JUBILEE UPDATES & NEWSLETTERS, 2001


jUBilEE UPDATE

14th November 2001

Feast of St Gregory Palamas
-- Anniversary of the expulsion of Trotsky from the CPSU 1927
from the Jubilee Group: a network of socialist Christians.

The 'war on terror'

It is by no means clear that the USA's 'war on terror' will not be extended beyond even the Middle East. Latin America, too, may be affected. If so, it is uncertain what Britain's role in standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with the USA will involve.

On 15 October the State Department's top counter terrorism official Francis X Taylor told reporters that the USA would fight terrorism in the western hemisphere using 'all the elements of our national power as well as the elements of the national power of all the countries in our region'. He said that organisations in Colombia classified as terrorist will 'get the same treatment as any other terrorist group in terms of our interest in going after them and ceasing their terrorist activities' (see Associated Press report on dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011016/wl/attacks_us_colombia_2.html). US government officials have expressed concern that Daniel Ortega of the FSLN may be elected in the Nicaraguan presidential elections on 4 November and warned that, unless the FSLN severs some of its international links, Nicaragua might be added to the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Marc Grossman, Under-secretary of State for Political Affairs, suggested that Nicaraguans should vote and do so wisely (see Washington Post report on http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9232-2001Oct17.html).

There would be strong resistance from moderates in the US government, let alone the wider public, to extending the 'war on terror' widely. But hardliners with experience of involvement in far-right activity in Latin America have been nominated or appointed to certain key posts. John Negroponte, nominated as US ambassador to the United Nations, was ambassador to the Honduras from 1981-85, where he helped to support the military dictatorship, including covering up the work of death squads, and prosecute the contra war against Nicaragua, then later served in Mexico. Otto Reich, nominated as Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, is director of the Center for a Free Cuba, which has lobbied to retain economic sanctions, despite repeated UN resolutions.

During the early 1980s he headed a propaganda unit staffed by CIA and Pentagon psychological warfare specialists, the Office of Public Diplomacy, which reported to Oliver North and was later closed after Congressional investigations of the Iran-contra scandal, and was ambassador to Venezuela from 1986-89. Elliot Abrams was appointed as senior director of the National Security Council's Office for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations, a post which does not require Senate confirmation. In the 1980s he was Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, then for Inter-American Affairs, which involved supervising US policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. This included resourcing contra activities (supported by the Reagan administration even after US aggression against Nicaragua was ruled illegal by the World Court in 1986), and covering up human rights abuses in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. In 1991, after lying about the contra scandal, he pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress, but was unrepentant; he was pardoned a year later by George Bush Sr.

The current Bush administration's perspective on what constitutes terrorism appears to be very elastic. It remains to be seen how this will affect the actions of the USA and its allies in the months and years to come.

Savi Hensman

Dates: The 2001 Christ the King Lecture and AGM is on Saturday 24th November at St John's, Bethnal Green. The lecture will be given by Elaine Graham, Professor of Social and Pastoral Theology in the University of Manchester on 'Technology as Sacrament: post-humanity and the image of God'. Elaine will draw on, and develop, ideas in her forthcoming book Representations of the Post/Human (Manchester University Press December).

The AGM begins at 11am, and the lecture at 11 30. We plan to end about 1pm but those who wish to carry on discussion with Elaine can do so over lunch in Bethnal Green Road (You will have to pay for this!) St John's is next to Bethnal Green Underground Station (Central Line). Please make this event widely known.

The Feast of Christ the King (this year 25th November) is the day when we ask Jubilee people to help their parishes and communities to focus on the Reign of God and to draw attention to the work of the Jubilee Group. It is also close to the day on which the Jubilee Group was founded in 1974. We decided some years ago that we would encourage members of Jubilee to encourage their local churches (a) to focus on the theology of the Kingdom; and (b) to help raise support (including financial) for the work of Jubilee itself on this day. It would be good if this could spead throughout the world.

