Surfers Not Street Children

We are delighted to share the new Surfers not Street Children video.

Tom Hewitt writes, I am so excited to share with you our exclusive new film with world surfing legend Jordy Smith and O’Neill. Both Jordy and O’Neill have been supporting us for a number of years and we are so grateful to them for raising awareness of our vital work and directly helping us. This is the first in a series of fundraising and awareness activities together this year and I am delighted to share it with you. Enjoy!”

Tom Hewitt MBE
Founder and Global CEO

Read more about Surfers not Street Children

In this brief interview, recorded in July last year, Tom Hewitt gives an update on the work of Surfers Not Street Children in the light of the recent civil unrest in South Africa.

Rifat Kassis Joins Peacemaker’s Board of Reference

We are delighted that Rifat Odeh Kassis has agreed to join our international Board of Reference.

Rifat is the General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, being one of its founding members. He co-authored the Kairos Palestine documents ‘A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering’, ‘Kairos for Palestine’ and ‘Cry for Hope’: A Call for Decisive Action.

Rifat Kassis was born in Beit Sahour and for more than twenty five years has been a leading figure and expert in the Palestinian, regional and international child rights community. 

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Southampton: City of Sanctuary

As a city of sanctuary, Southampton has a long history of welcoming people from around the world, and in recent months we’ve worked closely with the Home Office and other local organisations to help resettle a small number of refugee families.

The volunteers who make up the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group provide vital support services for refugees and asylum seekers, providing one-on-one English language teaching, advising on legal matters, and organising activities like parties, visits and walks to help broaden residents’ experience of British life.

Cllr Spiros Vassiliou, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Heritage, met with the team this week to thank them for their efforts and speak with some of those being supported.

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Convivencia: Interfaith Coexistence

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world. 

Professor Haim Bresheeth has written a short introductory article on Convivencia published by Faith Initiative.

The Executive Summary may be viewed on the website of the Jewish Network for Palestine.

In June 2021, The Jewish Network for Palestine invited me to give a short presentation on Convivencia at their annual meeting. JNP have written a significant document on Convivencia to be launched in the Spring, in liaison with Muslim and Christian organisations.

Winchester City Council Welcomes Refugees

Heartfelt thanks to all the members of Winchester City Council, who have unanimously voted to welcome refugees and people seeking asylum to the City. Eloquent speeches by many members reflected the public’s goodwill for people who need sanctuary and appreciation of their contribution to our society and culture.Councillors expressed support for Together With Refugees campaign calling for a fairer, kinder and more effective approach to supporting refugees in the UK and to support organisations such as the University of Winchester (which is a University of Sanctuary), the community group Winchester City of Sanctuary, the Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group, Hampshire Cultural Trust and other key charities and community groups in their work to make Winchester a place of sanctuary.

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Sabeel-Kairos on Christian Zionism

Sabeel-Kairos UK are pleased to offer our members, supporters and churches a new briefing guide, produced by several of our theology experts, on Christian Zionism. 

This briefing document outlines the origins of Christian Zionism, the political agenda it supports, the response from Middle Eastern Churches, and practical information about how you can delve deeper into the issues by signposting other resources. It is an ideal guide for someone new to the issues, or looking to expand their knowledge.

Download a copy

Other resources on Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism: The definitive website

Threats to the Arctic: An Interview with Professor Scott Elias

One of the Five Marks of Mission which we affirm as a charity is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. In this interview with Professor Scott Elias, we examine the threats to the Arctic from climate change.

Threats to the Arctic discusses all the current threats to this fragile region, emphasizing the interconnections between many environmental impacts, as well as the teleconnections between events already emerging in the Arctic (ocean circulation changes, melting of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets) and other parts of the world. The book’s aim is to inform readers about the impending, sometimes irreversible changes coming to the Arctic. University students, environmental engineers, policymakers and sociologists with an interest in the role of the Arctic in global change will benefit from the book’s unique perspective. As this remote, inhospitable part of the world that few people will ever visit provides amazing insights, we can no longer have an ‘out of sight – out of mind’ approach to the environmental upheavals taking place in the Arctic.

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Caring for Asylum Seekers at Christmas

Members of the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) were pleased to able to deliver Christmas packs of food and cosmetics this week to people seeking asylum in Southampton. The gifts were kindly provided by St Peter’s Church, Winchester and the parishes of the South Downs Gateway Benefice.

We are also very thankful to Revd Damon Draisey and the South Downs Gateway parishes, for their generous donation of brand new toys for the children of asylum seekers.