JUBILEE UPDATES & NEWSLETTERS, 2002


JUBILEE UPDATE 148

13th September 2002

Feast of St John Chrysostom

"The establishment of the kingdom of God must involve the final overthrow of all godless tyrannies, the unquestionable victory over all arrogant and cruel institutions and societies. Thus the Day of God is to be a day of judgment." - Charles Gore:

"Once more. Who is the judge and the law-giver to whom we are to be accountable at the last? It is God, indeed; but God as present in, and represented by, humanity; as declaring his Will and His Law in the needs and exigencies of human nature. The hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the sinful, these are our law-givers. In them God is immanent; in the cry of their struggling spirit His Law is proclaimed, in their deliverance and salvation his will is accomplished." - George Tyrrell

THE FUTURE OF THE JUBILEE NETWORK

I was asked, at the Jubilee Residential Executive on 19th-20th July 2002, to outline in as simple a way as possible the work of coordinating the Jubilee Network which I have done now for 28 years. This is a preliminary attempt and will be revised in the next few months. Let me begin by outlining the present position.

The funding for my work here in East London has now come to an end. Since 1990 it has depended entirely on donations. The next two years are going to be quite difficult and demanding. I will need to try and clear this flat, dispose of books and papers, wind down the work, sort out financial aspects (if there are any), try to reduce my own pastoral ministry, withdraw from St Botolph's, find a place to live, and, most important, deal with neglected or under-developed areas of the work. I will need to move out of London, though hopefully keeping a base, a room, which I could use when I need to. (There is no way I could afford to live in London, and it is almost certainly not desirable that I should stay around while other new work is developing.) On the question of books and papers, the working party's idea is that anything related to urban theology or to East London should go to St Katharine's, anything related to the Jubilee Group or to Christianity and the Left should go to the Jubilee Group room in the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, and that we should dispose of the rest in a responsible way. The disposal of material should be cleared with the PCC of St Botolph's.

What I have done during the last 28 years in trying to keep Jubilee active can be summarised as follows:

(i) Maintaining a mailing list
(ii) Producing regular Newsletters and Updates. Until recently these have been paper copies but for a year or more I have also sent them out as e-mails.
(iii) Organising meetings for the East London group and keeping in touch with other groups, in the UK and the USA.
(iv) Printing and/or circulating Discussion Papers -- there have been 146 since 1974- and making sure that these are available.
(v) As finance allows, preparing papers for publication as pamphlets or books, and then trying to make sure that they are sold! (I have thousands in my flat.)
(vi) Organising the Annual Meeting and Christ the King Lecture
(vii) Responding to inquiries by post, phone, e-mail, etc
(viii) If there is any time left, trying to encourage Jubilee people to meet in local or other groups..

There is much more but this is a start.

KEN LEECH 22nd July 2002

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE

"We have recently had a very successful meeting for 24 hours at St Katharine's in the East End. We valued this time so much that we decided to meet twice a year for 24 hours, next time being 24th January 2003 from 12 noon to 25th January at 12 noon. Please note this. Not sure where -and in fact this is getting to be a problem, so if you have ideas for somewhere that will hold 20 or so, let us know. soon. Execs are open to all. At this meeting we looked at the future of Jubilee, planned the next Christ the King Lecture, made plans for coordinating the network once Ken has 'gently withdrawn', and reflected on our political, reflective, supportive and prayer life. A proper report will follow, but one of the issues was the need for a Jubilee-focussed liturgical supplement of liturgical prayers, hymns, etc. Fiona McLeod sang us a Gaelic song and Beverley Barr showed us her remarkable Stations of the Cross (viewable in the real at Christ Church, Eastbourne.)

DATES

John Rowe tells us that Terry Brown, Bishop of Malaita, Solomon Islands (Province of Melanesia) will be in England 3 -12 September. He'll be busy going about but wishes to base himself in London for some of that time. It would be good to have an informal conversation with him, if he can give us the time. He now declares himself a gay bishop so the world-wide Anglican state of play on that issue would come up, especially in view of the appointment of Rowan Williams. For some years the Solomon Islands have been undergoing lethal internal strife. The Church, and Terry particularly, have been much involved in efforts to make peace. The government is ineffective and the economy a shambles, with rapacious foreign companies very active. The region is an object lesson in the fate of 'undeveloped' regions of the world and of how the churches struggle there to stand for humanity in the midst of strife. Terry Brown was a US citizen but was naturalized as a Canadian and has served the Board of Missions of the Canadian Church for many years, first as a teacher in the theological college in Honiara, the capital of the Solomons, and later as their Asia/Pacific Co-ordinator. He has been Bishop of Malaita since 1996.