Roger Royle and Gustav Holst

Listening to Sunday Half Hour on Radio 2 on 11th November, having just returned from three weeks in the USA, and with the destructive power of uncritical patriotism still in my mind, it was sad to hear Roger Royle, the 'radio parson', regret that the hymn 'I vow to thee, my country' was rarely sung in churches nowadays. I am delighted, and would hope that it was never sung, because, as Fr John Groser pointed out to the then Bishop of Stepney many years ago, it is an entirely unsuitable hymn to be sung by Christians who, at their baptism, have committed themselves in absolute obedience ('the love that asks no question') only to Christ and his Kingdom. (I was pleased that I have never heard it sung in the USA in spite of their current flag devotion.)

Some years ago the Jubilee Group, concerned that Holst's wonderful tune was so defaced by these more or less fascist words, invited people to write a hymn with some decent words. We were delighted when Professor Bill Whitla from Holy Trinity Parish, Toronto, sent his hymn 'Let streams of living justice Flow down upon the earth'. I am pleased that it is now in Common Praise, the new hymn book of the Anglican Church of Canada. I introduced the hymn at Thaxted a few years ago at the liturgy for the conference of the International League of Reiligious Socialists, and we have sung it at St Botolph's and at Alan Green's institution at St John's, Bethnal Green. It needs promoting. Bad hymns reinforce bad theology and bad practice, and 'I vow to thee my country' is a classic, and deplorable, example.

Ken Leech

Maria Exall is standing as Senior Deputy General Secretary of the CWU (Communications Workers Union). The ballot is now in November, Maria is calling for secure jobs for all, the public ownership of the post office and using the union-Labour link to fight for union policies within the party. If elected she will continue to take the same salary she earns as a BT engineer, not the £52,000 officer's pay. To contact Maria's campaign, call 07714 206044 or e-mail maria@votemaria.org or www.votemaria.org

Caroline Adams

Caroline, who died early in June, was a comrade and close friend of thousands of us in East London. She requested that, if people wished to remember her, they should do so by supporting Plantlife which seeks to preserve rare plants. The address is Plantlife, Freepost, LON 10717, London SW1 W9YY.

Material for Jubilee Newsletters and Updates should be sent to Fr Ken Leech, St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 N 1AB ( 020 7377 0721)


JUBILEE GROUP EVENTS - U.K.

From Ken Leech in London: One of the sanest and most helpful articles on the aftermath of 11 Sept was by Sir Michael Howard, the war historian and former professor at Oxford and Yale, in The Times on 14th September, entitled 'Terrorism has always fed off its response.'

Howard (my old tutor from the 1950s) began by noting that, in the aftermath of the attacks, it was not surprising that 'public figures from President Bush down should have made statements that barely stood up to critical examination.' The claim that the attacks were 'cowardly' is one such. To take part in attacks which meant death for the perpetrators surely required 'a very remarkable kind of cowardice'. Again,it was claimed that the attacks could only have been done with the support of 'rogue states'. But, said Howard, they needed nothing more than 'good organisation, access to open information about airline schedules, a dozen people prepared to die for their cause, and a phenomenal amount of luck.'

Howard went on to point to 'the most serious misconception' in Bush's suggestion that the aim of the terrorists was to push the USA towards 'chaos and surrender'. He noted: 'The history of terrorism suggests that their objective was rather different, and that they are well on the way to achieving it.' He went on to examine the history of terrorism, pointing out that terrorism is a technique for waging war, and therefore to speak of 'waging war' against it is nonsense. Terrorism is 'the weapon of the weak', often the only available weapon. To speak of being 'at war with terrorism' is 'unhelpful and misleading'.

Howard concluded with a warning about the vengeance response. 'If this view were to prevail, "the strategy of provocation" would have won, and Mr Bush would be playing out the script written for him by the terrorists themselves.' If he responds in kind, 'he would only multiply the number of the enemies of the United States throughout the world.' I hope that Michael's words are heeded.

The next Jubilee Executive is at 2 Whitechurch Lane, London E1 on Monday 8th October at 6pm. Please come. Some members have not attended for at least three years!

The Christ the King Lecture and AGM is on Sat 25th November St John's Bethnal Green when Professor Elaine Graham will speak on issues around social exclusion and attitudes to the Blair project. More info later. This will occur from roughly 11am to 4pm.

