Welcome to CSM Renewal 2007

Welcome to CSM Renewal 2007. This blog is for members of the Christian Socialist Movement who are interested in renewing and changing CSM. In Proverbs it says: "Where there is no vision the people perish" (Prov 29:18). We fear that CSM is perishing from lack of vision, and we need to renew CSM: - Prayerfully restore CSM’s values and objects to the heart of everything it does; - Actively be the prophetic conscience of the Labour Party and a prophetic voice to the churches; - Boldly take a stand against the religious right and campaign to make poverty, social justice and the environment mainstream Christian issues; - Sustainably ensure CSM’s financial security without accepting sponsorship from organisations that compromise our values; - Immediately make CSM fit for purpose and the organisation more democratic, accountable and Christian. Find out more about our new vision for CSM below, and if you like it sign up to CSM Renewal 2007.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Call for CSM Renewal and Change

Dear CSM Member,

In Proverbs we are told: “Without a vision the people perish”. The Christian Socialist Movement is perishing - precisely because it lacks a clear vision and purpose. Membership is in decline, it is running at a loss and has lost almost all of its reserves, and those who remain loyal are questioning its purpose and activities. Without drastic action to raise funds and recruit members in the next year, CSM may simply perish within a year.

We must repent for failing to live up to our calling. CSM has not been a radical and prophetic witness to the Labour Government - even when its own values speak volumes, it has been silent. CSM has not lived out its own values in its own activities. It is has taken substantial sponsorship from organisations which some members feel are not consistent with the values of CSM. CSM has failed to support its elected representatives and candidates. Moreover, CSM seems to do little to actively “work in prayer and through political action” for its values.

There has never been a greater need for a strong Christian voice on the Left to speak to the Labour Party, the Government and the churches. And that is why those of us who love CSM and recognise its potential are frustrated at its inertia and lack of vision and purpose.

We are calling for 2007 to be a Year of Renewal for CSM. We are standing at the forthcoming CSM elections on a pledge to work for renewal and change in CSM – and to ensure its survival.
We are asking for CSM members, ex-CSM members and all Christians who believe in Christianity, progressive politics and social justice to support the Year of Renewal. We have five pledges to begin the Year of Renewal:


  • Prayerfully restore CSM’s values and objects to the heart of everything it does;
  • Actively be the prophetic conscience of the Labour Party and a prophetic voice to the churches;
  • Boldly take a stand against the religious right and campaign to make poverty, social justice and the environment mainstream Christian issues;
  • Sustainably ensure CSM’s financial security without accepting sponsorship from organisations that compromise our values;
  • Urgently act to make CSM fit for purpose and the organisation more democratic, accountable and Christian.

This is the beginning of a process of renewal and we do not have all the answers. That is why we are asking for you to sign the Year of Renewal petition, for your ideas on how you would renew CSM, and to support the candidates who support renewal in the forthcoming election if you are eligible to vote. To sign the Call to CSM Renewal and Change 2007 email csmrenewalandchange2007@yahoo.co.uk.


Yours in Christ,

The CSM Renewal and Change Team
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CSM Renewal and Change Candidates:

For Chair:
Rt Hon Alun Michael MP (currently CSM Patron)

For Vice Chair (2 positions)
Helen Dennis (currently CSM Exec)
Kerron Cross (currently CSM Exec)

For Publications Officer
Sophie Harding (currently CSM Publications Officer)

For Treasurer
Chris Ostrowski

For Ordinary Member of Executive (5 positions)
James Walters
Angela Cheyne
Jonathan Cox (currently CSM Exec)
Fred Grindrod (currently CSM Exec)
Gareth Gould

For Eastern Region National Regional Representative
Allan Davies (Secretary of CSM Essex)

For London Region National Regional Representative
Matthew Rhodes

For East Midlands Region National Regional Representative
Richard Robinson


PETITION FOR RENEWAL AND CHANGE 2007

We are calling for Renewal and Change in CSM in 2007. Please read the proposals in this blog, and if you would like to support our call for Renewal and Change in CSM in 2007, then please email csmrenewalandchange2007@yahoo.co.uk and tell us who you are and why you want to support us.

We the undersigned CSM members believe it is time for Renewal and Change and wish to publicly pledge our support for the Year of Renewal in 2007.