The Jubilee Group and the Anabaptist Network are jointly sponsoring a meeting on 'Setting the Church Free: the case for Disestablishment' on Monday 30th September from 6.30 - 9 30pm £9 (£5 unwaged) meal provided. London Mennonite Centre, 14 Shepherd's Hill, London N6 (near Highgate tube). For further details contact 020 8340 8775 BOOKING ESSENTIAL This will be a Table Talk with Simon Barrow, Jonathan Bartley, Stuart Murray Williams et al, co-sponsored with the Anabaptist Network and the Jubilee Group.

'The Constantinian era is over. The survival of an established church in England is a quaint but dangerous anachronism. Yet this issue faces us at a moment when the church establishment is perhaps more subservient, more collaborative and more seduced by consumerism than it has been for a long time. As in the past, the impetus for change must come from grass roots and from the margins.' (Ken Leech)

There is a growing body of opinion which believes that the establishment of the Church of England is a serious impediment to the gospel - indeed that it is contrary to the gospel. However, it is also not unusual for Christians even outside the Anglican church to support establishment for the sake of having Christians in positions of power. This event will make the case that establishment is bad for the churches and a barrier to mission. Join us for this evening of short presentations, supper and discussion.

Saturday 23 November The annual Christ the King lectrure will be given by Tim Gorringe, Professor of Applied Theology, Exeter University. It will take place in Bethnal Green (very close to Bethnal Green Underground Stataion) after the AGM at 11am and will be followed by lunch and further discussion. More details soon, but please book it now.

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 146

22nd July 2002

Feast of St Mary Magdalen, and 60th anniversary of the death of Conrad Noel

Report from Executive

We have just had a very successful meeting for 24 hours at St Katharine's in the East End. We valued this time so much that we decided to meet twice a year for 24 hours, next time being 24th January 2003 from 12 noon to 25th January at 12 noon. Please note this. Not sure where but we will know soon. Execs are open to all. At this meeting we looked at the future of Jubilee, planned the next Christ the King Lecture, made plans for coordinating the network once Ken has 'gently withdrawn', and reflected on our political, reflective, supportive and prayer life. A proper report will follow, but one of the issues was the need for a Jubilee-focussed liturgical supplement of liturgical prayers, hymns, etc. Fiona McLeod sang us a Gaelic song and Beverley Barr showed us her remarkable Stations of the Cross (viewable in the real at Christ Church, Eastbourne.)

From Fr Emmett Jarrett in Connecticut

I am very seriously concerned with the prospect of war on Iraq and am on the lookout for ways to resist that in conjunction with others, including but not limited to other Christians. The timetable for the next war on Iraq seems to be early in 2003. For me, that means it will be happening just before, during, or just after the Episcopal Urban Caucus meets in Chicago (Feb. 26-Mar. 1). That's both good and bad. Bad because I'll be up to my eyeballs in Caucus work then, but good because nearly 200 Episcopal urban activists will be together in one place and able to consider some collective action.

The theme of the next assembly, for those on the Anglican Left who might be interested, will be something like: "Church Growth" or "Discipleship" --20/20 and the mission of the Church. The Episcopal Church seems to be lurching into a "church growth" mode, aimed at doubling the number of white middle class suburban Episcopalians, rather than preaching the Gospel and articulating what Jesus (in today's Office reading: Matthew 23:23) called "the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith." (Of course, this comes just after Chairman Jesus' word on church growth: "you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves" (Matt. 23:15).

