Aspiring to be catalysts for peacemaking, especially where minorities are persecuted, where justice is denied, human rights are suppressed or reconciliation is needed

Autumn Peacemaker News

<<First Name>>, thank you for allowing me to share with you our latest news of Peacemaker projects, interviews and supported initiatives. We very much appreciate your prayers and support.

Justice, Peace & Reconciliation: 25 October

You are invited to participate in the first of three webinars arranged by the Convivencia Alliance entitled “The Convivencia Declaration: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation – Christian Perspectives” on Tuesday 25th October 18:00 UK. Two further webinars are being arranged later providing Jewish and Muslim Perspectives.

The four distinguished speakers are:

  • Revd Allan Boesak: Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics at University of Pretoria

  • Mark Braverman: Executive Director, Kairos USA and Research Fellow in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

  • Jonny Clark: Programme Manager for Public Theology at the Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

  • Rifat Kassis: General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine

Register for the webinar

Convivencia Alliance Appoints First Chair

The Convivencia Alliance is a coalition of Jewish, Muslim and Christian charities and NGOs supporting a just peace in Palestine based on One Democratic State (ODS). I am honoured to have been appointed the first chair of the Alliance. This will be a revolving position shared between the three founding organisations.

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Stuart Bailey introduces the work of Tools For Self Reliance.

Tools for Self Reliance

Tools for Self Reliance are a UK based charity working to help relieve poverty in Africa. They work with local organisations to bring about effective and sustainable change. If you live in the Southampton/New Forest area and would like more information on volunteering, please get in touch.

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Asylum Seekers Away Day by the Seaside

Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) arranged several events for asylum seekers recently including a day out to the seaside at Bournemouth, an open top bus ride through the New Forest and an archery lesson. These events play an important role in helping our members deal with PTSD and the stress of seeking asylum here in the UK. I am arranging two Autumn visits to the New Forest in partnership with the New Forest Rangers.

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Stephen Sizer - Christian Support for the State of Israel: Is It Biblical? (2/4)

Christian Support for Israel: Is it Biblical?

It was a delight to share in a recent webinar organised by Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) exploring this important question. It is a subject on which Christians are deeply divided and has significant ramifications in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

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Glory to God in the Lowest: Dr Donald Wagner

This is a truly inspirational story of how a young conservative white evangelical (like me!) became a passionate life-long advocate for human rights, and in particular those of Palestinians. Read the rest of my review here:

A Personal Update

Today marks the 138th day (19+ weeks) since my Ecclesiastical Tribunal concluded in late May and we are still waiting for the publication of their ruling. Parallels with the delayed Forde Report into alleged antisemitism within the Labour Party are I am sure purely coincidental.

Clearly this was a complex case and they must decide on what constitutes lawful political opinion, evaluate conflicting definitions of antisemitism and specifically rule on the validity or otherwise of the IHRA definition, discount the hearsay and anonymous sources relied upon by the Church of England, as well as the instances of double jeopardy and breaches of the previous conciliation agreement, weigh up the sole expert witness report of Dr Tony Lerman as well as the testimonies of the 40+ witnesses including archbishops, bishops, rabbis, clergy, academics and former parishioners who supported my defence in writing or in person.

The Board of Deputies actually made their original complaint, alleging antisemitism, 48 months ago way back in October 2018, so this has been a drawn out process and a rather long time to wait for justice. This is the reason I insisted my tribunal be held in public - the first ever - to expose the lack of evidence against me and to ensure justice is seen to be done.

My barrister was quoted in the Daily Mail, as saying, “It is significant that not one word or statement from Dr Sizer has been shown to be anti-semitic. There are none.”

The prosecution had four years from when the CDM was first lodged to find witnesses (from among the many clergy, congregants or parishioners who have known me over 45 years ministry) who were willing to testify and corroborate the allegations. They could not find a single person.

They also had ample time to trawl through the texts of hundreds of my sermons and talks published online for incriminating evidence of antisemitism. They could not find a single word.

This is perhaps why Dr Jeff Halper, the Jewish academic and human rights activist, rather provocatively called my tribunal an 'Inquisition'.

"The charges against Dr. Sizer are untrue and trumped-up – and you all know it. Antisemitism?! How do you possibly defend yourself against such a charge? In the intellectual and democratic world in which most of us live, Dr. Sizer has made a rational, well-researched case for his views and analysis presented in articles, books and lectures based firmly on academic research and religious history. But that is exactly the type of person for which Tribunals are necessary, since analyses like Dr. Sizer presents, unpopular in some partisan circles as they may be, cannot be dismissed in academic circles or barred in courts of law. They must be denounced in Tribunals with no moral, legal or intellectual authority, and as in all religious Tribunals, the person maligned and destroyed in order to somehow delegitimize his or her views. I am embarrassed for all of you – and downright angry at the Jews who participate in the dark proceeding of religious Tribunals."

Read the full statement from Dr Jeff Halper

This is also the first time the controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism has been tested in law. Either way, therefore, the tribunal decision will set a legal precedent of international significance. It is perhaps not surprising that those who justify racial supremacism, settler colonialism and apartheid have weaponised what is now called the 'new antisemitism', epitomised by the discredited IHRA definition, to silence their critics.

Irrespective of the tribunal outcome for me personally, I am praying for an outcome that, at the very least, will ensure others do not have to endure this kind of religious tribunal in the future.

Invitation to Support Peacemakers

Peacemaker Trust is a faith ministry. By the grace of God, we are entirely dependent on the prayers, advocacy and financial support of our dedicated Peacemaker friends. We are a small charity with low overheads and a prudent budget. If you identify with our vision, we invite you to make a one-off gift or regular monthly donation to help us fulfil our charitable purposes in 2022-2023.


We need to raise an additional £12,000 more to meet our 2023 Budget

If you wish to give regularly, you may download a standing order form and return to your bank. You may also donate via PayPal (use button above) or by making a cash or cheque deposit or transfer directly into our Peacemaker Trust Metro Bank account, using our bank account number 19949718 and sort code 23-05-80. See here for more details of other options.

May the Lord bless you and those you love.