Annual assembly to ask 'Who is my neighbour?'

By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker

Are you feeling bewildered and isolated? Do you wish to be part of the solution?

Our parishes are full of good people who want to make the world a better and safer place. Too many of us feel confused, ill-informed and helpless, unable to answer the questions 'What's going on in the world?', 'How did we get into this state?' and 'What can I do about it?'.

On Saturday 20 June, the Liverpool Justice and Peace Commission will be holding its annual assembly at LACE in Liverpool. This year we are opening up the event – entitled 'Who is my neighbour?' – to anyone who feels the urge to be better informed about what is happening locally and overseas and who wishes to be able to do something constructive in response. After registration at 9.30am the programme will run as follows:

Opening prayer: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will welcome us and lead the opening prayer.

Scripture: Fr Tom Cullinan, who has been inspiring us for years, will talk about the Scripture story of the Good Samaritan.

Catholic Social Teaching: Steve Atherton will give a brief introduction to CST.

Who is my neighbour?: Justine Silcock and Terry Philips from the J&P Commission will help us to explore notions of identity, of how we decide who we are and how we decide who is included in our group and who is excluded – who's in and who's out.

Local issues: Paul Kyprianou is not a household name but he deserves to be. He coordinated the recent 'Getting By?' report that followed 30 families for a year, interviewing them every month and recording their income and their spending. He explains local issues in a simple and direct way. Not to be missed.


Overseas issues: James Trewby, the overseas issues speaker, works for the Columban missionaries here in the United Kingdom and has recently returned from leading a group to study immigration at the Mexico/US border. He is one of the Catholic Church's go-to people for youth expertise.

• Organisations who can help: Ten organisations will offer ways of responding and there will be a chance to talk to any that catch your interest.

• Time to meet with local people: The day will end with ample opportunity to meet people from your area to see how you can work together for action and mutual support. As always, there will be information stalls representing Fairtrade, CAFOD, Pauline Books and Media, etc.

• Closing prayer

It would helpful to know numbers so that we can organise enough food. There is a suggested donation of £10 but no one will be turned away. For more information ring 0151 522 1080 or email We hope every parish will send someone. We hope you can join us.