BY Ryan McDougall | April 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

justice and peace

Justice and Peace Scotland elects new chairperson

The Church's organisation for social justice's new Scottish chairperson said she can't live her life 'without living out the call of the Gospel to serve the poor.'

Jill Kent officially replaced Honor Hania as chair of Justice and Peace Scotland at the start of April.

Mrs Kent had served as the organisation’s Aberdeen Diocese commissioner since 2016, and started a Justice and Peace group in Inverness.

Her first meetings as chair have so far been held via video chat due to the UK lockdown.

Mrs Kent grew up in the US, where she worked as a primary teacher in San Francisco.

Hard work

She later moved to Belize in Central America to work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

She met her husband while working in an all girls’ school. The couple moved to Scotland 18 years ago and have four grown-up children.

She said: “I am delighted to take on this new role because issues of social justice have always been important to me. I feel I cannot life my life without living out the call of the Gospel to serve the poor.

Adressing societal issues

“I know that beyond acts of charity, we need to address the underlying issues related to war, poverty and inequality. I have valued the work that Justice and Peace Scotland does to highlight these issues and to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Honor Hania had chaired the Justice and Peace Scotland Commission since 2015, a time where the organisation was establishing a new team to carry forward its vision of social justice.

Mrs Hania led the team towards the vastly increased visibility of the commission throughout Scotland.

Projects

Some of her new projects included Beyond the Walls, which introduces schoolchildren to the work of the various Catholic social apostolates, and Encounter Calais, which facilitates visits to refugee camps in the northern French region.

Mrs Hania has encouraged the use of social media and has been driven in her pursuit of weekly blogs for the commission’s website.

She also worked in strengthening interfaith connections, and has led major campaigns on the climate emergency, human trafficking, modern slavery, refugees and the ongoing campaign to support asylum seekers held at Dungavel detention centre.

Mrs Hania stressed that the Justice and Peace commission continued the task of ‘scrutinising the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.’

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