Rt Hon Alun Michael MP (currently CSM Patron)
Helen Dennis (currently CSM Exec)
Jonathan Cox (currently CSM Exec)
James Walters
Allan Davies (Secretary CSM Essex)
Chris Ostrowski
Kerron Cross (currently CSM Exec)
Angela Cheyne
Jon Kuhrt
Matthew Rhodes
Rev'd Sam McBratney
Fred Grindrod (currently CSM Exec)
Gareth Gould
Jonathan Alltimes
Rebecca Henney
Sophie Harding (currently Publications Officer)
Stephen Matthews (currently CSM Vice Chair)
Cllr Richard Rackham
Richard Robinson
Anthony Hunt
Paul Burgin
Beverley Hazell
Paul Franklin (CSM Administrator 2000-04)
Simeon Mitchell
Chris Herries (former CSM Vice Chair)
Dr Ann Limb
Harriet Panting
Ashley Riley
Stephen Plant
Michael P. Hornsby-Smith (Emeritus Professor)

We are calling for Renewal and Change in CSM in 2007. Please read the proposals in this blog, and if you would like to add your name to the call for Renewal and Change in CSM in 2007, then please email csmrenewalandchange2007@yahoo.co.uk and tell us who you are and why you want to support us.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This blogsite is a welcome opportunity to question many of the candidates. It is the closest thing there is to a CSM hustings.

My 'starter for ten' is:

Is it a bit intimidating to stand together on a slate? Is this how CSM does politics?

CSM Renewal said...

Thanks for your post. The CSM Renewal and Change Team is concerned by a lack of accountability in the way CSM is run and we want to correct that democratic deficit. We think the members should know what they are voting for and not just vote on the basis of personalities of which most of will have no direct knowledge.

We have gone to great lengths to ensure that CSM Renewal and Change is about ideas, not personalities. That is why those of us of a like mind have decided to co-operate to raise awareness of those ideas. There has been an absence of co-operative working in CSM and so we start as we mean to go on (if we are elected).

I hope that people won't find it intimidating that we have decided to stand on a joint platform of ideas. We are committed to them and believe that without renewal and change CSM will perish - we care enough about the future of the Movement to organise to save it. And if elected, we will have to organise and work together then - so again, we start as we hope to go on.

We have also tried hard to be inclusive in our approach. We have a broad range of candidates and an even broader range of supporters. The Call to Renewal is open to anyone, and we are trying to be as inclusive as possible. Again, we start as we mean to go on - if elected we will try and use the talents of all who have something to contribute, not just those who get elected.

CSM should do politics accountably, democratically, inclusively, with organisation that shows we care, and above all, with love. I hope that CSM Renewal and Change candidates and supporters can further those ideals in this election and beyond.
The CSM Renewal and Change Team.

Anonymous said...

You aim to "Boldly take a stand against the religious right and campaign to make poverty, social justice and the environment mainstream Christian issues"

I think you'll find the religious right have the same objectives here - so a blanket statement of opposition is a bit less than helpful. (They of course have different policies to achieve them.)

You would do better to state your positive aims.

Simeon Mitchell said...

Many thanks for taking this initiative. As a CSM member for 10 years, aged 30, I fully support your programme and aims. I feel CSM has been drifting of late, adopting some odd priorities and lacking the focus and passion which originally attracted me to become a member. There is a real need for a prophetic, values-driven voice on the left of British politics – CSM should be leading the way and at the forefront of the debate as the Labour party also seeks to renew itself and its leadership over the coming months.

With thanks again and all good wishes for your campaign.

Stephen said...

Looking at the age profile of CSM it is obvious that it needs new, younger members. Could CSM raise its profile at events such as Spring Harvest, Easter People, Vineyard etc. I realise this may be too expensive but it may be possible to get on the seminar programme with something like' Why Christians should be involved in politics'

John Smith said...

Is this really the best way to campaign for the changes being sought?
What exactly are the reasons for this call for 'Renewal & Change'
Concerned on the Language being
applied.
Assumptions made that we all have the same understanding of terms being used.

Democracy - Inclusiveness -What discussion has taken place with members to ensure everyone is involved in the decision on making 5 pledges as well as judgements on how CSM has been operating.

How does the executive communicate with members throughout the year. Isn't there a duty to keep members informed about issues & decisions

This is the first time I have been aware of the concerns & comments raised by some executive members

Where is the acceptance of any shared responsibility for the curent situation by members of the executive who support these proposed changes?
Renewal & Change is the reality for all organisations that want to grow & develop. Focusing on the Relevance of CSM to existing and potential members is a key factor.

Lets have a real discussion and apply the best methods for achieving this task. To ensure there is real inclusiveness small
discussion groups from across membership present are provided with a task to focus on one or two key issues facing CSM with recommendation/s for way forward.

These are then put together as an action plan for future. Executive the take responsibility for seeing actions through & updating membership on progress made.