CARDIFF ARMS FAIR We note with sadness that a war weapons fair was held in Cardiff on 28 March this year. We deplore that Cardiff City Council has supported this venture turning the capital city of our country into a market for buying and selling goods which destroy the lives of the poor people of the world. We note that the company DPRTE (the Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability) declare in their literature that the large companies who are known for producing war weapons and selling them abroad, such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, will be “showcasing products and services along all parts of the supply chain”; and that BiP Solutions, the organisers of the event, declared“DPRTE 2017 will provide a unique opportunity to gain access to defence procurement buyers”. We believe that such trade is immoral and that it is extremely sad that the sellers and buyers of these fiendish weapons are welcome in the capital city of our country; weapons which are currently being used to kill innocent people and destroying communities in places such as Yemen and Gasa. As the Union of Welsh Independents, we call on Cardiff City Council to refuse support for DPRTE to hold an arms fair in the city in 2018 and thereafter. If an arms fair is held on 27 March 2018, then we will ensure that we will protest against the event.
Proposer: Revd Aled D.Jones Seconder: Revd Guto Prys ap Gwynfor – on behalf of the Ceredigion Association
REFUGEES We believe that the number and condition of people fleeing from war and conflict in many regions of the world is extremely alarming. We sympathise especially with the children and young people who are crossing borders in search of safe refuge, often unaccompanied by their families. We especially note the contribution of Christian Aid for over 70 years, working to offer a voice, refuge and care for refugees in many countries. We note that refugees are often reviled and refused for a number of reasons, including the fear that somehow they will destroy the identity of the country receiving them and endanger the well-being of the community. We believe there’s an expectation that we as Christians should welcome the forsaken and the needy, and to provide shelter for those in need. This welcome extends, of course, to those who follow other religions as well as those who are not religious. Despite the temptation to build walls and exclude those we consider different to us, we believe that our country is a better place when we open our doors to those who need our help. We reject war as a way of settling disputes, but we must not turn our faces away when we see our sisters and brothers suffering for that reason. Let us decide as the Union of Welsh Independents to show through voting today that our policy, in word and deed, is to show mercy and love towards refugees at every possible opportunity.
Proposer: Revd Guto Llywelyn Seconder: Revd Beti-Wyn James – on behalf of the West Carmarthen Association
UNDEB OFFICE IN NORTH WALES During the past few years the Union of Welsh Independents has taken several positive steps forward in facing the current challenging situation, by appointing additional staff to work with colleagues and the churches. By now, as part of the team, there’s a worker in the south and the north, and we greatly appreciate their work. Since 2006, the district Associations in the north have benefited greatly from the fact that the General Secretary lives in the north as he is able to share his time between north and south, and work from his office at home. However, when the term of office of the General Secretary comes to an end in a few years’ time, with a worker located in the north and a number of other Undeb workers spending time in the north, we suggest that investing in an office to operate as a branch of Tŷ John Penri in the north would be of great benefit to the Undeb. An office, or possibly a high street shop in a suitable location, would offer a window to the Undeb in the north, providing a suitable space to hold meetings if needed. It would be a place for the Undeb’s officers and staff to work from when in the north and an office for the General Secretary in the north. By locating such an office in a high street location, it could also have a flat above which could be used by staff from south Wales spending time working in the north. Naturally, we would need to consider having either a full or part-time member of staff to run the office. This would lighten the workload of the administrative staff in Tŷ John Penri in the context of the north Wales churches. We know that suggestions have been made in the past about moving Tŷ John Penri to a central location but we believe that this option would be more advantageous. The Undeb’s HQ and a home for the Undeb in the south would continue to be Tŷ John Penri in Swansea, with the north Wales branch a contact centre for the Associations and churches in the north.
The Motion: We propose that the Union of Welsh Independents considers the propriety of setting up an office in the north as a branch of Tŷ John Penri.
Proposer: Revd Carwyn Siddall Seconder: Mr Ifan Alun Puw – on behalf of the Meirionydd Association