Leadership and vision for the common good
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Isn't an Election a moment when we express our vision of what we want our society to grow into? Do we want to grow towards greater community, or greater individual autonomy? A vision of a healthy civil society, where human dignity and the common good are at the heart of decision-making, appeals to the best of our nature. It sparkles with life and soul, is more nuanced than the binary utilitarian dullness of either statism or marketisation. A re-humanising of our ways of doing things is what is needed, where the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity are built into our relationships, where our competence is infused with compassion, where every person is valued. Such a vision requires the whole nation to get involved in a radically inclusive agenda that cultivates conscience, virtue and responsibility, respect for each other's traditions, and nurtures growth towards greater community. Who will lead on this vision? If you're looking for signs of hope, look in the mirror. Or read on.
Scroll down for what's going on, recommended books, forthcoming events, resources for Lent. More at www.togetherforthecommongood.co.uk
T4CG this month
In the run up to the General Election we want to encourage people with different views and traditions to come together to focus on the common good, so we are delighted to be planning pre-Election events in partnership with St Martin's in the Fields, Theos and St Paul's Cathedral (for dates, scroll down to events).
Progress with the T4CG Conversation model continues with four organisations planning to use it for real in different contexts. We are working on the Toolkit and seeking the resources needed to bring this growing project to fruition.
Our book, Together for the Common Good: towards a national conversation, will be launched on 26 March. The contributors, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and non-religious, highlight that we urgently need a deeper and wider national conversation about how different interests can live and work together for the common good. With a Foreword by Rabbi Julia Neuberger, the book considers deep questions critical for our time. What responsibility has the state for the common good? How can the market serve the common good? How, when there's so much we disagree about, can we work together for the common good? The book's contributors are Anna Rowlands, Jonathan Chaplin, Andrew Bradstock, Esther Reed, Patrick Riordan, Jon Wilson, Brian Griffiths, Phillip Booth, Maurice Glasman, Tehmina Kazi, Clifford Longley, Sam Burgess and Malcolm Brown. To pre-order a copy, click here.
Scroll down for recommended books, forthcoming events, resources for Lent. More at www.togetherforthecommongood.co.uk
What’s going on
There is so much going on we will only point to a few things here, for more please look at our Twitter feed.
The C of E Bishops' Letter Who Is My Neighbour? is worth reading in detail and will be a useful resource for some time to come. It is complemented by the Catholic bishops' Election Letter. Both are careful to be non partisan and are true to Christian social thought. We have gathered these and messages from other sources (Quakers, Black Churches, Citizens UK, Evangelical Alliance etc) for you on our website Pre-Election page.
There are signs of change on both the left and the right. In spite of the political uncertainties and the usual tribal pre-election posturing, a number of influential politicians across the parties have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Inclusive Growth which recently hosted Archbishop Justin Welby who gave a keynote speech on The Good Economy. Discomfort with social-cultural liberalism linked to the left and free-market liberalism associated with the right has prompted some to explore paths back to a moral economy, not only Maurice Glasman and Blue Labour but also now disaffected Conservative Christians - some constructive ideas are emerging from Tim Montgomerie in The Good Right. And a sign that a more human, relational politics is emerging can be seen in a remarkable collaborative cross party writing partnership between Labour MP Jon Cruddas and leading Conservative thinker Danny Kruger who produced this speech for the Relationship Alliance, Love and Work, these two things only.
Scroll down for forthcoming events, resources for Lent. More at www.togetherforthecommongood.co.uk
Books (for details click on the pink links)
Nicholas Sagovsky and Peter McGrail Together for the Common Good: Towards a National Conversation A collection of essays by leading thinkers from across the Christian denominations, Jewish, Muslim and secular traditions, seeking to be a 'conversation starter' and add to the quality of public discussion around the common good (pre-order here)
Dr Eliza Filby God and Mrs Thatcher This book traces the theological argument between the Church and the government of the 1980s, finding it a ‘dialogue of the deaf’.