Jubilee Parishes: At the last executive we felt that we should inform people about gathering together what we called 'Jubilee Parishes'. Paul Butler said he would be happy to help coordinate this. This could be linked with promoting the Feast of Christ the King as a 'Jubilee day'. So could you contact Paul if you feel that your parish is in sympathy with the Jubilee Group. He is at St Dunstan's Vicarage, 32 Bellingham Green, London SE6 3JB 020 8698 3291 or e-mail PaulRedButler@compuserve.com


jUBilEE UPDATE 133

FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS, 14TH September 2001
from the Jubilee Group: a network of socialist Christians

Maria Exall is standing for election as Senior Deputy General Secretary if the CWU. The ballot takes place in October. Maria took part in the Jubilee seminars at Bethnal Green earlier in the year.

Dorothy Howell-Thomas

With the death of our oldest member, Dorothy Howell-Thomas, at the age of 87, a long line of Anglican social thinkers, critics and activists has ended. Not, of course, in the sense that there is no one to succeed her. There are many, not least within Jubilee, who were inspired, guided, influenced, taught, by her, for she saw that the future lay with the young, and always went out of her way to cultivate and maintain friendships with people much younger than herself. But she was one of the last significant Anglican social thinkers who united three different periods of history -the 1930s and the struggle against fascism and unemployment, the 1960s, and her 'retirement' from the 1970s to a few weeks ago. Ken Leech's obituary for The Guardian is available, and Andrew Chandler has written an excellent one for the Church Times which should appear soon. Dorothy was William Temple's private secretary and, in 1941, typed his book Christianity and Social Order. (She always corrected people who referred to it as 'Christianity and the Social Order.) In her retirement, she wrote a book called Socialism in West Sussex (1983) -worth buying just for the title. (It was in fact a history of Chichester Labour Party.)

Caroline Adams

Caroline, who died early in June, was a comrade and close friend of thousands of us in East London. She requested that, if people wished to remember her, they should do so by supporting Plantlife which seeks to preserve rare plants. The address is Plantlife, Freepost, LON 10717, London SW1 W9YY. Ken Leech has an obituary of Caroline in the September issue of Searchlight, the anti-fascist monthly.

Dates

The government again has its Arms Fair from 11th to 14th September. With its unprecedented number of Christian members, it always chooses the time of the Feast of the Holy Cross for this groteque event. There will be a peace procession on 11th, and a nonviolent action camp and vigil for peace. Contact Campaign Against the Arms Trade, 11 Goodwin Street, London N4 3HQ. or phone Martin 020 7281 0297 or e-mail dsei@caat.demon.co.uk.

The next Executive is at 2 Whitechurch Lane, London E1 on Monday 8th October at 6pm. Please come. Some members have not attended for at least three years!

The Episcopal Urban Caucus meets next in February 2002 in Los Angeles. Anglican Left is planning to gather on 10th February at St Mary in Palms, Mass at 10am, and lunch meeting. If UK comrades are interested contact Ted Mellor on the usual e-mail.

Journals

Magnificat (the same name as a journal edited by Stanley Evans in the 1940s) is a new Anglican left magazine issued from St Mary's, Manhattanville, New York. Copies from St Mary's Church, 521 W 126th Street, New York, NY 10027.

Red Banner is an Irish journal of revolutionary socialism. Subscriptions from Britain are £8pa. Red Banner, PO Box 6587, Dublin 6 or red_banner@yahoo.com.

Appeals

Our sister group the Jewish Socialist Group is doing a Relaunch Appeal. The Jewish Socialist is a very good journal and the group does excellent work. Donations to JS Appeal, BM 3725, London WC1N 3XX.

Internet

To join the e-group called Anglican Left. you need to contact Ted Mellor - mellor120@earthlink.net - and tell him you are a member of the Jubilee Group.

Jubilee Parishes

At the recent executive we felt that we should inform people about gathering together what we called 'Jubilee Parishes'. Paul Butler said he would be happy to help coordinate this. This could be linked with promoting the Feast of Christ the King as a 'Jubilee day'. So could you contact Paul if you feel that your parish is in sympathy with the Jubilee Group. He is at St Dunstan's Vicarage, 32 Bellingham Green, London SE6 3JB 020 8698 3291 or e-mail PaulRedButler@compuserve.com

Publications

Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry: mysticism and resistance, Fortress Press 2001 is particularly important as coming out of the German Protestant context. More later.

