Public Issues

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

 

Newsletter 107    August 2019

Dear Friends,

 

 

 

 

Whether you’re reading your JPIT newsletter on a beach in the sun, up a mountain, in a rainforest, in another country (or somewhere exciting in this one), on the sofa or sneakily at work, we hope you are having a lovely summer. Here at the JPIT office, whilst we’ve all had time for a bit of a break, the action hasn’t stopped!

 

 

 

 

We've already written to our new Prime Minister regarding a no-deal Brexit. We’ve also begun engaging with the new cabinet, lobbying Priti Patel, the new Home Secretary, to ask her to #LiftTheBan that prevents asylum seekers from working. Over the next few weeks we’ll be talking about the arms trade and leading conversations at Greenbelt Festival. We'll also be saying a sad goodbye to some of our team.

Whatever the summer months have involved for you, we hope that you have had opportunities to seek justice and pursue peace. As always, we’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to, and we’re always happy to chat about how we can help your church engage with issues of peace and justice. You can find our contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Every Blessing,

 

Hannah & Roo

 

No-Deal Brexit

In July, Church leaders from seven Christian denominations wrote to our new Prime Minister to raise concerns that a no-deal Brexit would “hit those held back by poverty very hard indeed”. The letter suggested that “at a time when increasing numbers of families have difficulties putting enough food on the table, we believe it is irresponsible to consider a course of action that is expected to make that situation worse”. We called on the Prime Minister to publish evidence of the impact a no-deal Brexit on disadvantaged communities.

 

The letter was signed by leaders from the Quakers, Salvation Army, United Reformed Church, Methodist Church, Baptist Union, Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church. It has since been signed by over 2,000 church members.

Read the letter and add your signature here

Lift The Ban

With a change in Home Secretary, the Lift the Ban coalition is continuing to lobby the Home Office to ask them to Lift the Ban on the right of asylum seekers to work. There’s still time to get your church involved – you can order free postcards from us, to add your names and support to the mass action of the Lift The Ban coalition. Email enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk and we’d be happy to help.

#LiftTheBan

Summer Holiday Hunger

During the summer holidays, many families who receive financial support struggle more due to lack of childcare and meal support at school. This year, this has been increasingly difficult for those who have moved onto Universal Credit.

 

 

Paul spoke to the Guardian about the challenges faced by many families during the summer holidays.

School Holiday Childcare Costs - The Guardian

On top of this, foodbanks around the country are facing unprecedented demand over the summer months. The Trussell Trust are asking that you support them by finding out what the need is at your local donation centre and supporting them as you are able. You can find out where your local foodbank is and what they need here:

Find a local foodbank

Stop The Arms Fair

In September, the DSEI arms fair will take place at the ExCeL centre London. Here global leaders, security forces and the arms industry will meet to discuss the security supply chain. The Revd Mark Meatcher, URC minister of the North Enfield group of churches, will take part in ‘No Faith in War’ protests to raise a peaceful voice against the arms trade. You can read his blog, and find out more about the actions they will be taking, here:

No Faith in War

Meet Your MP: Week of Action

In July, we spent a week thinking about Meet Your MP, and sharing some of the stories of those who have spent time getting to know their elected representatives. Bishop’s Cleeve Methodist Church & Tewkesbury Methodist Church met their MP Laurence Robertson, and he asked a question in Parliament on their behalf! You can read about it and other encounters here:

Meet Your MP Stories

 

Have you met with your MP yet? If you have, let us know how it went here.

 

 

Still wondering whether it’s for you? Luckily, it’s for everyone! Find out more about what it means to Meet Your MP, and why we think it’s important, here.

Faith in Politics Podcast 

This month, Bethan and Will interview Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust and leader of Oasis Church Waterloo. In a wide-ranging conversation, Steve gives insight into his motivations for founding the Oasis Trust, the importance he puts in leading a politically active, justice focused Church and the vital role he believes churches can play in helping the vulnerable.

 

 

 

Our monthly musing comes from Methodist Minister Val Reid, in a reflection on the Good Samaritan that encourages us to rethink “who is our neighbour”.

Listen Here

Goodbye Bethan and Will

Sadly, September approaching means we’ll be saying goodbye to our interns Bethan and Will. They have made an outstanding contribution to the team, from their enthusiasm to try new things, their insight into parliamentary life and their exemplary podcasting skills.

 

When asked how they’ve found the year, Bethan said "It has been an absolute joy working within JPIT for the last year! I will be forever grateful for how I was entrusted with work that truly mattered, given space to grow in my faith and abilities, and welcomed with open arms into such a brilliant team."

Will said “I have greatly valued the opportunity to consider what peace and justice look like in uncertain times, and to explore where and how God calls us to partner in the transformation of society”.

 

 

They will be greatly missed. You can read some of their blogs from this year here (Bethan & Will) and listen back to their time on Faith in Politics here. A big thank you from us for all they’ve done!

