Press Release: Information and Background on Pilgrimage for Europe 2nd -11th April 2018

EuropePilgrimageSolidarityWhy We are Travelling

  • We believe in building bridges between nations and not borders across Europe
  • We wish to renew our links with points of inspiration – for faith, community and peace, since Europe is so much more than an economic or political entity, important though these aspects are.


We show solidarity with the migrants we support both in France and other countries, and link up with Caritas France


  • We meet representatives from faith NGOs – Pax Christi, Jesuit Refugee Service, Caritas Europa and others, to share experiences.
  • We visit the European Parliament: not everyone wants to leave it!

Strasbourg and Geneva

We remain conscious of our common humanity and the common good, as we visit the Council of Europe and the UN Palace of Nations.


We unite with Christians of all denominations, celebrating reconciliation across boundaries.


We seek the inspiration of St Francis, in his care for creation: the human and the divine are all linked to it.


We are inspired by Pope Francis, remembering his Laudato Si, his leadership and his lifestyle, his connections with people of all faiths and none, and visit the social justice outreach community of Sant’Egidio.

Hope and Strength

Christians from throughout Britain, we travel in hope!   Through our pilgrimage we hope to strengthen links with people throughout Europe, build up future contacts, and perhaps invite them to a celebration in the UK at a future date.

Please contact us at the address below for more information or go to our website,


Lent 2018 Events

Tues 20th March Christian CND Embassies Walk. Join us as we visit the London embassies of key states to discuss the progress of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.  Meet at 11am at Dick Sheppard Chapel, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London for a short service before the walk. We will have briefings and lunch in the cafe after 11.30am and the first embassy visits will be after 1pm. If you are planning on coming it’s a good idea to let us know 020 7700 4200, as some (but not all) embassies will require visitors’ names in advance.

Tues 20th March Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador. Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador is a new play by RISE Theatre in association with The Archbishop Romero Trust, looking at the life and legacy of a man who chose to challenge those in power and stand up for social justice. Suitable for 11yrs+ at  St Ignatius Church, Stamford Hill, London on Tuesday 20 March 2018 Doors Open at 7:00PM. Ticket Price: £5.00 – £7.00* Book now

Thurs 22nd March Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador at Northampton Cathedral, Northampton.  Doors Open at 7:00PM.  Ticket Price: £5.00 – £10.00* See above for information. Book now

Thurs 22nd March LGBT Catholics Westminster Building a Bridge Discussion & Reflection – the 2nd Building a Bridge gathering takes place in the Parish Hall, 114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3AH on Thursday, 22 March. Light snacks and refreshments will be available from 18.30, starting the session at 19.00, and finishing at 20.30. This week’s theme is Different Gifts, Pg. 89, in Building A Bridge, James Martin SJ. Copies of the book are available at £10.00 (reduced from 15.99). All are welcome!

Fri 23rd March Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador at St Joseph’s Church, Redhill on Friday 23 March 2018. Doors Open at 7:00PM Ticket Price: £5.00 – £10.00*  See above for information. Book now:

Sat 24th March Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador at Parish Hall, St Benedicts, Ealing Abbey. See above for information. Doors open 7pm. Book now:

Sat 24th March Romero Feast Day Mass on the Anniversary of his assassination at 12.30pm, St George’s Cathedral, Southwark Main celebrant: Archbishop Peter Smith.

Tues 27th March CAFOD Masterclasses.  10am – 3pm. Develop your potential. CAFOD Masterclasses offer 3 free short courses to young adults aged 18-30 who want to develop their skills in print or digital communications, campaigning or fundraising. Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by leaders in their fields.  After a day of building your skills, you’ll be supported to put what you’ve learned into action in support of the world’s poorest people.  Sign up here:

Sunday 1st April Christian CND Easter Sunday Vigil, speakers, tying of dove shapes and messages of peace to the fences, and more at Aldermaston 12noon. Interfaith vigil at 1.30pm. CND 60th Anniversary event with speeches, music and memories at AWE Aldermaston, where CND held its first ever demonstration. CND 020 7700 2393.

Mon 2- Wed 11th April Justice and Peace Commission Pilgrimage to Europe

Fri 6th April Indigenous Wisdom of the Feminine ENVIRONMENTAL PEACEBUILDING,PEACE & CONFLICT at St Ethelburgha’s, 6.30 – 9 pm. Free.  Pat McCabe will speak about a concept that was given to her spiritually, named “Archetypal Woundings of Humanity,” which will explore the ways in which the so-called witch hunts in Europe affected humanity at large, and how they connect to indigenous peoples.  Book at

Wed 11/Thurs 12th April Christian CND  DSEI Arms Fair Trials. Come and support protesters on trial for blocking weapons deliveries to the DSEI arms fair. The trial begins at 10am each day. Stratford Magistrates Court, 389-397 High St, London E15 4SB. For more information contact Trident Ploughshares by phoning 0345 3488 363 or emailing