Mark Chapman, Liturgy, Socialism and Life (Darton, Longman and Todd for Affirming Catholicism 2001) on Conrad Noel and liturgy.

One of the least interesting books in the recent spate of books on Christianity and politics is David Rogers, Politics, Prayer and Parliament, Continuum 2000. It is surprising that several reviewers have seen this book as a major contribution to the field. Described on the blurb as written in 'a lively and personal style', the book is depressingly trivial. Roger was apparently a political advisor to William Whitelaw and John Major, and the book is commended by Major and the TV presenter Pam Rhodes. Its approach is naive and cliché-driven. We are told that 'all political parties...are united in their aim to achieve what they consider to be the common good' (p 20), and that 'the church has to win hearts and minds, but it doesn't have to win elections' (p 20). And so it goes on. The style is superficial and there is an excessive use of exclamation marks and of quotations, most of which are trivial and lacking in depth. Not a book which will help us much.

New Jubilee Publications

Sue Dowell's pamphlet Country Matters is now out at £2. While written before the foot and mouth crisis, it is highly relevant to the present situation in rural areas, and deals with the underlying issues from a theological and political perspective. Also just out is Setting the Church of England Free: the case for disestablishment (ed K Leech) £4 99 This book has a long and fascinating history, but it is now with us and will be a major contribution to the debate on the future of English Anglicanism. Please order copies. Magnificat, a symposium of reflections on women, priesthood and catholicity, edited by Frankie Ward, is also just out.

Material for Jubilee Newsletters and Updates should be sent to Fr Ken Leech, St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 N 1AB ( 020 7377 0721) or kenleech@aol.com


jUBilEE UPDATE 130

JULY, 2001

from the Jubilee Group: a network of socialist Christians

Dorothy Howell-Thomas

With the death of our oldest member, Dorothy Howell-Thomas, at the age of 87, a long line of Anglican social thinkers, critics and activists has ended. Not, of course, in the sense that there is no one to succeed her. There are many, not least within Jubilee, who were inspired, guided, influenced, taught, by her, for she saw that the future lay with the young, and always went out of her way to cultivate and maintain friendships with people much younger than herself. But she was one of the last significant Anglican social thinkers who united three different periods of history -the 1930s and the struggle against fascism and unemployment, the 1960s, and her 'retirement' from the 1970s to a few weeks ago. Ken Leech's obituary for The Guardian is available, and Andrew Chandler has written an excellent one for the Church Times which should appear soon. Dorothy was William Temple's private secretary and, in 1941, typed his book Christianity and Social Order. (She always corrected people who referred to it as 'Christianity and the Social Order.) In her retirement, she wrote a book called Socialism in West Sussex (1983) -worth buying just for the title. (It was in fact a history of Chichester Labour Party.)

Caroline Adams

Caroline, who died early in June, was a comrade and close friend of thousands of us in East London. She requested that, if people wished to remember her, they should do so by supporting Plantlife which seeks to preserve rare plants. The address is Plantlife, Freepost, LON 10717, London SW1 W9YY.

Dates

The Episcopal Urban Caucus meets next in February 2002 in Los Angeles. Anglican Left is planning to gather on 10th February at St Mary in Palms, Mass at 10am, and lunch meeting. If UK comrades are interested contact Ted Mellor on the usual e-mail. St Mary Palms has a website at www.stmarypalms.org.

Journals

Magnificat (the same name as a journal edited by Stanley Evans in the 1940s) is a new Anglican left magazine issued from St Mary's, Manhattanville, New York. Copies from St Mary's Church, 521 W 126 th Street, New York, NY 10027.

Red Banner is an Irish journal of revolutionary socialism. Subscriptions from Britain are �8pa. Red Banner, PO Box 6587, Dublin 6 or red_banner@yahoo.com

Appeals

Our sister group the Jewish Socialist Group is doing a Relaunch Appeal. The Jewish Socialist is a very good journal and the group does excellent work. Donations to JS Appeal, BM 3725, London WC1N 3XX Also on js@dircon.co.uk and http://www.jewish-socialist.org

Internet

To join the e-group called Anglican Left. you need to contact Ted Mellor -- mellor120@earthlink.net -- and tell him you are a member of the Jubilee Group.

