A groundswell of hope for social, economic and cultural change is emerging from our conversations.

Through Radical Presence, people from around the UK are meeting to map a sane emergence from the pandemic, into a sustainable, just and compassionate society. We believe that Britain’s churches could offer moral leadership in this journey.

We want to help you, as a participant in Radical Presence, to feel equipped for that endeavour. And in turn your contributions will help us to build a consensus for change, with others who are working to ‘build back better’.

From the trauma of Covid-19 we seek to build a ‘Covenant-20’, which will enshrine the principles of a truly sustainable, just and compassionate emergence. It is too early in our pandemic journey to venture a draft of such a covenant. However the articles below begin to put a shape on the task.

Elle Dodd, in Typologies of change finds three kinds of change emerging:

  • Novel: Changes we want to keep hold of beyond the crisis, such as caring for each other, appreciating new experiences and increasing access to culture
  • Evolving: Changes we’re not yet happy with, such as valuing essential workers, decreasing carbon emissions and other pollution, and Understanding our place in the world
  • Visionary: Changes we want to see but that aren’t yet possible, such as reimagining the economy, celebrating human connection and devolving decision making.

George Graham in Things We Now Have and Don’t Want to Lose highlights:

  1. Widespread recognition of the indispensable work done by people at all levels in our society and from all backgrounds and walks of life. The realisation that there’s no correlation between the size of your contribution to society and the size of your pay packet.
  2. Greater government and popular support for public services – especially the health service – and for functioning safety nets.
  3. A significant decline in carbon emissions and atmospheric pollution, and signs of increasing biodiversity.
  4. An extraordinary increase in global health and scientific cooperation – mostly networked rather than driven through formal institutions.
  5. The emergence of ceasefires in some of the world’s conflicts.
  6. A more active debate about where the limits should lie on data collection and mass surveillance.
  7. A stronger sense of solidarity with our neighbours and beyond, regardless of who they are or where they’re from, and greater awareness of the various challenges that many face in our society.
  8. A more active conversation than ever before about mental wellbeing and the simple things that can help protect it.

Peter Coville, blogging at The Unfinished Revolution, proposes Krisis: a Manifesto for the Future, which outlines a five-point plan:

  1. Recognize the value of care
  2. Accept that we really are all in this together
  3. Tackle the climate and ecological emergency
  4. Learn from the past
  5. Prepare for the future

With your help through Radical Presence, we will continue to discern and help to shape the vision that is emerging across our society for a sustainable, just and compassionate society.