Next Archbishop of Canterbury:

Plan to Attack Iraq 'Immoral' by Bill Wallace and Jim Houston Published on Saturday, July 13, 2002 by the BBC http:// www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0713-04.htm

The cleric widely tipped to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury has called any attack on Iraq "immoral". Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, has signed a declaration criticising the West's war on terror and said an assault on Iraq would be "illegal". The declaration was published in the Roman Catholic weekly paper The Tablet.

In it, Dr Williams and other signatories, including a Church of England and Roman Catholic bishop, say attacking Iraq would be tantamount to fighting "terror with terror".

"It's deplorable that the world's most powerful nations continue to regard war, and the threat of war, as an acceptable instrument of foreign policy," they write. They add that such thinking is in "violation of both the United Nations and Christian moral teaching". They raise their concerns amid increasing indications from the US that such an invasion is being considered.

Dr Williams has been reported as being first choice to replace Dr George Carey in the Church of England's top job. He is believed to be favoured by Prime Minister Tony Blair, with whom the final decision rests. In January, the outspoken cleric described the Afghanistan conflict as "morally tainted" and "embarrassing". He is a member of the Christian pressure group Pax Christi, which was behind the anti-war declaration. The document will be presented to Downing Street next month.

The signatories add: "It is our considered view that an attack on Iraq would be both immoral and illegal and that eradicating the dangers posed by malevolent dictators and terrorists can be achieved only by tackling the root causes of the disputes."

The full text of the declaration is available in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format on the Pax Christi International website.

Inquiries

Does anyone know details of the American dissertation of 1964 by Bardwell L Smith, Anglo-Catholic Sociology: a history of the Christendom Group 1920-1950? Or of the Oxford 1991 dissertation by James Edward Hamner, The Sanctifying Community: the doctrine of the church in the thought of L S Thornton and E L Mascall. This raises the issue of the neglect of Mascall in academic study. Is anyone doing anything about this?

Forthcoming Meetings

The Jubilee Group and the Anabaptist Network are jointly sponsoring a meeting on 'Setting the Church Free: the case for Disestablishment' on Monday 30th September from 6.30 - 9 30pm £9 (£5 unwaged) meal provided. London Mennonite Centre, 14 Shepherd's Hill, London N6 (near Highgate tube). For further details contact 020 8340 8775

New Publications

Mark Chapman, Liturgy, Socialism and Life, Darton, Longman and Todd ISBN 0 232 52417 3 £3.95 This is part of the Affirming Catholicism series and looks at Conrad Noel in particular.

Inderjit S Bhogal, On the Hoof: theology in transit, Sheffield, Penistone Publications 20002 £6 ISBN 0 9538793 2 1 This is a useful reflection on issues raised in urban theology by the Director of the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield.

Caroline Adams and Plantlife

Caroline, who died early in June last year, 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.

Books by Ken Leech

Various books by KL are difficult to get in the USA. Try Arlene Bullard at Trinity Bookstore, 74 Trinity Place, New York 10006 (212 602 9689) who will be helpful.

New websites

Theo Hobson has a new disestablishment site: www.disestablish.co.uk

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 145

11th July 2002

Feast of St. Benedict

WALES AND CANTERBURY

Rowan Williams was a founder member of the Jubilee Group, co-authored the original manifesto (which we rejected!) in 1974, co- edited, with me, the Jubilee symposium Essays Catholic and Radical in 1983, and served on the executive for years. He is greatly loved by all of us. Our prayers and solidarity are with him at this strange time. Yet amid all the media and church debate about the 'right candidate', and the pros and cons of the 'Ruth Gledhill leak' (eg did it come from Downing Street? Was it an attempt to make Rowan's appointment impossible?), there are important theological and ecclesial issues which seem to have got lost.