[Note: People who are not members of Jubilee, but agree with Anglican Left's statement of purpose, are also welcome to join. For more information see: www.anglocatholicsocialism.org/anglicanleft.html. -- Ted M.]

Jubilee Parishes

At the recent exceutive we felt that we should inform people about gathering together what we called 'Jubilee Parishes'. Paul Butler said he would be happy to help coordinate this. This could be linked with promoting the Feast of Christ the King as a 'Jubilee day'. So could you contact Paul if you feel that your parish is in sympathy with the Jubilee Group. He is at St Dunstan's Vicarage, 32 Bellingham Green, London SE6 3JB 020 8698 3291 or e-mail PaulRedButler@compuserve.com.

Publications

Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry: mysticism and resistance, Fortress Press 2001 is particularly important as coming out of the German Protestant context. More later.

Mark Chapman, Liturgy, Socialism and Life (Darton, Longman and Todd for Affirming Catholicism 2001) on Conrad Noel and liturgy.

One of the least interesting books in the recent spate of books on Christianity and politics is David Rogers, Politics, Prayer and Parliament, Continuum 2000. It is surprising that several reviewers have seen this book as a major contribution to the field. Described on the blurb as written in 'a lively and personal style', the book is depressingly trivial. Roger was apparently a political advisor to William Whitelaw and John Major, and the book is commended by Major and the TV presenter Pam Rhodes. Its approach is naive and cliché-driven. We are told that 'all political parties...are united in their aim to achieve what they consider to be the common good' (p 20), and that 'the church has to win hearts and minds, but it doesn't have to win elections' (p 20). And so it goes on. The style is superficial and there is an excessive use of exclamation marks and of quotations, most of which are trivial and lacking in depth. Not a book which will help us much.

New Jubilee Publications

Sue Dowell's pamphlet Country Matters is now out at £2 and more copies will be available soon. While written before the foot and mouth crisis, it is highly relevant to the present situation in rural areas, and deals with the underlying issues from a theological and political perspective. The first batch of copies has now gone and we are awaiting the next lot from the printer.

Also just out is Setting the Church of England Free: the case for disestablishment (ed K Leech) £4 99 This book has a long and fascinating history, but it is now with us and will be a major contribution to the debate on the future of English Anglicanism. Please order copies. We hope that there will be a launch in October when the key issues can be debated. Watch this space. In the meantime order copies -cheques payable toThe Jubilee Group.

Magnificat, a symposium of reflections on women, priesthood and catholicity, edited by Frankie Ward, is also just out. More details soon.

The next executive is on Monday 8th October at 6pm at 2 Whitechurch Lane, London E1

Material for Jubilee Newsletters and Updates should be sent to Fr Ken Leech, St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 N 1AB ( 020 7377 0721) or kenleech@aol.com.


jUBilEE UPDATE 129

NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

from the Jubilee Group: a network of socialist Christians

SHERYL KUJAWA

Sheryl Kujawa teaches pastoral theology in Cambridge, MA. USA, and is working on a book on communities committed to the pursuit of justice. She will be in East London for a few days from 17th to 20th July, and we have arranged a meeting at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Butcher Row, London E14 (This is next to Limehouse Station on the Docklands Light Railway, or buses 15, 115, and 40 and get off by the White Swan pub) on Thursday 19th July at 7 30pm. (For Jubilee Group members I suggest we make this our regular meeting for that month.)

Sheryl is keen to meet people with commitments in this area. If you wanted to meet with her apart from this meeting you can contact her c/o Ken Leech, but in any case it will be good if you can come on the 19th. If you think there is anyone else that we should invite, please let us know.

