Tuesday, 6 July 2010


On Sunday I was pleased to be asked to be one of the speakers at the Birmingham Spycam Summit. A report on which you can read here and here. Some of the background to the meeting can be read in this piece by the campaign initiator Steve Jolly and the Muslim communities concern in this article . You can see all the speeches via this link on You Tube and a clearer version of my contribution here. Follow this link to a documentary from Press TV on the cameras.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Friends & Neighbours

Yesterday I had the privilege and pleasure of being a keynote speaker at the Friends and Neighbours regional event organised by the Christian-Muslim Forum at Coventry Central Methodist Church. I spoke alongside Dr Musharraf Hussain of the Karimia Institute in Nottingham and shared stories and reflections based upon my book 'A Heart Broken Open'. In the afternoon I participated in a workshop faciliated by Wahida Shaffi and Ruth Tetlow on 'Women at the Well'. It was wonderful to be able to get into dialogue about my book with people like Musharraf, Wahida and Amra Bone as well as others and I had a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching time. Thanks for the invite Christian-Muslim Forum!


The Methodist Conference voted yesterday to receive the report on Palestine/Israel and to support all the motions attached to it. Below is a statement from the Methodist Church about this and you can follow the debate on the conference archives at this link. The Just Peace for Palestine Campaign have issued a statement of support that can be read here and the Jewish Chronicle carries a report condemning the decision here and The Independent reported on the debate here

Methodist Church to boycott goods from illegal Israeli settlements

The Methodist Church has today voted to boycott all products from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, and to encourage Methodists across Britain to do the same.

The decision is a response to a call from a group of Palestinian Christians, a growing number of Jewish organisations, both inside Israel and worldwide, and the World Council of Churches. A majority of governments recognise the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories as illegitimate under international law.

Christine Elliott, Secretary for External Relationships, said, “This decision has not been taken lightly, but after months of research, careful consideration and finally, today’s debate at the Conference. The goal of the boycott is to put an end to the existing injustice. It reflects the challenge that settlements present to a lasting peace in the region.

“We are passionate about dialogue across communities and with people of all faiths. We remain deeply committed to our relationships with our brothers and sisters of other faiths, and we look to engage in active listening so that we act as agents of hope together.”

In December, Defra introduced new advice on labelling, recommending that packaging of products imported from the West Bank should distinguish between Palestinian areas and Israeli settlements.

The Conference also adopted a statement calling for a full arms embargo against all sides in the conflict. “This conflict is further fuelled by partisan support by other countries. Violence from all parties in this conflict must be denounced, and a just peace sought for all peoples living in the region,” said Christine.

The move to boycott is just one among a number of measures agreed by the Conference, which also include a commitment to regular and informed prayer for the needs of those in region. Methodists across Great Britain are also encouraged to visit the region, write to their MPs and engage in respectful dialogue with Jews and Muslims on this issue.