We are delighted to announce that the Right Revd Richard Llewellin has kindly agreed to join the Peacemaker International Board of Reference. Bishop Richard becomes the 10th Anglican Bishop or Archbishop to do so.
Bishop Richard was ordained in 1964 and was a curate at Radlett. After serving a second curacy at Johannesburg Cathedral, and being expelled from South Africa by the apartheid Nationalist government of the day in 1971, he was then successively the Vicar of Waltham Cross, the Rector of Harpenden and a canon of Truro Cathedral before being ordained to the episcopate as the suffragan Bishop of Street Germans (1985-1992).
He later became the suffragan Bishop of Dover (1992-1999) and was subsequently appointed Bishop at Lambeth and Chief of Staff to the Archbishop by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held until 2004. In retirement he was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.
I am pleased to begin offering a weekly Bible exposition based on the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), used by many churches internationally.
It is hoped these weekly resources will be useful to fellow pastors, bible study groups as well as for personal devotions. Each week the Bible exposition will be available as a video to watch and text to read or download. Recommended resources and questions for group or personal study will also be provided.
The latest weekly expositions will be posted here. Previous sermons may be accessed here.
The Alliance has grown significantly since the launch and the Convivencia Declaration, outlining the aims and objectives of the Alliance, has already been endorsed by an extensive and growing list of internationally known leaders and organisations.
Dr Stephen Sizer, who is also the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, has been appointed the first chair of the Convivencia Alliance. This will be a revolving position shared between the three founding organisations to reflect the joint nature of the Convivencia Alliance. The role will involve representing, publicising and growing the Alliance.
We are also grateful to our interim Chair, Mr David Cannon, who also serves as the chair of the Jewish Network for Palestine. His conscientious and diligent leadership has been fundamental to the growth of the Alliance and Declaration.
Earlier this year the Charity Commission notified our trustees of ‘regulatory concerns’, presumably arising from a complaint, questioning whether some articles on the Peacemaker Trust website, were ‘in line with the advancement of the Christian religion or promotion of religious harmony’.
The trustees responded by pointing out that the Church of England, and many other Christian denominations, define ‘the advancement of the Christian religion’ in terms of the ‘Five Marks of Mission’. These include the aim of seeking “to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”
The trustees emphasized that “We understand our charitable purposes in these terms and seek to be catalysts for peacemaking, especially where minorities are persecuted, where justice is denied, human rights are suppressed or reconciliation is needed.”
They referred to a quote by John Stott found on our website.
“The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice – and so the pain – of the cross.”
They concluded that “Dr Sizer’s stance in challenging racism, segregation and apartheid, based on non-violence and international law, is intended to advance an orthodox presentation of the Christian religion and promote religious harmony, by supporting justice, peace and reconciliation. This, in the opinion of the trustees, clearly falls within our charitable purposes.”
The trustees are grateful that the Charity Commission responded:
“Thank you for the comprehensive response you have provided to our letter; the Commission are satisfied with the assurances provided by The Trustees and no further engagement is needed.”