Thursday, 15 September 2016

The struggle continues...

It was off to the House of Lords last night on a sticky London evening, where I was privileged to speak at the launch of a book by Methodist minister, Rev David Haslam.  

A Luta Continua (The struggle continues) is a memoir of David’s ministry.  David has been deeply committed to working for justice in the world.  He was at the forefront of the campaign to challenge the apartheid government in South Africa in the 70s and 80s by pressing for companies to stop investing there.  He has worked for justice for Dalits, some of the most oppressed people in the world.  He’s argued for the urgency of action on climate change. And he’s pushing for tax justice by transnational corporations.  

Reading the book I chuckled at the audacity of some of David’s actions – borrowing a Franciscan monk’s habit to go to Downing St and demand that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher give him St Francis’s prayer back – but David has also worked to build relationships and coalitions.

Like many prophets, what he says is often uncomfortable for us to hear because it challenges vested interests. Even if you don’t agree with David’s views or his politics (though history suggests he’s often been right), our Church needs people like David to keep us uncomfortable.  We should never become a comfortable place to be. 

Pictured above and right are David, together with (Lord) Leslie Griffiths and (Baroness)  Hilary Armstrong, the former Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, Fr Abiola, and David's wife Sarah.  

Also present were some of the many, many Methodists who have worked with, argued with and been inspired by David over the course of his ministry.

A Luta Continua  is available from all good bookshops...! 

(Photos by David Hardman)

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