St Philip and St James’ Church, Grafton Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2DL


ADVOCACY


Advocacy stands in the Biblical tradition of speaking the truth to power and holding power accountable to truth. Advocacy means speaking up for justice, respect for the law, and supporting victims who suffer when justice and the law are violated, and doing so without bias or prejudice. We aim to raise public awareness of the situation in Israeli/Palestine, and lobby those leaders whose decisions could make a real difference.

General Election, 2015. We organised a Hustings to question Parliamentary candidates on their parties’ policies on Israel/Palestine, and attracted a large audience including a high proportion of students.

Cheltenham’s MPs. We have lobbied both Martin Horwood (Liberal Democrat) and Alex Chalk (Conservative) at times of crisis in Israel/Palestine, by sending emails, letters, inviting them to meetings.

Israeli Embassy, London. Letters of protest have been sent to the Ambassador on several occasions.

Cheltenham Schools and Insitutions. We have visited local schools and community organisations to talk about the conflict.

Media. Following his visit in 2018 Rev Nick of P and J wrote an article for the Church Times about the Israeli Military Courts’ treatment and sentencing of children, which he had witnessed together with the director of Military Court Watch. Mike Scott-Baumann wrote an article in the Gloucestershire Echo. Revs Fadi, Roger and Nick have been interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Parliament. We met representatives of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Independent Jewish Voices, Council for Advancing Arab-British Understanding, Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, and One Voice Europe, with a view to convening a meeting of parliamentarians in Westminster.

General Synod. We considered how to promote a debate in Synod. A fringe meeting was held at the General Synod in 2019 to discuss a possible Private Member’s bill. However, the extent of support required, and time limitations of this route prohibited this as a course of action. In addition, we considered promoting a resolution ourselves. But this would require approval by our Church Council, the Deanery and Diocesan Synods before it could reach General Synod. We are rethinking our approach.

Lambeth Conference 2020. We enquired about plans for this meeting of the Bishops of the Anglican Communion to discuss this and were told it would be part of a wider debate on the Church in the Middle East.

If you have any questions, please contact us.