Greenbelt 

Over the August bank holiday, some of the JPIT bunch will be hanging out at Greenbelt festival. For those of you who will be there also, we hope to see you in the URC tent for our conversations on Islamophobia, Poverty and Immigration. Perhaps we might also see you in The Foundry, sponsored by The Methodist Church, for a cuppa and a conversation too. If you spot us, do say hi!

 

 

 

Changing the Conversation around Immigration – Saturday 10-11am

 

Changing the Conversation around Islamophobia – Sunday 8-9pm

 

Changing the Conversation around Poverty – Monday 10-11am

Global Strike for the Climate and Creation Time

1st September - 4th October marks Creation Time, where churches are invited to reflect on environmental issues. During this period, Youth Strike for the Climate are planning to host and launch the Global Strike for the Climate, taking place on 20th September, followed by a week of action.

Young people are inviting others from across the country to join them, to form the biggest event for the climate yet. You might be able to support them in different ways (keep an eye out on our blog for more information), but one suggestion is to invite someone who is participating in the strike to share something about why they got involved during a service on Sunday 22 September.

 

The Church of Scotland have produced resources to support you through Creation Time, which you can find here. On the 15th, the suggestions include a 'sunday school strike' plan, which you can find here.

Events

Some of our partners have some interesting events coming up over the next few months – why not come along?

 

18th - 19th September: What does it mean to be a ‘church of sanctuary’? Sarum college are hosting a two day conference for church leaders, community groups, activists, and anyone else interested in exploring the theory and practice of sanctuary in the United Kingdom and Ireland in a church context. Find out more here.

 

19th September: Join Scottish Faith Action For Refugees for an inspiring evening exploring the situation of refugees in Scotland, what refugee integration looks like and ways you can get involved in supporting refugees. Find out more here.

 

20th - 23rd September: Great British Beach Clean. This September, A Rocha are encouraging their supporters to join with others from around the globe for the Great British Beach Clean. Find out more and register your beach here. You can find A Rocha's top tips here.

 

23rd - 24th September: Once In A Lifetime: A 2-day Climate Justice Summit in Cambridge. Hosted by A Rocha and the Amos Trust, a chance to discuss why the climate crisis is a justice issue. Find out more here.

 

12th October: Churches Welcoming Refugees. Welcome churches will be hosting an evening in London to allow churches to be inspired and equipped as they welcome refugees. Find out more here.

 

Call for Participants 

The University of Roehampton are conducting research into how Methodists and Catholics relate together in social action. They are looking for sites where Methodists and Catholics are working together, and are also interested in finding particular Catholics and Methodists who are friends either formed through, or deepened by, engaging together in social action. If you could help, get in touch with Dr James Butler at james.butler@roehampton.ac.uk.

Campaigns

Alcohol continues to cause substantial harm and grief to families and communities across the UK. Alcohol-related illness, injuries and death rates remain unacceptably high throughout the country. However, budgets for alcohol treatment have been massively cut. Currently, only one in five people in England who need treatment are getting the support they need. That’s why the Alcohol Health Alliance are asking the government to increase alcohol duty by 2% above inflation in this year’s budget. This would help save lives and repair families, and would be cheaper for the taxpayer in the long run, by avoiding higher costs down the line. Find our more and add your support here.

After Brexit, there are proposals for a system called ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) to be introduced into courts. It’s argued that ISDS will help countries attract more foreign investment, but rather than doing this it has in the past given big businesses a powerful tool to challenge policies in the public interest. This can be particularly detrimental to poorer countries. That’s why Tradecraft Exchange are calling on the government to ‘stop rolling out the red carpet’ for big businesses. You can read more about this and add your support here.

Dates for the diary

1st September - 4th October - Creation Time. Find resources on the CTBI website here. Find resources from Season of Creation here.

17th - 23rd September - World week for peace in Palestine and Israel. Find out more here.

22nd September - Peace Sunday. Find resources here.

29th September - 5th October - Good Money Week. Find out more here.

30th September - Join community sponsorship groups in Scotland to share your ideas, experiences and thoughts on community sponsorship. Find out more here.

13th October - Homeless Sunday. Find out more here.

To publicise an event or project, or to follow up on any of the issues mentioned here, contact us on enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk
 
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Joint Public Issues Team | Methodist Church House | 25 Marylebone Road | London | NW1 5JR

 

 

August Update 

Dear Friends, 

 

 

 

Please accept our apologies that in yesterday's August newsletter, the link to the No Faith in War blog was incorrect. We hope that this hasn't caused you any problems, and that you will enjoy reading the blog using the correct link below. 

 

 

Every Blessing, 

Hannah & Roo

Stop The Arms Fair

 

 

In September, the DSEI arms fair will take place at the ExCeL centre London. Here global leaders, security forces and the arms industry will meet to discuss the security supply chain. The Revd Mark Meatcher, URC minister of the North Enfield group of churches, will take part in ‘No Faith in War’ protests to raise a peaceful voice against the arms trade. You can read his blog, and find out more about the actions they will be taking, here:

No Faith in War 

To publicise an event or project, or to follow up on any of the issues mentioned here, contact us on enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk
 
>
Joint Public Issues Team | Methodist Church House | 25 Marylebone Road | London | NW1 5JR