A frequent complaint levelled at the Church is that it is a rather slow, cumbersome and antiquated body out of touch with the concerns of ordinary citizens. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent editorial in the New Statesmen paints a rather different picture.
The Church’s network of parishes that criss-cross the length and breadth of the country provide a unique network of contacts that enables the Church to act at times as a lightning rod for wider societal concerns. The same could also be said of the Church’s links and relationships overseas.
One of the joyful challenges of my job is to make the connections between what happens in say the South Kordofan area of Sudan and Bishops in the House of Lords such that the Church here can be a voice for the voiceless. Within this mix the newly created Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief and Advocacy is playing a crucial role.
Following on from a consultation in Nairobi in April of this year food justice has emerged as an advocacy priority for the Alliance. The Alliance’s resource pack on food justice is now up on the Church of England’s website.
The resource might not have the same glossy feel as similar such material produced by other aid agencies but that doesn’t affect its credibility. Alongside helpful introductory material the pack contains a template letter to G20 Agriculture Ministers ahead of an important meeting next week.
Amongst other things the draft letter presses G20 Agriculture Ministers to keep the promises that were made on food security when the G20 met in Italy in 2009. It is always reassuring to see how simple actions like this can snowball into something bigger.
At a time when Oxfam and Christian Aid are both launching their own food justice campaigns it is good to see the Church being involved from the start.