Peace and Justice Forum 2024

Churches Together in King’s Lynn Peace and Justice Forum 2024: A Positive Step Forward

Over 45 people gathered at Cornerstone King’s Lynn Baptist Church on Saturday 13th January for a day conference on Peace and Justice, the first of its kind for some years in West Norfolk. Joint Moderators Revd June Love (Cornerstone KL Baptist Church) and Revd Kyla Sørensen (St. Faith’s Church Gaywood) were delighted to see so many gathered:

“Ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, this forum was an opportunity for church leaders, local groups and charities to explore issues that really matter, issues that we are witnessing in our local communities on a daily basis.” Said Revd Kyla.

The free event was open to anyone interested in issues of social justice from a Christian perspective. During a packed programme, leaders from 8 different church traditions and delegates from a number of local charities and groups had the opportunity to engage with challenging questions and to reflect on how together we can affect action to make a real difference in King’s Lynn and surrounds. Lively and engaging discussions were had as well as a fantastic opportunity to network with other churches and groups in the pop-up resource centre.

The forum’s presenter was Revd Steve Tinning, the Baptist Union’s Public Issues Enabler. Steve divides his working week between the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. At heart, Steve is an activist, with practical theology and community-organising theory working as the foundations of a ministry of justice and compassion.

Revd June told us: “As churches and charities we are passionate about social action in our area, however Steve inspired us to think about how we can work together to bring about social justice – changing King’s Lynn from a town where we serve the poor to a place where poverty is alleviated altogether.”

The day rounded off with a conversation between Revd Steve and Andy Frere-Smith, a frontline worker in King’s Lynn for Norfolk Together: a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of Norwich supporting the work of local Christians in their community as they develop and deliver social action initiatives.

Helen Gilbert, from King’s Lynn Foodbank said: “It was an informative and very thought-provoking forum, covering several different aspects of peace and justice at a local level as well as nationally and internationally. So many of these issues are looked at in isolation, when in reality they all overlap and impact on each other. As we head into an election year, it is so vital that we as individuals are all as informed as possible about these issues, so that we can make an informed choice about which representative we want to speak for us in political arenas on these matters.”

Date and venue for next year’s forum: 18th January 2025 10-3pm at Gaywood Church Rooms.


Taken by Stu Smith on
Taken by Stu Smith on

The 888,246 Tower of London poppies are being removed, even though they were perhaps the most successful art installation ever. They were an effective and moving way to represent the number of British and British colonial soldiers killed in the First World War. The number was astonishing and the poppies were a powerful reminder of the cost in human lives of war, but they represented a small fraction of the total number of lives lost during WW1 – estimated at 10 million military personnel and 7 million civilians. World War Two cost nearly 21 million military and over 27 million civilian lives. The numbers killed in war are beyond comprehension, but they go on rising year by year. It didn’t begin or end with the twentieth century and perhaps it never will end, so removing the poppies is as significant to their meaning as placing them was – human life is frail and transient.
I don’t know how to make people live in peace. Some people claim to know, but I suspect that their answer is that everyone should be like them. But I do think there are some clues to the way. For example when Jesus was asked, “who is my neighbour that I should love as I love myself?” he replied with a story about how a man who was an enemy from Samaria helped a man who had been attacked and robbed on a road out of Jerusalem. The despised Samaritan proved to be the neighbour who should be loved.

Chris Ivory, St Margaret’s Church