Sun 15th April Find your purpose: Stories of overcoming adversity to live a life of meaning 3 – 6 pm at St Ethelburgha’s. Do you long to make a difference? What can we learn from those who have successfully overcome adversity and forged a life of purpose? Come and listen to three extraordinary young adults who have chosen different paths to put spiritual values into action.  With Saif Ali, James Adams, Kara Moses and others. Scroll down for info. For more information contact Justine Huxley on 0207 496 1611 or

Sat 21st April West London J&P Network Spring meeting 10am -12pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary church, Botwell Lane, Hayes UB3 2AB. (Coffee/tea from 9.45) Contact Maggie Beirne

Tues 24th April “THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY: BUILDING A DIRECT ACTION MOVEMENT” with Roger Hallam of Rising Up. TIME: 6.00pm PLACE: London Catholic Worker, 49 Mattison Road, Haringay, London N4 1BG. “Roger Hallam has been researching what makes for effective direct action movements, as well as practicing it himself. His focus is on climate change, and he is looking to engage with Christians. Roger Hallam is also currently involved with the “Stop Killing Londoners” campaign on air pollution.

Fri 27th April Christian CND From Trident to What? Defence, Jobs and Diversification. 7pm-9:30pm. Friends Meeting House, 56 St Helen’s St, Derby DE1 3HY. As part of Derby Peace Week, Derby CND hosts this debate on Trident and defence diversification. Speakers include Chris Williamson MP, Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper) and Dave Webb (CND Chair). For more information contact 07557 271015 or email

Sat 28th April Understanding CAFOD. 10 am – 3 pm. An exciting day filled with workshops for long standing and new CAFOD supporters: Speakers Juan Carlos Gazol from our Central America office and Sister Clara from Zambia. Discuss how we can live out the message of Pope Francis, campaign for justice, Share the Journey with refugees, discovering CAFOD and spread the messages in schools and parishes. A great opportunity to meet other CAFOD supporters, pray together and learn new things. We will be having a shared lunch at 1pm so please bring food to share.

After lunch, if you still have some time we are inviting you to join us for a Share the Journey walk, in the Imperial War Museum gardens, in solidarity with refugees. From 2pm to 3pm.

Contacts Marine Harrington – Telephone 0208 466 9901

Mobile 07710 094 446

February 2018 events

Thurs Feb 22nd This Evil Thing a play by Michael Mears about conscientious objectors. 7pm at St Augustine’s Church, 49 Mattison Road, London N4 1BG, buses 29, 141, 341. Tubes Turnpike Lane or Manor House. Entrance free. Information at

Fri Feb 23rd Lent Fast Day This Lent we are working to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe. Hunger can kill children, but CAFOD is providing seeds, fencing and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat. CAFOD talk at masses in parish weekend before Lent Family Fast Day on 17 & 18 February, when the envelopes are normally distributed. CAFOD collection weekend after Family Fast day, 24 & 25 February, when the CAFOD envelopes are collected

Sat Feb 24th Safe Passage Training. Safe Passage is the organisation which has lobbied fairly successfully for more unaccompanied child asylum seekers to be admitted to the UK. They have enabled over 1100 to come in from across Europe and have recently held actions to highlight the iniquitous Calais situation. Westminster J&P is represented in this campaign. All are welcome to come. Sign up and get more information about the training here: .

Mon Feb 26th-Sun Mar 11th FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT
At Justice and Peace we are asking: Could everyone hold a ‘Big Brew’ during the Fortnight, and send a picture in? Teaparties or coffee mornings across the diocese using Fairtrade goods, would be a great way to celebrate the diocese’s Fairtrade commitment. We will collate your pictures on our Facebook page for all to enjoy. And don’t forget to tweet your pictures with #westminsterbigbrew.
‘For hundreds of years we were taught to serve, to be workers. Now with Fairtrade we are entrepreneurs.’ Marcial Quintero, banana grower in Panama

Monday 2nd – 11th April Westminster Justice and Peace Intergenerational Pilgrimage for Europe Booking now! What will YOUR Europe look like? We will visit places which symbolise Europe as a place of reconciliation, peace and human rights. While we are leaving the EU, we cannot leave our continent! We must continue to cherish the links developed over years, decades and centuries, and make them stronger.
Contact Subsidies available for young people. Don’t miss the coach!

WANTED – VOLUNTEERS FOR JUSTICE & PEACE OFFICE – click here for more info.

