Celebrating and looking forward...
On the 17th September CHIPS supporters and teams came together to give thanks for all that God has enabled through CHIPS. Since Roy Calvocoressi's first project in Cyprus in the 1960s CHIPS approach to peacemaking has been developing and adapting to different contexts around the world, always based on strong biblical foundations.
When we look at the news and see conflict all around the world as well as in our own neighbourhoods, we can easily feel overwhelmed and want to turn away. But simple actions can help us cross divides and become peacemakers in our own communities.
I’ve often had young people walk past me and say ‘Fed’, ‘Evening officer’ or other similar remarks. I’m not a police officer, but as a tall white guy walking around our estate I tend to be assumed to be a plain-clothes cop by those who don’t know me. In Brixton, a place with a long history of conflict between police and the community, this isn’t great.
Over the summer we have taken our weekly community meal outside into the car park in front of the CHIPS flat. This has provided many more opportunities to meet our neighbours and interact with the young people that occupy and move through the space.
Taking both sides is at the core of CHIPS peacemaking methods. But how do we do that? And why?
Let's give you some examples....
In Ghana, two tribes have been in conflict for over 20 years, but three people from each side now live together in a shared house working together on practical projects. Together, that mixed team go out to run these projects and they work with people from all tribes in the area.
Brixton team leader Josh Grear speaks about the complicated idea of redemptive violence found in the Old Testament, and how this continues to play out with young people today as he carries out detached youth work on the Angell Town estate.
In recent weeks, Paul, Lucy and I have been discussing the myth of redemptive violence. I have picked up Walter Wink’s fantastic book Engaging the Powers and started reading about Wink’s ideas around the Babylonian religion of violence.
Welcome to CHIPS summer update
By Josh Grear
On the 11th April we celebrated a year of the Brixton Project. A year that has been full of learning, prayer, patience, opportunity, growth, and frustration.
Frustration is not easy to write about, and I feel that it is a familiar and persistent feature of youth work, community work and peacemaking.
On Friday 22nd April 2016, Canon Sarah Hills, Coventry Cathedral’s Canon for Reconciliation Ministry, led a Thanksgiving Eucharist to celebrate all that God has enabled CHIPS to achieve in its 50 years of peacemaking.