A central one is that of the relationship of a bishop to the people of God. Rowan, if he does move to Canterbury, may be the first diocesan bishop, and certainly the first archbishop in recent times -unless you can think of others- who would be exchanging an elected role for a state appointed one. What is the theological justification for this? The people of Monmouth elected him as their bishop, and the electoral body of the Church in Wales as their archbishop. The equivalent communities in England have no say in who becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. What might happen if Rowan were to say: it is the people of Monmouth and of Wales, not the people of England, who elected me. Can I abandon them? Or, as a compromise, Can I move to England without asking their permission? The whole issue is about the common life of the Body of Christ. Of course it would be astonishing, indeed inconceivable, that Rowan had not thought deeply about this: it is astonishing that it has got submerged even among 'Catholic- minded' Anglicans who are so keen to get him to Canterbury. But is it not at least arguable that he may have more credibility, and speak with greater authority, if he stays where he is?
KEN LEECH

Residential Executive

We are having a residential Jubilee Executive from 12 noon on Friday 19th July to after lunch on Saturday 20th July at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine (next to Limehouse Station on Docklands Light Railway). We did this last year and it was very successful. We had felt that when we meet for execs we are usually so pressurised that we don't deal with things. To have a 24 hour period when we can relax and talk things through together was really helpful.. There are some major issues to discuss. Jubilee in East London has not met for some time. Nor have other local groups. My days are numbered as the funding for my post has run out so there are questions about whether I can go on coordinating Jubilee, at least without help. There is the Christ the King lecture for 2002 to consider. There is our support for Margaret in Brazil. And there are issues about what we should be doing in the near future.

Please can you let me know if you are coming very soon as Michael at St Kats needs to know. It would be great if as many as possible could come. Of course this is open to all Jubilee people whether you are on the exec or not.

Other meetings

Dr David Wood, author of a new study Poet, Priest and prophet; a new theological biography of Bishop John V Taylor, will be speaking about Taylor and his book at Partnership House, 157 Waterloo Rd, London SE1 on Tuesday 9th July 3pm to 430pm. Details from Simon Barrow -7939 139882.

Political Definitions

SOCIALISM You have two cows -you give one to your neighbour
ANARCHISM You steal two cows -you give both to your neighbour and steal two more
COMMUNISM You have two cows- the Government takes both and gives you the milk
FASCISM You have two cows -the Government takes both and executes you
CAPITALISM You have two cows -you sell one and buy a bull
LIBERALISM You have two cows - you promise to let your neighbour milk them one day FEMINISM You have two beef persons - you give them the right to choose
if they want to be milked

New Discussion Papers

No 144 What kind of partnership? The Christian Church and urban regeneration - Angus Ritchie
No 145 Reflections on Priesthood - Mark Kenny
No 146 Not Trusting in Princes - Savi Hensman

Please enclose something towards cost of printing and postage.

New publications

The Christian Socialist Movement has a new pamphlet Faith and Work: Christian Social Action in Practice. It contains lectures by Angela Sarkis of Church Urban Fund and Stuart Valentine of Glasgow City Mission. From CSM, Westminster Central Hall, London SW1 H 9NH.

Elaine Graham, Representations of the Posthuman, Manchester University Press 20002 ISBN 0 7190 5442 7 develops material which she delivered as the Jubilee Christ the King Lecture last November. Sadly, perhaps because of the attention to Fukuyama's book, it has so far not received the attention it deserves. More on this soon.

Sara Maitland, Awesome God, SPCK 2002 £9.90 will interest those who have read her earlier book A Big Enough God, though they will also find some of the same material. The new book is worth getting particularly for the section towards the end on joy, and her idea of a 'joy gymnasium' is wonderful.

New websites

Theo Hobson has a new disestablishment site: www.disestablishment.co.uk.

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 143

28 May 2002

Trinity, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart 2002

-- though, in England, one might not know that these great festivals of the Christian community existed. Today, 29th May, BBC Radio 4 ignores the Feast of Corpus Christi and instead offers Choral Evensong of HM The Queen. Numerous parishes on Sunday 2nd June will ignore the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the clear liturgical direction that Sunday must take precedence over all other commemorations, and will commemorate the monarchy. Nothing makes it clearer where people's values and priorities lie. There is little dooubt that the Anglican communion is committed to Catholic orthodoxy, however much its members may deviate from it: as for the Church of England, 'the Church by law established', there is considerable doubt. The 'jubilee' of 'The Queen' may well be the last fling of a church which has tried to serve God and mammon -and failed, as its Lord advised would be the case, .

NEW JUBILEE PUBLICATION

Sue Dowell's new 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.

