Friary in New Zealand to close
THE only Anglican friary in New Zealand, the Friary of the Divine Compassion, in Hamilton, is to close, after almost 50 years. Br Christopher John SSF, the Minister Provincial of the Society of St Francis (SSF) in New Zealand, Australia and Korea, said that the brothers were reluctant to leave the Te Ara Hou community: “There is no shortage of ministries. Unfortunately, we lack the brothers to sustain a community life and engagement in ministry. Nor are there brothers available elsewhere in SSF.” It did not, however, mean the end of an Anglican Franciscan presence in New Zealand, he said, as the Third Order “are very much the Franciscans on the ground”.
Investors back disclosure of human-rights records
A COALITION of more than 80 investors, who manage $4.8 trillion in assets, is now backing the creation of a new global benchmark on companies’ human-rights policies and practices. The group first came together last year to support the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, and is now supporting the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which will provide a free public ranking of large companies. Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, said: “There is no question that human-rights issues are material to the financial performance of some companies.”
Church schools in India go green
ABOUT 1000 church schools in India are to become “green schools” over the next year, as part of an environment plan by the Church of South India. The commitment was announced by Professor Mathew Kosy Punnackadu, an environmental scientist, at an event on World Environment Day this month. “The Green School programme moves beyond theories and text books, and concentrates on ‘doing’,” he said. Run in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, the programme will entail an environment-management system, run by students, including an audit of the consumption of natural resources.
Parishes to tackle fake medicines in Ghana
A PLAN to tackle sub-standard and counterfeit medicines has been announced by the Anglican diocese of Accra, in partnership with Pharmacists Without Borders and the Lady Pharmacists Association of Ghana. It will include establishing pharmacies in some of its parishes and training women’s groups. Last year, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reported that counterfeit anti-malarial tablets claim the lives of more than 122,000 African children under the age of five every year.
Mission to Seafarers seeks corporate partners
THE charity Mission to Seafarers has launched a paper setting out how the maritime industry can deliver corporate social responsibility. It lists opportunities for companies to join in partnership with it. The secretary general, the Revd Andrew Wright, said that raising funds was “extremely challenging and we are deeply grateful to the support we receive in our work. Seafarers need our help.”
Pakistani Muslims help Christians to build a new church
MUSLIMS in the Pakistani village of Khaksabad in Punjab are raising funds to build a new church for their Christian neighbours, six years after the Christian community was attacked by mobs. The original building was swept away by rains, Daily Pakistan, reports. Dilawar Hussain, a Muslim shopkeeper, told Asia News :“A church is also a house of Allah; praying is what matters. We worship the same God.”