Adrian Pabst and Ian Geary Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics a collection of essays marking the emergence of a new radical tradition that integrates progressive and conservative values, critiquing both the social-cultural liberalism of the left and the free-market liberalism of the right. Foreword by Rowan Williams.
John Sentamu On Rock or Sand A set of essays setting out the values and priorities for a new social contract, resetting the terms of the debate about the kind of nation we want to be.
Nigel Pimlott Embracing the Passion: Christian youth work and politics The importance of involving young people in the common good. Also click here for Nigel's Opinion Piece, new on our website this month.
Events (for details click on the pink links)
Lent lecture series at St Michael's Cornhill, City of London: Belief in the City On politics, Magna Carta, religion, finance.
Wednesday 4 March Common Good and Foreign Policy Public lecture with Lord Maurice Glasman. University of Kent.
Saturday 7 March Big Society or the Common Good? Half day conference combining lived experience with theological input. Diocese of Liverpool.
Wednesday 11 March, Chaplaincy in the UK, theological and empirical exploration of chaplaincy, conference organised by Theos.
Wednesday 11 March, Faith and Politics – Where’s the conscience of the nation? Westminster Debates series featuring Dr Eliza Filby, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Peter Kellner and Clifford Longley.
Wednesday 21 March: a study day at Durham University on ‘Catholic Perspectives on Poverty’ hosted by The Centre for Catholic Studies, The Newman Association, and The National Board of Catholic Women.
Monday 23 March, St Paul's Cathedral, Anglican Social Engagement: Past, Present and Future with Malcolm Brown and Paul Hackwood
27-29 March Business for the Kingdom Conference Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Leadership, enterprise and integrity, theological insight and ethical analysis.
Tuesday 31 March Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion Annual Conference 2015 Birmingham. Will political parties be brave enough to tackle the personal debt crisis?
Monday 13 April Towards a Politics for the Common Good at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. A cross party pre-election event organised in partnership with Together for the Common Good. Featuring Dr Anna Rowlands, Dr Sam Wells and a panel discussion with Stephen Timms MP, Dominic Grieve MP, David Lammy MP, Alistair Burt MP and Sarah Teather MP, Chaired by T4CG's Revd Professor Nicholas Sagovsky.
Wednesday 15 April The Politics of the Common Good:[nbsp]What does Catholic Social Teaching have to contribute to electoral politics? Lecture by Dr Anna Rowlands. Manchester.
Saturday 18 April Quaker Spring Gathering, Northampton, Making Quakers Citizen Journalists. Hands-on day with practical tools and techniques led by Patrick Chalmers and Judy Kirby.
Thursday 29 April Beyond Election Day: Power, Money, Government and Responsibility. St Paul's Cathedral, London. Public debate produced in partnership with Theos and Together for the Common Good. Details coming soon.
Resources for Lent and Holy Week from the Department of Spirituality at the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
Seeking the Common Good a Lent course by the C of E Diocese of Worcester
Hope, Actually a 5-week Lent course by Church Urban Fund
Seeing Change a video Lent course by Centre for Theology & Community
We operate mostly on a pro bono basis, thanks to multiple collaborative partnerships and help in kind, but our work does need some financial support to be sustainable. Sincere thanks to CCLA, MB Reckitt Trust, Hymns Ancient and Modern and the Passionists Grants fund for supporting T4CG's activities so far this year. If you can help too, please get in touch.
We hope you find this newsletter helpful. We're always open to suggestions so don't hesitate to get in touch - after all, we're working Together for the Common Good.
With all good wishes,
Together for the Common Good
Together for the Common Good is guided by a Steering Group: Patrick Coldstream (Chair), Andrew Bradstock, Alison Gelder, Peter McGrail, Joanna Moriarty, Maria Power, Hilary Russell, Nicholas Sagovsky, Jenny Sinclair. We consult with a wider group of advisors.
Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
© T4CG 2015