ONLY 7 MORE PARISHES TO GO! Has your church signed up yet?! The Justice & Peace Commission continues to campaign to get parishes in the Diocese of Westminster affiliated to Fairtrade. Let’s make Westminster a Fairtrade Diocese in 2018!! MORE INFO FROM CAFOD, JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMISSION, FAIRTRADE FOUNDATION

Building Britain’s Welcome – a training with Safe Passage

As part of the Refugees Welcome initiative, Safe Passage (linked with Citizens UK and supported by Justice and Peace), will hold training on February 24th at Camden School for Girls in North London.  Workshops will range from how to campaign in the forthcoming local elections, to how to involve your MP, run ESOL classes, fundraise and more.  SafePassage Sign up via link:

January 2018 Events

Sun Jan 14th Peace Sunday 2018 The theme for Peace Sunday 2018 is Migrants and Refugees – seekers of peace. See Pax Christi website for resources:

Mon Jan 15th “Caste Aside” (a documentary about caste based discrimination) at 7:00 PM at St Anselm’s Parish Hall (The Green, Southall UB2 4BE). There will be a panel/Q & A session after the screening. Further details are available in the links below

Sat Jan 20th CAFOD Parish volunteers. The meeting will take place on 10am – 12.30pm at St Mary Moorfields, Parish Centre, in the basement, 4-5 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LS (near Liverpool Street Station).

  • a talk by CAFOD’s Gemma Salter, who will give a first-hand account of our work in Zimbabwe.
  • This Lent we will be focusing on CAFOD’s work tackling child malnutrition in Zimbabwe.
  • During the meeting we will also give you a preview of our new 2018 Campaign called “Share the Journey”. · Please e-mail to book a place or phone us for further details 0208 4496970

Mon Jan 22nd Justice, Peace and Laudato Si’! talk by Ellen Teague, of Columban team for Justice, Peace and Care for Creation 7pm at Newman House, 111 Gower Street, WC1E 6AR All welcome

Tues Jan 23rd Humanising the Economy, a talk by Sr Cécile Renouard RA, 7pm at Newman House, 111 Gower Street, WC1E 6AR

Thurs Jan 25th CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice) Urban Network meeting, Newman House, 111 Gower Street, WC1E 6AR Please contact Richard Zipfel: for further information or to notify attendance.

Sun Jan 28th Racial Justice Sunday

Thurs Feb 22nd This Evil Thing a play by Michael Mears about conscientious objectors. 7pm at St Augustine’s Church, 49 Mattison Road, London N4 1BG, buses 29, 141, 341. Tubes Turnpike Lane or Manor House. Entrance free. Information at

NB Lent CAFOD talk at masses in parish weekend before, Lent Family Fast Day on 17 & 18 February, when the envelopes are normally distributed. CAFOD collection weekend after Family Fast day, 24 & 25 February, when the CAFOD envelopes are collected

From ICN

Pax Christi will hold its Annual Advent Peace Service on Monday 4 December at 7.00pm at St Aolysius Church, Phoenix Road, Euston, London.

This popular event, with its focus on Advent and the call to peace, will relate stories of women peacemakers, those seeking asylum and the plight of Palestinians. Music will be led by Julie McCann. Following the service there will be an alternative Christmas Market with goods from the Philippines, Palestine, Congo as well as fair traded goods and a selection of Christmas cards.

All welcome.

More here

Pat Gaffney

General Secretary

Pax Christi

St Joseph’s

Watford Way

London , NW4 4TY

0208 203 4884

Support our work

Three events coming up

Here are three events coming up for you to be aware of. Take a look at the links below to see how you can get involved.

Red Wednesday – 22nd November

From Aid to the Church in Need: “This autumn we are asking you, once again, to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and all who suffer for their peacefully held beliefs. We will be holding a week of events from 19 – 26 November with #RedWednesday as the highlight on Wednesday 22 November.

Lobby of Parliament for Palestine 2017 – Wednesday 22nd November

Find out more, including how to contact your MP, from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Syrian Kitchen Launch – Thursday 30th November

The artsdepot, at 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London N12 0GA, will be hosting the Syrian Kitchen Launch. More details and how to book can be found on their website. “Join us for a wonderful evening of food, film, music and talks curated by the Syrian community. Experience authentic Syrian cuisine prepared and served by the Syrian Kitchen, a project run by refugee women living in Barnet.”


Follow up to Human Rights Day

Here is the presentation of Dr Patrick Riordan, SJ, given at our annual Justice & Peace day.  It had so much in it that it will bear plenty of reading and rereading!  Those who did not manage to come alas will have to hear Julie Ward and Nicolette Busuttil on another occasion.  They both spoke eloquently but without notes.

November 2017 Events

Sat 4th Nov – Catholic Association for Racial Justice AGM 11am-4pm St Thomas More Church, 9 Henry Rd, London N4 2LH.  Arrivals and registration from 10:30.  The business meeting will start promptly at 11:00, followed by  Mass, lunch, and an afternoon session exploring the theme: Supporting Vulnerable Groups in a Changing World. 