EXECUTIVE

The next meeting is on Saturday 14th July which is the anniversary of Keble's Assize Sermon of 1833 so we thought it would be good to meet, with some festivity, in Oxford. Margaret has contacted Mark Butchers, chaplain of Keble and this is now fixed. We shall meet at 12 noon for Mass in Keble College Chapel followed by lunch and meeting, and then some free time in Oxford. The weather is unpredictable so we thought the best thing was just to turn up at 12, not bring food. If it is fine, we can buy food and picnic in the University Park. If not, we can go and eat locally. We probably ought to pay a ritual visit to the Horse and Jockey where Rowan Williams and John Saward drafted the original Jubilee manifesto in 1974! We want to talk a bit about liturgy in the light of Mark Chapman's recent Affirming Catholicism book on Conrad Noel and liturgy. Please come and let us know.

Conferences and Meetings

4th - 7th July There is a conference on Global Capitalism and the Gospel of Justice:politics, economics and the UK churches at Ushaw College, Durham. Contact Tracy Maratty, Ushaw College, Durham DSH7 9RH 0191 373 3499 or T.L.Maratty@durham.ac.uk It would be very good if some Jubilee people could get to this.

17-19 July The British and Irish Association for Practical Theology has its annual conference at St Stephen's House, Oxford on Spirituality: critical approaches in theory and practice. Closing date was 7 May but there may still be room. Contact Neil Burgess, 23 Drury Lane, Lincoln LN1 3BN or marian.carter@care4free.net

New journals

Magnificat (the same name as a journal edited by Stanley Evans in the 1940s) is a new Anglican left magazine issued from St Mary's, Manhattanville, New York. Copies from St Mary's Church, 521 W 126 th Street, New York, NY 10027.

Appeals

Our sister group the Jewish Socialist Group is doing a Relaunch Appeal. The Jewish Socialist is a very good journal and the group does excellent work. Donations to JS Appeal, BM 3725, London WC1N 3XX Also on js@dircon.co.uk and www.jewish-socialist.org

Internet

The website on Anglo-Catholic socialism now has a much simpler address: http:www.anglocatholicsocialism.org. If you want the Jubilee page only add /jubilee.html. There are refs to other complementary sites. There is also an e-group called Anglican Left. To join this you need to contact Ted Mellor - mellor120@earthlink.nnet - and tell him you are a member of the Jubilee Group. Mark Kenny is the UK link person. Mark is on Mark.Kenny@.btinternet.com Please contact Mark for internet things.

Jubilee Parishes

At the recent exceutive we felt that we should inform people about gathering together what we called 'Jubilee Parishes'. Paul Butler said he would be happy to help coordinate this. This could be linked with promoting the Feast of Christ the King as a 'Jubilee day'. So could you contact Paul if you feel that your parish is in sympathy with the Jubilee Group. He is at St Dunstan's Vicarage, 32 BellinghaM Green, London SE6 3JB 020 8698 3291 or e-mail PaulRedButler@compuserve.com

Help

Seengatha Nesiah, 14 Parkfield Road, London SE14 6QB phone 020 8378 1572 has just moved from Sri Lanka into the New Cross area and is looking for a church and for radical Christian supportive groups. It would be good if people could welcome her and make any suggestions.

New Jubilee Publications

Sue Dowell's pamphlet Country Matters is now out at £2 and more copies will be available soon. While written before the foot and mouth crisis, it is highly relevant to the present situation in rural areas, and deals with the underlying issues from a theological and political perspective. The first batch of copies has now gone and we are awaiting the next lot from the printer.

Also just out is Setting the Church of England Free: the case for disestablishment (ed K Leech) £4 99 This book has a long and fascinating history, but it is now with us and will be a major contribution to the debate on the future of English Anglicanism. Please order copies. We hope that there will be a launch in October when the key issues can be debated. Watch this space. In the meantime order copies -cheques payable to The Jubilee Group.

We have just come to the end of a Jubilee series of meetings on Current Developments in Theology and Policies. Several of the papers -- Robert Beckford on Theology in the Age of Crack, Christine Allen (Globalisation and Solidarity (notes), and (forthcoming) John Rogerson The Politics of the Hebrew Scriptures are, or will soon be, available as Discussion Papers. We don't charge for these but a contribution of 50p per paper will help us to produce more.

Material for Jubilee Newsletters and Updates should be sent to Fr Ken Leech, St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 N 1AB ( 020 7377 0721) or kenleech@aol.com


jubilee events