'Rural questions have come to the fore in recent years. A thoughtful and theological assessment of this kind is long overdue, and will help us grapple with the issues' - - BISHOP RONALD BOWLBY

'As a rural left-winger, I wish I had written this myself' -SARA MAITLAND

Books and Publications

Our friend Dinah Livingstone has done a great deal of work in translating liberation theology and in drawing attention to issues and conditions in Central and South America. Her latest production is a translation of Subcomandante Marcos, Zapatista Stories, £8.95 from Katabasis, 10 St Martin's Close, London NW1 )HR phone 020 7485 3830 or e-mail katabasis@katabasis.co.uk. She also has a website www.katabasis.co.uk Marcos, the Zapatista leader, is one of the most brilliant writers in contemporarily Mexico. Along with Dinah's translation, people might like to look at Juana Ponce de Leon (ed), Our Word Is Our weapon: Selected Writings of Subcomnadte Insurgente Marcos, Seven Stories Press (USA) 2001 $27.95

Laurie Green, The Impact of the Global: an urban theology, Sheffield, Urban Theology Unit 2000. This has been revised to remove the reference to Michael Jordan as a baseball player, a mistake of such dimensions as to have made it impossible for Americans to take this excellent pamphlet seriously! He is now referred to simply as a 'sports star' (p 22). Apart from a rather uncritical use of Samuel Huntington and his 'clash of civilizations' thesis -at the very time when it needs the most rigorous critique- this is a very good pamphlet indeed.

Flora A Keshgegian, Redeeming Memories: a theology of healing and transformation, Abingdon 2000 ISBN 1 687 12915 X $17.25 This is a useful book on memory. Like many American writings it uses the catchphrase 'racist, classist and sexist' (p 15) without any thought that class may be a different category to the other two and cannot be conflated into a trinity of evils in this way. A pity when some Americans are taking class seriously for the first time.

Jubilee Parishes

At a 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

IMPORTANT MEETING

The next JUBILEE EXECUTIVE RESIDENTIAL will take place at St Katharine's Foundation, Butcher Row, London E14 from 12 noon on Friday 19th to Saturday 20th July. There are really important, including overdue, matters to discuss,. Please let Ken Leech know if you can come -very soon (020 7377 0721 or kenleech@aol.com)

New Jubilee Publications

During 2001 we published three pamphlets. Sue Dowell's pamphlet Country Matters (£2), while written before the foot and mouth crisis, is highly relevant to the present situation in rural areas, and deals with the underlying issues from a theological and political perspective. We also published 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. Finally, we published Magnificat, a symposium of reflections on women, priesthood and catholicity, edited by Frankie Ward (£3.50).

Oddbits

Fr Roger Russell wins the ACS Ordo's prize for 'the subtle bathos of his Christmas acclamation, so loyally in the spirit of CW'

V The shepherds watched their flocks by night
R All seated on the ground

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 139

2nd January 2002

Feast of SS Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

DATES

Monday 21st January: There will be an executive on this day at 5 30 pm at St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 (next to Aldgate Station), and at 7pm we will launch Setting the Church of England Free, the Jubilee Group pamphlet arguing the case for disestablishment. Three of the contributors -- Simon Barrow, Tom Hurcombe, and Ken Leech -- will speak, and we hope that Tony Benn will also come and speak. Please come. The executive is open to all, and there are important matters to discuss, including May Day (see below).

Wednesday 1st May: May Day and liturgy. We have spent some time recently discussing the celebration of May Day which has suffered badly in recent decades, ironically (though not surprisingly) at the very point when it has, in the UK, been linked to a bank holiday. (The fact that all of us, including churches, ritually use the term 'bank holiday' is one major illustration of the triumphant penetration of capitalism into ordinary life and speech.) There are various factors in the decline of May Day. In our discussion about May Day, we felt that our common worship left much to be desired and that we should devote more time to worship and to the discussion of worship. There could perhaps be a series on liturgy but this was not a substitute for the praxis of liturgy itself. More thought and action are needed. On Wednesday 1st May we will celebrate a Liturgy for May Day at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square at 6pm. We need to do some thinking, and planning, about this. If you want to be part of the discussion, please contact us via Ken Leech kenleech@aol.com 020 7377 0721.

