23 July 2020

Dear friend,


I hope you are keeping safe and well.




As restrictions on religious, social, cultural and commercial life begin to be lifted: I wonder what spiritual resources have inspired and helped you through the experience of lockdown? If there are particular texts, pieces of music, works of art or online resources which you would like to share with other members of the Faith and Spirituality Network I would love to hear from you.


I am also writing to seek your help in two ongoing projects:


1. STAGING POSTS is an interactive game being developed by the East of England Faiths Agency which enables participants to reflect on the journey and experience of life by focusing on: Heritage; Conception and Birth, Childhood and School Days, Education and Training,  Love & Friendship, Family, Community, Meaning & Purpose, Work / Life Balance, Retirement & Old Age, Death & Bereavement and Legacy. Further information and an online version of the game can be found on the EEFA website: http://www.eefa.net/index_j.htm# . As well as receiving your feedback on playing the game; I would be grateful to receive suggestions of sacred texts, poetry and prose which reflect on the twelve stages of life given above.


2. BEREAVEMENT PROJECT  Having surveyed local Funeral Directors about the bereavement care services they offer their staff, clients and wider community; EEFA, in association with Public Health in Suffolk and Norfolk, are interested to learn of any personal insights you and others might have concerning the care of the terminally ill, the experience of bereavement and of attending a funeral service (in person or via livestream) during lockdown.


Below you will find details of HEALING THE NATIONS - an online conference to be held on Zoom  from 30th July to 8th August. The conference is being organised by the NEXT CENTURY FOUNDATION. If you are interested in attending any or all of the sessions please email ncfmepp@aol.com. I would be grateful if you could also let me know, should you decide to register.


In addition, I have forwarded information from the ST ETHELBURGA CENTRE FOR RECONCILIATION AND PEACE -highlighting a series of interviews with refugees and displaced persons on the subject of resilience; along with  the launch of their new podcast: THE FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL; learning from the lives and leadership of black people and people of colour working in the field of ecology.



With best wishes

Andrew Benedict

Secretary of the Faith and Spirituality Network (Suffolk)

The East of England Faiths Agency CIC

Registration Number: 6046834 - Registered in England and Wales








The Next Century Foundation’s

Summer Conference

Healing the Nations


The Next Century Foundation is holding a ten-day online conference over the end of July and the first week of August.

Events will be taking place covering all of the Foundation’s key nations and areas.




To book, contact ncfmepp@aol.com with details of which sessions you are planning to attend.


Sessions will run in the mode of the NCF’s successful weekly meetings, mixing input from knowledgeable speakers and key players with both breakout room and round table discussions.


This conference provides a unique opportunity to take stock of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and beyond, and gain on-the-ground insights simply unavailable in mainstream reporting.


We would be honoured if you would join us in confronting the key issues in these countries and working towards peace and positive change through constructive discussions – just have as we have for the last three decades.




Conference Sessions

(London BST)

Thursday 30 July 

11.20 am US/UK 

3 pm Lebanon


Friday 31 July

3 pm Palestine 


Saturday 1 August

3 pm Libya


Sunday 2 August

3 pm China


Monday 3 August

11.30 am Afghanistan 

3 pm Iran 


Tuesday 4 August

11.30 am Iraq

3 pm Syria 


Wednesday 5 August

11.30 am Kashmir 

3 pm Yemen


Thursday 6 August

11.30 am Israel 

3 pm Sudan


Friday 7 August

3 pm Bahrain


Saturday 8 August

3 pm Conclusions







Throughout the pandemic we have been recording and sharing conversations with refugees and displaced people about their experience of resilience. These are people like Gulwali Passarlay (https://stethelburgas.org/inside-stories-gulwali-passarlay/?mc_cid=52caeffab5&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) and Nazrin Parvaz (https://stethelburgas.org/inside-stories-nasrin-parvaz/?mc_cid=52caeffab5&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) , who have faced unimaginable hardship and loss; trauma, prejudice and discrimination. We want to raise up their voices, highlighting their contribution to our communities, their leadership and their incredible resilience. You can read the stories here. (https://stethelburgas.org/watch-listen-read/?mc_cid=52caeffab5&mc_eid=[UNIQID])


We are proud to launch a new podcast series (https://stethelburgas.org/watch-listen-read/?mc_cid=52caeffab5&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) in collaboration with The Future is Beautiful, learning from the lives and leadership of black people and people of colour whose work includes an ecological dimension. We kick off with a conversation with the remarkable Bronte Velez (https://stethelburgas.org/watch-listen-read/listening-to-each-other-listening-to-the-earth/?mc_cid=52caeffab5&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) , whose organisation ‘Lead to Life’ deconstructs the violence embedded in environmental racism.


These offerings help us consolidate a new orientation within our work which has been emerging over the last 18 months - building community resilience for times of ecological and social emergency. I hope you will join with us in this work of meeting crisis with community, service and joy.


In solidarity

Justine Huxley, CEO

St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace