Friday, 16 January 2009


On the initiative and at the request of those working for several of Britain's major churches on church and society issues, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is to hold a one-day conference on "The economic crisis: towards sustainable economies and livelihoods".

The aim of the conference is to examine the root causes of the current economic crisis from a faith perspective, and what the churches' distinctive role in addressing the crisis should be in terms of their prophetic, pastoral and partnership responsibilities.

The conference will take place on Tuesday 20 January 2009, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Methodist Church House, 25, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Media are invited to attend. All proceedings will be on the record.

A former member of the Dutch parliament, and one of Britain's leading Christian commentators on economic and climate change issues will be the main speakers at the conference.

Bob Goudzwaard, professor emeritus of economics and social philosophy at the Free University in Amsterdam, a former member of the Dutch parliament, and co-author of "Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises", will speak on "The underlying causes of the global economic crisis".

The other keynote speaker is Ann Pettifor, former head of the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign, and now campaign director of Operation Noah, the first Christian campaign focused exclusively on climate change. Ann Pettifor is the author of "The Coming First World Debt Crisis", and her conference topic will be "The impact of current economic factors on sustainable lifestyles".

The Revd Dave Bookless, director of A Rocha (meaning "The Rock"), a Christian environmental and nature conservation organisation with a strong community emphasis, will give a theological response to the keynote addresses.

John Ellis, who previously worked at the Bank of England and is now a senior staff member of the Methodist Church in Britain, will set the scene for the day.

Michael Bartlet, parliamentary liaison officer for Quaker Peace and Social Witness, will sum up and suggest possible ways forward for the churches.

Other contributors will include:
* John Reynolds, chief executive officer of Reynolds Partners, an independent investment bank , and chairman of the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group;
* Murdo Macdonald, policy officer for the Church of Scotland's Society, Religion and Technology Project;
* Geraint Hopkins, policy officer at Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales);
* Paula Clifford, head of theology for Christian Aid;
* Niall Cooper, national coordinator of Church Action on Poverty, and the Get Fair campaign;
* Alison Gelder, chief executive of Housing Justice;



Sandy said...

Its a request that in your discussion if you can include this -- Government of developed and developing countries should stop the industries for not giving bonuses to top executives for coming one or two years, or they should cut it down upto 80%. As this is the only way to increase the economic funding of any nation. In addition, a ban should be oversized on severance payments for executives. If the industries are not co-operating or those who are not in this favour then the government should legislate to limit executive pay. - Sandy Chan

Olive Morgan said...

Thank you, Sandy. Of course it is essential that everyone involved should play their part to halt the current financial crisis, and they will need the backing of all our prayers to achieve this.

seethroughfaith said...

What I'm interested in is how we can teach better values (and have them ourselves)

I mean it's no good lowering the interestrate just to get people to spend more (and stay in debt) that isn't really in anyone's favour in the long run.

We buy a lot we don't need ... that's good for the economy in the short term - but in the long term it's madness and built on greed pride and coveting what others have.

I'd like to see the weathier nations wipe out the debts owed by the poverty stricken nations - and help people both overseas and at home to learn to value what we have not always wanting more than we can afford.

Young people here are getting into terrible debt because no one points out to them the real risks. I think its irresponsible of the banks to give credit cards with huge 'limits' to young people ... or allow them to run up such big overdrafts - if we cannot teach the coming generations to live within a budget (and to budget ahead too) then we are in for decades of crises.

Olive Morgan said...

Yes, Lorna, and it's not just the banks that are to blame. It really annoys me to see those adverts for beds and other furniture which say things like, 'Free credit one year, nothing to pay for X years.' My mother used to say, 'We can always do without what we can't get (or afford' - admittedly to a loud, indignant chorus of 'Mum!' - but it taught us to wait until we could afford to buy things.

Sandy said...

Thank you Olive and wish you the success in your mission of economic improvement and prayers.