Public Issues

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team


Newsletter 103   April 2019

Dear Friends,






Welcome to the April edition of the JPIT Newsletter, and an especially warm welcome as we head into Easter weekend. This is an incredibly important time as we reflect on the significance of Jesus' journey towards the cross and his resurrection. We hope that you have opportunities to spend this time noticing how this act of grace affects your life today. 




The last month has been a busy one for JPIT, as we've continued with the Living Lent campaign. We've found so much joy and inspiration in sharing this journey with you, and in your enthusiastic support. You can read more about where we go from here below, but for now we wanted to say thank you for all you've contributed to this  important movement. 



Lots has happened in the world of public affairs too, including significant developments in the Brexit process. Since our last newsletter, we have passed original Brexit deadlines and moved towards longer term planning. You can read the response of three of our churches to this below. Whilst the headlines have focussed on Brexit, we've been responding to key issues which might have passed you by. Welfare payments have been cut as a result of the benefit freeze, and Britain is marking 50 years of continuous at sea nuclear deterrence. You can read more below. 


As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or comments. We would love to support your church and community groups in any way we can.




Every Blessing.





Hannah and Roo

JPIT Newsletter Editors 

Living Lent

As you read this email, we will be reaching the end of our journey through Living Lent. For those of us who have taken up the challenge to change our lifestyles for the climate, the last 40 days have been full of surprise, challenge, disappointment, joy and community. We have shared in conversation and encouragement, exploring what it means to respond to God’s promise of resurrection in the face of the climate crisis.



You can find some of the resources we have shared throughout Lent on the Living Lent Website.



As we move on from this place of committed daily reflection and challenge, we will be asking where we go from here. The climate crisis certainly hasn’t disappeared, so how do we continue to respond through our actions?



Keep a look out for thoughts from the Living Lent community, about how we take the Living Lent challenge ahead into our everyday lives. It’s certainly not too late to explore what responding to the climate crisis might look like for you – perhaps this is the perfect moment to do so.



Why not come and join the Living Lent Facebook community and share this journey with others?

Living Lent Website 

Living Lent Facebook Community


Whilst Brexit has been delayed until October 31st 2019, conversations around what the consequences of this might be are still ongoing.





On April 5th, The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church released a statement suggesting that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit should be avoided as it would endanger some of the country’s poorest families.






You can read the statement here.

April 5th - Joint Brexit Statement



What did life look like before we got plastic? How can our response to Lent be more than a ‘nod and a wink that we’ve not forgot God’?






Our poet-in-residence Revd Lucy Berry has written two poems in response to Living Lent. You can find these, and some questions to shape your response, on the JPIT website.

Living Lent Poetry

Recent Blogs

April marks 50 years of UK nuclear weapons submarines sailing out of Faslane, Scotland. In his new blog, Steve asks whether this should be cause for celebration. 

50 Years of CASD: What is there to celebrate?

“I have often invoked the phrase “made in God's image” to say that all people deserve the dignity of having enough to make ends meet. And April’s £1.5 billion in cuts are a further affront to that dignity.”




In 2015, the government began a 4-year freeze on most benefits. This meant that the value of benefits stayed at their 2015 level rather than rising with inflation. This has left some of the poorest families in our country struggling to stay afloat. On April 8th, further cuts had a significant impact on thousands of people.




Paul explores the consequences of this issue in his latest blog, which you can read here:

One week poverty rises, the next we cut benefits

Faith in Politics

In this month's episode of the Faith in Politics podcast, Bethan and Will interview Baroness Hilary Armstrong, a Labour member of the House of Lords and the Chief Whip under Tony Blair. Baroness Armstrong talks about how her faith has impacted her understanding of politics, and the way she has served in public life.




The monthly musing is led by Jen Smith, Superintendent at Wesley's Chapel Methodist Church, London.

Listen to Faith in Politics

Come and Join Us!

Are you passionate about speaking and acting for justice? Do you have the skills to help churches communicate complex policy issues and to campaign for change?





Applications are still open for our Campaigns and Church Engagement Officer. Your role will be to motivate and inspire church members to bring about change. You will develop campaign material, enable activism, and build relationships.





If this could be you or someone you know, find out more here.

Campaigns and Community Engagement Officer

Dates for your diary

  • 12th - 18th May: Christian Aid Week. You can find out more, and see ways to get involved, here.

  • Monday 13th May: 'Can we heal the divide? Nationalism, Populism and Religious Identity'. Hear Elizabeth Oldfield, Professor Eric Kaufmann and Nick Spencer discuss how we respond to increasing division. Find more more here.

  • Wednesday 29th May, 6.30pm: 'Who Cares? - Responding to the cry of the earth' - Caritas Westminster invites you to an evening of practical suggestions for how your parish can respond to the environmental crisis. There will be contributions from local and national organisations including CAFOD, CaFE, the Felix Project and more. Find out more here.

  • Sunday 7th July - Tax Justice Sunday. You can find out more about how you can support Church Action for Tax Justice and discover resources including new publication 'Tax for the Common Good' here.

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