in our Further Study Materials pages on our website.
For a quick digest of our Twitter activity since the Brexit Vote, Click here
Summer Reading: read our two books yet? For new reviews and details click here
Click here to go to our listings pages with details of events held by our friends and partners, including Focolare, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, Durham University, Citizens UK, Church Urban Fund, Liveability, London Quakers, Jubilee+, ForMission College and others...
We hope you find this newsletter helpful - please tell us what you think - email us at email@example.com. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have an idea to discuss - after all, we're working Together for the Common Good.