Church and Peace looks back on an eventful year. We are grateful for all the support, companionship, and donations which have reached us and been a source of encouragement in this time of need.
Here we have summarised some of the highlights in this report:
Save the Date: 2021 Conference
Probably for the first time in the history of Church and Peace as an association, no face-to-face meetings were possible during this year‘s conference. Our AGM was held online on 20 June 2020. We are pleased that almost 80 members and friends came together, including some who are no longer able to participate in our conferences otherwise.
We are looking forward to meeting in person once again after such a long time. So we are already issuing a warm invitation to the International Conference from 2 to 5 September 2021 in Strasbourg, France! Save the date!
In the language regions: Regional meetings
We have used opportunities for virtual meetings and consultations not only for the work of the international office and the Board, but above all for networking.
After the regional day in February on “The Real Cost of War”, the Britain and Ireland region hosted two Zoom discussions in the autumn and also invited members from other regions to join in the conversations on “Racism as a Priority for Peace Churches” and “Dismantling White Privilege“.
Francophone members also met online in the autumn to reflect on the questions in the discussion paper “Signs of the Times“.
The German-language regional meeting took place online in November and was attended by more than 80 participants, who engaged in talks and workshops on the theme “When they say ‘Peace & Security‘ – The inner logic of peace”.
The talks and other resources are available on our website.
Thematic focus: Human rights
Many members are engaged in working for human rights, including the rights of people seeking refuge in Europe. Church and Peace continues to critically observe and comment on developments at EU level in relation to the Peace Facility and urges greater investment in nonviolent, civilian conflict transformation instead of further militarisation.
We have become a member of the United4Rescue network. At the end of October, we organised an international online discussion on the state of human rights in Europe.
Thematic focus: Nuclear weapons ban
As a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), we are very pleased that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force in January 2021, having obtained the 50 ratifications needed. There is still a long way to go before the more than 13,000 nuclear bombs which exist worldwide are scrapped.
To this end, Church and Peace, together with six peace organisations, has launched the appeal “For a Nuclear Weapons Free Europe” to call on the governments of Europe to stop the modernisation of nuclear weapons, to end nuclear sharing, and to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Maintaining the network: Communication
We have been able to report on activities and concerns in the network and engage in public discussion in two newsletters, several press releases, and social media this year. Church and Peace, like most non-profit organisations, faces major challenges in terms of future development. Fruitful communication, especially in networks, is an essential basis for all our work. In the light of this, we asked our members about their experiences and expectations. Many thanks to all who participated. Based on the responses, we are initiating a process of further development of our communications.
Maintaining the network: Finances
2020 has also been a difficult year for us financially, as we still have fixed costs despite the cancellation of events. So Church and Peace will probably conclude the year with a financial deficit. If you can still see a way to support the work of Church and Peace with a donation, we would be very grateful. Donate now