URC Peace Fellowship becomes part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

Two white doves flying by 卡晨 on UnsplashThe United Reformed Church (URC) Peace Fellowship has announced that its work is to continue as part of the ecumenical charity, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR).

After a period of reflection and consultation, the Peace Fellowship’s committee decided last year that the best way for members to continue to be engaged with issues of peace making and peace building would be as part of the FoR.

It will now wind up its activities as an independent organisation this month.

In a news release, Andrew Jack, the Peace Fellowship’s outgoing convenor, commented: “I feel some sadness that we have had to conclude that the URC Peace Fellowship no longer has an independent future, but recognise the possibilities for future witness to Christian peace-making and peace building that is offered within FoR.”

Peace Fellowship logoThe Peace Fellowship was set up in 1999 to raise the profile of issues of peace and justice in the URC, and support members in peace making initiatives at local, national and international levels. It has worked closely with the URC’s Church & Society team and the Joint Public Issues Team.

Simeon Mitchell, Secretary for Church and Society, commented: “For 20 years, the URC Peace Fellowship has played a key role in bringing together URC members with a commitment to peacemaking and raising peace concerns within and beyond the denomination.

“It has been an important complement to the education and advocacy on issues such as nuclear weapons and drones carried out through the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team. I am delighted that URC peacemakers will continue to be supported and brought together under the auspices of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.”

The FoR supports its members by providing opportunities to meet with other peacemakers from around the country and to take action locally. This includes an annual educational conference, producing resources for use individually or in collective worship, a regular newsletter, and providing opportunities to campaign for change and connect with peacemakers around the globe.

John Cooper, Director of the FoR, added: “The United Reformed Church has often challenged and shaped the wider peace and justice witness of the wider Christian Church. This has included an Assembly Report about non-violent protest in the 1980s and the vast hymnody of Fred Kaan. More recently it was ministers the Revds Melanie Smith and Mark Meatcher leading inspiring worship and witness in protest against the DSEI Arms Fair. The Peace Fellowship has long worked with the Fellowship of Reconciliation and we look forward to a future with increased URC membership and a future URC network of peacemakers emerging.”

The news release can be read in full here.

More information about the Fellowship of Reconciliation can be found here.

Information about the Joint Public Issues Team’s work on issues of peace and justice, can be found here

Published: 4 March 2020