The dog collar:

My friend Christopher Morgan, the religious correspondent of the Sunday Times (Sunday Times, 16th December) has been writing about the threat to 'traditional' vesture, including the clerical collar. But he is is wrong to see the clerical collar as 'traditional'. It was unknown before the late 19th Century and was only invented -- by the Rosiminian Luigi Gentili -- so that Roman Catholic priests in England, forbidden by the civil law to wear their cassocks in public, could be recognised by their flocks. (Ian Paisley, who proudly wears his Roman collar, clearly is unaware of its origin!) As an extremely traditional Catholic Anglican, I hardly ever wear clerical collars. They are modern, unnecessary, and more related to class and caste than to Catholic theology. They could disappear without any effect on the tradition. -- Ken Leech

From Margaret Ronchetti en route to Brazil

Our long time member Margaret is leaving to work in Brazil very soon. (See Margaret in Brazil leaflet.) It would be good if Jubiilee could offer her some financial support during her time there. To buy a house in the favela costs about £2000 - £2500 and to put in basic furniture.to include essentials such as a fridge and small cooker, she would need another £1000. This would be a very good investment for community use. She has in mind a small house that has a room for herself, kitchen and shower with a communal space for community meetings. At the end of her time, this house could be used for a Brazilian or other pastoral/community worker. It would be something that could grow. Margaret's parish in Notting Hill are giving her £100 per month for livimg expenses, and she expects that she will need to supplement that herself. She has committed herself to pay the course in Brasilia which is $2500. There are other incidental expenses such as visa application £120, medical insurances £300, and discounted travel £110.00.

Margaret adds: 'It would be wonderful if we could set up a 'Jubilee House'. It would be wonderful too if we could, as a network, support Margaret during her time in Brazil. We need to discuss this at Executives soon. In the meantime, donations, payable to the Jubilee Group, making it clear that they are for Margaret's work, would be gratefully received.

From Grant Gallup in Nicaragua

In Spanish, 'Por que?' means 'Why?' and 'Porque' means 'because' So that the question 'Por qué los pobres son pobres?' (Why are the poor poor?) is answered by 'Porque los ricos son ricos.' (Because the rich are rich.) Or vice versa. Look again! We may yet get to know Jesus again for the first time, as Marcus Borg graciously invites us to do. Jesus said, Look! Listen! My agenda is clear--people who have been outcasts and rejected in our civilization -- the excluded, the blind and crippled, deaf and untouchable, outlawed and outclassed, are being invited back to life and to community. Quarantines are lifted, banishment ended, "Wanted Dead or Alive" posters ripped down and burned. Passports are being granted, visas stamped into them, and people counted as good as "dead meat" in this society are being raised up to life. And to cap and crown it all, the poor are hearing the good news for them for the first time. What do you suppose the good news is for the poor? The doctrine of substitutionary atonement, which goes so well with capitalist punishment? The churches loved it, for it made Jesus a scapegoat, and got the church off the hook.. Did Jesus' good news consist in persuading people that he was the second person of the undivided Trinity? Did he ask us to believe 47 impossible things before breakfast? The church's gospel has frequently been reduced to theological puzzles, its sacraments to nibbles and bits, instead of healing and medicine and hospitality in hospitals, and abundant banquets for the poor and twelve baskets left over for those who didn't come.

From Angela Broome in East London

Bethlehem is still under military occupation. We have known it for decades. The Palestinian Centre for the Rapprochement of Peoples, with other groups, is establishing an International Solidarity Movement. Between Eid, the end of the Ramadan fast, and the New Year, they are gatherng people from many countries who are committed to non-violent engagement in situations of tension and confrontation and the abuse of human rights. Such is the reality of Palestinian daily life. I hope to be there. So, this Christmas, I shall not look forward to your kindly greetings. Instead I ask you to keep in mind, and in your prayers, an extraordinary enterprise. Remember the people of Palestine and of Israel, their state and community leaders and the 'internationals'. May we sustain vision, wisdom, stamina, companionship and respect for all people,.

Deaths

We are sorry to report the deaths of Ronald Preston, Tassaduq Ahmed, Austen Williams and David Brandon. More later.

For additional material from this month's update, see: Book Reviews and Jubilee Publications.

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