Sat 4th Nov – Revive Congo  will be celebrating our 5th year anniversary at the Haggerston Community Centre E8 4FF    Book tickets through Eventbrite.

Sun 5th Nov – Fairtrade Fayre at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St George Church Enfield EN2 6DS 9.55am   (begins after 9am Mass). All welcome. An excellent place and time to pick up ethical Christmas presents and cards!

7th-8th Nov – AEFJN-UK (Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network, mainly for religious) Antenna Meeting  Wistaston Hall, Crewe.  The programme includes the film ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Al Gore’s follow up film and a talk from Tim Jones of Jubilee Debt.  Contact Bro Eddie Slawinski at

Tues 7th Nov – Catholic Worker Vigil for Refugees (every first Tues of the Month) 12.30 in front of the Foreign Office, King Charles St:  We pray for refugees and call for our government to ensure safe passage for refugees

Fri 10th Nov – Holy Hour of Prayer for Peace St Mellitus Church Tollington Park N4 3AG (Finsbury Park tube) 6pm to 7pm, Vigil  for  Vatican peace conference. Pray and fast for the success of Vatican conference on nuclear weapons (10-11 Nov in Rome).  If you cannot make it to St Mellitus, organise a prayer service of your own.  See Pax Christi website for resources:

Tues 21st Nov – Catholic Worker Vigil for Refugees (every third Tues of the Month) 12:30pm, by the Home Office, Marsham Street: CW vigil. We pray for refugees and call for our government to ensure safe passage for refugees.

Sat 25th Nov – National Justice and Peace Networking Day St Thomas More Church, 9 Henry Road, London N4 2LH.   10.30-4pm.  Discussion on  Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Network, and opportunities to network and discuss with justice and peace activists and national agencies.  For more information see or contact Ann at 0207901 4864

Human Rights in a post-Brexit era

Barbara Kentish


Sr Liz O’Donohoe with 3 students from Queen Mary College who study Human Rights

Around 60 people took part in the Westminster Justice and Peace annual day on Human Rights on Saturday October 28th. The Commission had decided that in this uncertain European transition period, it was time to reflect on the state of human rights across the continent, particularly, but not only, with reference to the migrant and refugee phenomenon. The session began with prayers around the Lampedusa Cross, symbol of welcome onto European shores.


Julie Ward says EU is a Peace Project

Julie Ward MEP for the North West opened with the emphatic statement that the EU was first and foremost a Peace project in its conception, not simply a set of trading agreements. She pointed out in passing that there was not a European refugee crisis, as it is called, but a crisis of solidarity and humanity. Julie came late to politics, only becoming an MEP in 2014 after much campaigning through the arts, on, amongst other things, women’s issues and trafficking. She expressed outrage that no guarantees had been made to EU citizens living abroad whether in the UK or other EU countries. The so-called ‘Henry VIII law would short-circuit discussion and implement government wishes without challenge. The EU is a powerful human rights institution, and while we will remain with the Convention on Human Rights, we will leave the Charter of Fundamental Rights which strengthens many basic rights including those concerning data protection, children, disability, and workplace discrimination. The global achievements of the EU on human rights are not reported back sufficiently in the UK.

Patrick Riordan says the ground of human dignity is the basis of all rights

Dr Patrick Riordan SJ, lecturer in philosophy at Heythrop College, gave a scholarly examination of what we mean by rights, which, he explained, are discussed in very different registers. Lawyers talk about rights as principles to be defended legally. Philosophers try to establish whether there are intrinsic rights to being human, such as for water, air, food, while rights can also be claimed by individuals simply because they have a very strong wish for something. As to the question of why we believe in rights, this depends on what we believe to be the origin of human dignity, – which Christians see as deriving from our being made in God’s image. The dignity of the human provides the common language of rights.


Nicolette Busuttil of JRS reminded us that standing up for rights costs us personally

Nicolette Busuttil, of the Jesuit Refugee Service, gave a vivid presentation of the relationship of her work to the rights which for many asylum seekers, are being violated: rights to safety, to work, to have a home, to asylum from persecution and so on. She spoke honestly of how reaching out to refugees can touch us in a very personal way: a man claiming asylum had had to be admitted to hospital for a serious medical procedure, and rang her shortly beforehand, to ask if he could name her as the next-of-kin. He had no-one near to hand when in such a vulnerable situation. Reaching out demands faith and courage, and defending rights becomes a very practical matter.


l to r Fr Joe Ryan, Julie Ward MEP, Dr Patrick Riordan SJ, Nicolette Busuttil, JRS, Barbara Kentish

After a delicious lunch provided by St John Vianney parish caterers, participants chose from a variety of workshops on action for human rights by partner agencies: the Apostleship of the Sea, the Catholic Association for Racial Justice, the London Catholic Worker, Safe Passage, London Mining Network, Haringey Migrant Support Network and Taxpayers against Poverty, and Human Rights in a Brazilian community.