Updated: Apr 15
CAMPAIN has enjoyed great success with its Letter to the BBC which has so far attracted over 1,400 signatures.
Now we ask you to sign our Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (Welby and Cottrell). We ask the Church of England leadership, and then the wider Anglican Worldwide Communion, to use the prophetic voice of Jesus to challenge misrepresentation and misinformation in the public sphere – and to avoid ill-considered statements that exacerbate the problem.
One example of the latter is where Archbishop Welby said “he would never have forgiven himself if he had not supported the Chief Rabbi’s dramatic warning about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the run-up to the 2019 general election”. While people are entitled to differing views about Jeremy Corbyn, there is no justification for the massive volume of allegations hurled against him by the media and public figures, on grounds of "antisemitism", from the middle of the last decade. The Church should have distanced itself from such a McCarthyistic campaign.
We also encourage the Archbishops to become vocal supporters of a peaceful end to the violence and illegality of the Occupation of Palestine by Israel.
Of course, CAMPAIN is not a religious organisation, and our members include people of all faiths and none. However, the Church of England is the ‘Established’ Church that plays a central role in coronations and other national events. Its Bishops sit in the House of Lords, and even in this largely secular age, its pronouncements carry considerable moral authority. We all believe that it can do more to speak out about injustice, violence, illegality, misrepresentation and misinformation in our lives – not just preach internally to itself.
So, we ask you to read and sign this letter (which can be found on our website or via this link (https://www.campain.org/open-letter-to-the-archbishops), and thereby encourage the Church leadership to become the voice for justice and peace that it purports to be, and should be, according to its fourth ‘Mark of Mission’ ("to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation).
Jonathan Coulter's interview with the Peacemakers Trust
In this interview, Jonathan Coulter explains the purpose of CAMPAIN and why it has launched the Open Letter to the Archbishops.
He points to the need for solidarity among all those seeking to change the media, avoiding factionalism or no-go areas. He also urges the Archbishops to get a better grip on the facts about Israel, Palestine and alleged antisemitism, to be bold and prepared to listen to a variety of Jewish voices, not just the Jewish Board of Deputies.