Thank you !

We’re very grateful to supporters Wendy and Neville Jephcote and Jenni, and Rachel Naish and Ruth Jackson for taking on the Orwell and London2Brighton Challenges.

Not only did they raise over £2250 for us but they also added some more miles to our ‘From Brixton to Bimbilla Challenge’.  Thank you Neville, Wendy, Jenni, Rachel and Ruth for your support and for walking through the pain to make peacemaking possible ! 

Could you do a sponsored event for CHIPS and help support our peacemaking work ?  If you are interested please contact Emily in the Brixton office on emily@chipspeace.org and we will give you all the support we can.

Peace Sunday 2019

As we see increased division and violence in our own nation and wars and conflict continuing around the world, there is once again an urgent need for Christians and Churches to follow Jesus and be peacemakers. 

To mark the International Day of Peace on the 21st September, we’re encouraging churches to take time on Sunday 22nd September to focus on peace and peacemaking in their services and meetings.

Could your church join in ?  

We’ll provide you with a free resource to use which will include a sermon outline, prayers, readings and some background to our own peacemaking work.  We might even be able to send you one of our speaker team on the day. 

Please let us know if you church would like to focus on peace that day and we’ll send our resource to you as soon as it is ready.  Please email us on office@chipspeace.org or call on 020 7078 7439.  We’d love to hear from you.

‘In a world plagued by conflict and division, the Church has a crucial role to play as a community of peacemakers.  Jesus calls every one of us to love God, our neighbours, ourselves – and our enemies.  It’s a challenging command, with nobody left out.  We’re all given the message and task of reconciliation’

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Can youth violence and knife crime really be ended ? We believe they can

It is just over two weeks since Glendon Spence, a 23 year old young man, was killed at the Marcus Lipton Youth Club, close to our offices in Brixton.  The attack happened in the early part of a Thursday evening and many young people and children witnessed what happened.  The police have said they believe Glendon was targeted and attacked deliberately. 

Knife crime and youth violence have been in the headlines again as the lives of Glendon and others have been taken.  The press talks of a national crisis and ‘war on the streets’.  Politicians are under increasing pressure to do anything which will stop the violence.

Alongside the tragic deaths, there are many young people being injured and traumatised in incidents that don’t make the headlines and may not even be reported.

We see first hand the impact this violence has on a community.  The trauma for those who were there and saw the attack.  The devastation for the family and friends of the victim.  The fear of further attacks.  The anger and frustration that nothing seems to change. 

A whole range of solutions are proposed and debated – from greater police numbers to increased stop and search to more public spending – anything which will work quickly to prevent any more young people being killed or injured and their families, friends and communities devastated.  

But we know from our own experience that building peace and ending violence takes time.  Youth violence and knife crime will not end overnight.

That’s why we’re committed to live and work in an area for the long term.  Short term interventions may tackle some of the symptoms of violence but they won’t tackle the root causes.  Those root causes are are multiple and complex and revolve around deprivation, a lack of opportunity and the anger and frustration that result.

Our peacemaking work is relational and practical.  We believe the levels of violence will reduce as we empower the community to cross divides, to build relationships and to work together to bring about the changes that are needed.  We are using community organising to develop and equip community leaders and groups who are then mobilised to bring about change.

Many young people we know and work with closely have been directly affected by the recent attack in our community.  They have also faced other huge challenges in their lives.  Some have lost friends or family members to violence, had those they are close to go to prison, been excluded from school, had parents working all hours on minimum wage trying their hardest to provide, have families who have suffered the instability caused by benefit sanctions, suffered racism or lived in terrible housing.

Yet many of these young people show incredible resilience in the face of these challenges.  They should be celebrated and they should also be supported so that, rather than leading them down a path towards violence and more suffering, their experiences lead to more hopeful and fulfilled lives. 

Our role is to come alongside and provide that support  – building deep, meaningful and healing relationships, to work together to create more opportunities for these relationships to grow and develop and to look at what actions can be taken by these young people and their families to tackle the injustices they experience.

All this happens through simple activities like making pancakes together or games nights, 121 mentoring, school group sessions or community meals.  Unexpected places of healing, celebration and hope. 

As we work together, change is happening.  The situation remains extremely challenging and the path may be long but with new relationships crossing divides, anger turned into powerful action for change and a lot of love and time, we are on a journey of peace.

We’d love you to be a peacemaker and join us on the journey.  You can support us by clicking on the donate button on this page.

Can the violence and knife crime be ended ?  We believe they can.      

 

 

Love in Action – Could you give a gift of peace on Valentine’s Day ?

You might not think there is much of a connection between Valentine’s Day and peacemaking.  What can all those hearts and roses have to do with the long and often complicated work of bringing warring factions together ?

But as we celebrate one type of love, we’re reminded again that love is the foundation of all our peacemaking work.  As Martin Luther-King said:

‘Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend’.

In all we do helping communities build sustainable peace, we are encouraging and empowering people living in violent conflict to love those they see as their enemies.

Love in action in Ghana

Our team in Ghana are a wonderful example.  Drawn from the Nanumba and Konkomba – two tribes with a long history of violent conflict between them – our team live and work together in an area that has seen some of the worst outbreaks of violence and suffering.  

Six families –  three from one tribe and three from the other, show that it is possible for enemies to become friends and for there to be peace.

As the team go out from their shared home to work on our practical peacemaking projects, they go in pairs – one Konkomba and one Nanumba.  Travelling to communities together, every group they meet sees that, even where there has been violence and division, friendship, working together and peace are possible.

Could you join us ?

Could you join us in helping more communities like those in Northern Ghana see love in action ?

Maybe you have already given a gift to a loved one today but why not also give a Valentine’s Day gift with a difference this year – a gift of the hope of peace.

Just click the donate button on this page to give.

And may you too know love and peace today.

Andrew Jackson – Co-Director (Development)