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Dozens of people gathered at a Lynn church for a day conference on peace and justice, the first of its kind for some years in West Norfolk.Joint Moderators the Rev June Love (Cornerstone Baptist Church) and the Rev Kyla Sørensen (St. Faith’s Church Gaywood) were delighted to see so many gathered at Cornerstone.“Ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, this forum was an opportunity for church leaders, local groups and charities to explore issues that really matter, issues that we are witnessing in our local communities on a daily basis,” said Rev Kyla.
The free event was open to anyone interested in issues of social justice from a Christian perspective.During a packed programme, leaders from eight different church traditions and delegates from a number of local charities and groups had the opportunity to engage with challenging questions and to reflect on how together we can affect action to make a real difference in Lynn and the surrounding area.Lively and engaging discussions were had as well as a fantastic opportunity to network with other churches and groups in the pop-up resource centre.
The forum’s presenter was Revd Steve Tinning, the Baptist Union’s public issues enabler. Steve divides his working week between the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) and the Baptist Union of Great Britain.At heart, Steve is an activist, with practical theology and community-organising theory working as the foundations of a ministry of justice and compassion.Rev June said: “As churches and charities we are passionate about social action in our area, however Steve inspired us to think about how we can work together to bring about social justice – changing King’s Lynn from a town where we serve the poor to a place where poverty is alleviated altogether.”
The day rounded off with a conversation between Revd Steve and Andy Frere-Smith, a frontline worker in Lynn for Norfolk Together – a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of Norwich supporting the work of local Christians in their community as they develop and deliver social action initiatives.Helen Gilbert, from Lynn Foodbank, said: “It was an informative and very thought-provoking forum, covering several different aspects of peace and justice at a local level as well as nationally and internationally.“So many of these issues are looked at in isolation, when in reality they all overlap and impact on each other.
“As we head into an election year, it is so vital that we as individuals are all as informed as possible about these issues, so that we can make an informed choice about which representative we want to speak for us in political arenas on these matters.”
The date and venue for next year’s forum are January 18, 2025, 10am-3pm at Gaywood Church Rooms.