Despite the bad pun, you may have missed this one. When news is all around us and media constantly available, it seems that it's just as easy as ever to be ignorant. All We Can, the Methodist relief and development partner, is responding to the devastation caused by a massive earthquake off the coast of Ecuador that has already claimed over 600 lives and has left thousands with injuries.
There has been plenty of media coverage of the May 2016 Elections throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Here are some highlights:- there are plenty of links to great stories and videos scattered throughout, so do check them out.
Well, there are certainly some sweet victories to celebrate this week before Labour goes back to some serious self-analysis on what it still needs to work on. In Salford and Liverpool, Labour's Candidates Paul Dennett and Joe Anderson won the Mayoralty with Christians on the Left member Marvin Rees taking a smashing majority in Bristol and Sadiq Khan triumphing in London with a win for "Hope over Fear".
There was much to be proud of as two men who have spoken openly about their Faith found themselves the First Muslim Mayor and First Mayor of African of Carribean Heritage of European Cities:- but why is this such a big news story in 21st Century Britain?
What a fascinating evening.
This year we will be hearing from John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Daniel K Finn PhD, University Lecturer and Professor of Theology & Economics.
Our member Paul Nicholas receives a standing ovation for his memorable speech "Dear Nicky", addressing Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, on the forced academisation of our schools.
Recorded at the NASUWT Teachers Union Conference, Easter Weekend 2016.
Christians on the Left Director Andy Flannagan has been appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron as Director of Downing Street’s OFSOC (Office for Social Justice Responsibility). The new body will assess all government policies for their potential positive or negative impact on social justice. He will commence the role after the mid-session parliamentary recess on June 6th.
Plans to overhaul Sunday trading laws in England and Wales have been dropped after they were rejected by MPs.
Leading the charge were a coalition of unions, small shop associations, the Church of England and Christians on the Left.
A huge thanks and congratulations to all those who spoke up and stepped out and to the MPs who listened to the concerns of their constituents before the vote.
Revd Graham Hunter shares news on the London Citizens Housing Manifesto found here and his thoughts and feelings around the housing crisis.
‘There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!’ So said Dorothy as she clicked the heels of her ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz. Of course, were it written today, she may have found that there was actually no place to call home.
‘Diversity can be an argument for unity’
Last night I had the privilege to attend an extremely thought provoking evening hosted by Theos and CPFE (Christian Political Foundation for Europe). The event was called Which Europe? and launched a report by Ben Ryan called A soul for the union.
With talks in the media of deals on Europe, referendums, disunity and the refugee crisis among other things, it was great to be at a discussion which didn’t focus purely on technicality or economy but asked questions around morality, dignity and faith.
The Christians on the Left AGM will take place on 13th April, 5:45pm in the Chapel of Methodist Central Hall.
This AGM sees us elect half of the Executive Committee. Details of the 4 year long posts which are up for election are as follows:
- To work with the Director and the other officers to develop strategic direction and policy for the Movement.
- To chair Officers’ Meetings and, with Vice Chairs, EC Meetings.
- To support the Director in their role as CotL’s chief spokesperson and assisting when appropriate and with consultation.
- To provide advice and support to the Director through regular meetings.
- To undertake the Director’s annual appraisal. To receive any criticism of the Director, address this with the Director and in the last resort initiate the disciplinary process.
- To work with the Director to pursue effective management practice in the Movement and in the CotL office.
- To work with the Director to oversee developments in the IT infrastructure in order to achieve this.
- To ensure the Movement fulfils its statutory obligations with respect to HMRC, its landlord and any other relevant bodies.
- Take minutes and organise and communicate meeting times and places or identify an alternative in your absence.
Political Communications Officer
- To compile and oversee the production of all the publications of the Movement including press releases, online content, pamphlets, publicity materials and have input into the fund-raising material.
- To liaise with members of the wider media, (both Christian and mainstream) to ensure best presentation of our messaging.
- To liaise with opinion-formers, blogs and websites on the left side of politics.
- To ensure a high standard of presentation and content across all output.
- To ensure strategic coherence of the content across all output.
- To work with the Director to evolve an effective communications strategy.
Vice Chair for Fundraising
- To fulfil a support and assessment role on the overall direction and management of the Movement.
- To play a representative role by agreement with the Chair and Director.
- To chair Officers or NEC meetings by agreement with the Chair.
- To undertake certain personnel functions, including in the disciplinary process and in a support role with staff, as agreed by the Officers.
- To co-ordinate the efforts of the fundraising working group to ensure the financial stability of the movement. (Among other things, this will involve trust fund applications, fund-raising events, legacy strategies, key donor liaison, and membership work.)
Ordinary Members Job Description (three of four posts)
Ordinary members of the EC shall reflect and comment on the wider developments of the Movement and assist developments in ways that reflect their skills and time commitment. They will attend EC meetings 2 times a year and will seek to promote the organisation at all times.
National Regional Representatives (for Scotland, North East, East Midlands, Eastern and Greater London)
- To represent members at 2 executive committee meetings each year.
- To begin to build a team of activists in nation/region, including identifying an alternate to represent them at EC meetings they are unable to attend.
- To familiarise themselves with CotL people and activity in nation/region and help to build up existing branches and build new branches.
- To identify wider religious/political activity eg. Church conferences/activities in area.
- To help plan and prepare in consultation with the CotL office a day conference in nation/region at least once in a four year period.
- Do a short annual report of nation/region for the CotL AGM (to be with the CotL office by March 1st each year)
Individuals need to be proposed and seconded for any position. You can propose yourself but will need a seconder. These proposals and seconding will need to be made either by email or in writing but not by means of any verbal communication.
All nominations and seconds must be received by the CotL office (email@example.com) by 5pm on Friday 15th January 2016. Proposals received after this time/date will not be accepted and no exceptions will be made.
As part of the proposal, individuals will need to provide a short statement detailing why they are seeking election (150 words maximum) together with a photograph (passport style) to be sent out to all members.
Details of voting arrangements together with information about candidates will be sent out to members in the New Year.
I hope this information is helpful but if there are points you would like clarified please do not hesitate to contact me.
Finally, I should mention that this is not by any stretch of the imagination, the only way to be involved. We are always looking for writers, administrators, event organisers, prayers etc to help out. If you want to explore this further, do get in touch.