Justice & Peace


The Wayside Justice, Peace & Human Rights Group

For more than 40 years Our Lady of the Wayside parish has had a tradition of practical action to promote Justice, Peace and Human Rights (JPHR) both at home and throughout the world.
This tradition was initiated by the then parish priest Fr. Patrick (Paddy) O’Mahony , who became well known both nationally and internationally for responding to ALL in need, whether it was the hungry, the sick, those unjustly treated or imprisoned, or those lacking education.

Today the JPHR parish action group is an interfaith team made up of:

  •  Those who meet on a regular basis every two months on a Tuesday evening to discuss work done and forward action to be taken. Numbers range from 6 to14. Minutes are taken and issued to all active members and are made available at church.
  • Those who do not attend the meetings but greatly support the work by ‘Letter Writing’. This consists of appealing to Ministers and Heads of Governments on behalf of those unjustly detained, often without trial, many tortured.
  • Parishioners and often the school children and of course, our parish priest Fr.Gerardo, who all actively support the campaigns undertaken. In 2016 these included the Christmas and Easter greetings card campaign, CAFOD’s Lampedusa Cross messages of Hope for refugees, Climate Change issues and the Abolition of the death penalty. As a parish we also give aid to St Chad’s sanctuary, food banks and other local charities.

We take great heart from the response to the signature and card campaigns from the people of the parish.

The work we undertake is largely informed by CAFOD and ACAT (Actions by Christians Against Torture) to which we are affiliated. ACAT(UK)  was formed in 1984 by the then British Council of Churches.

We are always happy to welcome new members to help with our work. Do come along to one of our meetings.

Maureen Jennings: mjjpolw@gmail.com. Tel: 01564 703721
Creina Hearn: 0121 448 1022
Maggy Jennings: 0121 744 5916



The Wayside Justice, Peace and Human Rights Group

Minutes of the Meeting held 11 July 2017

 Present: Maureen Jennings (chair), Creina Hearn; Maggy Jennings; Jane Sleigh, Ray Hunt, Jenny Cockroft, Mary Floyd

Apologies: Father Gerardo, Patricia and Gerald Oakes, Hugh Smith

The meeting commenced with prayers.

The minutes of the last meeting were passed as correct.

ACAT – The ACAT newsletter for June – August 17 has been distributed. Creina’s        article on the Christmas card campaign is on page 8.

  • International Day of Prayer for Torture: Creina placed 150 sheets in the church. As always our parishioners joined in the campaign and all sheets were taken. A thank you message went into the parish newsletter.
  • Replies have been received from the FCO (Mohammed Ramadan) and the Mexican Embassy (Francisco Hidalgo)
  • Ray agreed to write to ACAT on behalf of the group to provide feedback on the positive, proactive approach of the new administration.

Urgent cases & Abolition of Death penalty – forwarded by Mary.

Mary has contacted ACAT about the revised SOS (Urgent Action) scheme but has not received a reply so will chase. We will look at working with some of the organisations from previous greetings card campaigns and longer term prisoners of conscience in small groups much as we have done in the past. Creina will bring details to the next meeting.

CAFOD – The current CAFOD campaign is Power – Renewable Energy. Maggy will order a poster and postcards. David Maxwell is the new schools contact.

Fairtrade, Solihull Welcome, St Chad’s Sanctuary & Church Action on Poverty

Ongoing and active. Jenny will email Sainbury’s HQ to ask why they are opting out of Fairtrade. Baby clothes and jeans for thin young men needed by Solihull Welcome.

AOB – Maggy to order postcards for the Jubilee Debt campaign about the government promoting public/private partnerships with countries such as Liberia and Zimbabwe.

Maureen will put the newsletter on the parish website.

Janet Vaughan, the diocesan J&P Administrator has asked to be added to the distribution list for our minutes to assist her with the preparation of newsletters.

Next meeting:  5 September 2017


 For more information on CAFOD and its work, both locally and nationally, visit www.cafod.org.uk

For further information contact Maggy Jennings  (maggyj1947@gmail.com)



The Christmas Greetings Campaign in our Parish

  • We receive information and details of all the cases included in the campaign from ACAT (Action by Christians Against Torture)
  • The details are summarised so that all the cases are covered on 2 A4 sheets (different colours)
  • The 2 sheets are displayed in church and copies are available for parishioners to take.
  • For the duration of the campaign information is put into our parish weekly newsletter and at the end of each Mass Fr. Gerardo will add a reminder, inviting parishioners to partake in this charitable work.

This campaign is always very well supported, some write to all the cases, or divide them throughout their families; some take them to friends and into schools, others will choose one or two from each sheet.

At Christmas 2016 we had 300 sheets available and 284 were taken, so hopefully several hundred were sent out.

The Birmingham J & P Commission also include our summarised version on their network as well as pointing out that the full version is available at ACAT and provide ACAT contact details.

Creina Hearn (a group member)