Public Issues

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team


Newsletter 105   June 2019

Dear Friends,


Well, a lot has happened since we last spoke! In the last month, the European Elections have taken place, the Prime Minister has resigned and a Conservative Party leadership contest has begun. Our churches have been kept busy too, as we’ve hosted our own General Assemblies and conferences.



Today in particular we are celebrating, as the UK Government have declared their commitment to legislate the UK’s goal to net-zero target emissions by 2050. This is fantastic news, and the first step in the right direction of responding to the climate crisis. We realise there’s still a lot to do to reach this target, so that’s why we’re joining with others on Wednesday 26 June to say The Time Is Now for an ambitious response to the climate crisis. Read on to find out how you can get involved.


Alongside your invitation to join us on June 26, this month’s newsletter includes our plans for Refugee Week, and a call to action to ask the Home Secretary to Lift The Ban on the right of asylum seekers working in the UK. We’ve got a new resource helping you and your church to reflect on the housing crisis, and a podcast featuring Jonathan Aitken, former conservative MP who spent time in prison for perjury.

As always, we love hearing from you about what’s going on in your churches, and how we can support you. Do get in touch to share your news by reply to this email, sending us a message on social media or come and join us at one of the events advertised here.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read our newsletter.


Every blessing for the week ahead,


Hannah & Roo


Refugee Week

17 – 23 June is Refugee Week, where we celebrate the contribution of refugees and migrants in our communities, and ask what it’s like to be a refugee in the UK. This year, we’re inviting you to get involved with the Lift The Ban month of action.


At the moment, people seeking asylum in the UK are effectively banned from working. As Churches, we believe that people who have risked everything to find safety in Britain should have the best chance possible of living in dignity, contributing to society and integrating into their new communities.

We're inviting you to join us in calling for change, by:

Signing the petition to #LiftTheBan

Send one of our Lift the Ban postcards to the Home Secretary


You can find out more information over on our website:

Lift The Ban

Simeon visited the Southbank at the beginning of June to mark the launch of the Lift The Ban month of action, where Ben & Jerry's had constructed their own 'wall of welcome' to show solidarity with people seeking safety.

23 June 2019 is the first Sanctuary Sunday, and an opportunity to explore how churches can be places of welcome and hospitality for those fleeing violence and persecution. You can find out more, and discover resources, here.


20 – 30 June is Refugee Festival Scotland, this year entitled ‘Making Art Making Home’. Find our more and get involved here.

The Time is Now

We’re thrilled that the UK Government has agreed to legislate towards a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. But we realise that this isn’t the end of the road – there’s still lots more to be done to make this target achievable. That’s why we’re joining together in Westminster on June 26, to lobby our MPs and call for commitment towards these targets. We believe that The Time Is Now to start making change, and that our government can continue to lead the way. Why not join us? Find out more here:

The Time is Now

More than Bricks and Mortar

Britain is facing a housing crisis – a claim which few people dispute. This has many symptoms that stretch across the whole of society. So how can we, as the Church, respond to the housing crisis in a way which is sustainable and community driven?



This month we have launched our updated resource ‘More than Bricks and Mortar’. A discussion of some of the social, theological and policy issues around housing, More than Bricks and Mortar offers some background information and four ‘think-pieces’ to help Christians reflect on the current housing crisis and how they could respond.


More Than Bricks and Mortar?

Beckly Lecture

Politics and Faith in the United States: Pursuing Justice in Divided Times


On Monday 1 July, we are welcoming Revd Dr Susan Henry-Crowe to deliver the annual Beckly Lecture, this year held in Birmingham. Revd Dr Henry-Crowe is at the forefront of helping the church to live faithfully, seek justice and pursue peace in the US in 2019.



All are welcome, and refreshments will be served from 7.45pm. You can sign up for free tickets by following the link below. 

The Beckley Lecture

Latest Blogs

The review into Christian persecution: but what about other faiths?

“We can only understand the persecution of Christians, and seek to prevent it more effectively, when we understand how it fits into the wider picture, as religious persecution of all kinds is on the rise.”

In December 2018, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office commissioned an independent review of the persecution of Christians around the world, with recommendations to follow about how the Government could respond more proactively and robustly. Will argues that whilst welcome, this commission perhaps doesn’t go far enough.



Read it here

Flooding in Nabuna Village, Fiji

We all depend upon the environment we live in. But climate change is making this difficult and unpredictable for many. To mark Environment Sunday this weekend, we shared Naomi and Semaema's story with you, of how their community in Fiji has been affected.

Read it here

Faith in Politics


Revd Jonathan Aitken served 23 years as an MP, and 7 months in prison for perjury. It was here he found faith, and on this month’s episode of Faith in Politics he talks to Will about his journey from the cabinet to prison to Revd. 


May’s episode also features a monthly musing from Trey Hall, director of evangelism and growth for the Methodist Church, who explores the power of relationships in our communities.

Listen to the latest episode here

Tax Justice Sunday

Sunday 7 July is the first Tax Justice Sunday. 


Church Action for Tax Justice, alongside the Fair Tax Mark, are inviting churches across the country to find out more about the injustices that lie at the heart of our tax system, celebrate and highlight those corporations that are paying their fair share of tax, and to commit to action on behalf of the poor through supporting campaigns for tax justice. You can find worship resources, sermon materials and hymns by following the link below. 

Tax Justice Sunday Resources

Save the Date!

Last month we announced that the 2020 JPIT conference will take place on Saturday 7 March. We’d love it if you kept the date free, and we will be in touch with more information as soon as possible.

Dates for your diary

1 July 2019: Politics and Faith in the United States: Pursuing Justice in Divided Times. The Beckly Lecture this year will be given by Revd Dr Susan Henry-Crowe. Book your free tickets here.

11 July 2019: ‘Faith in Politics: where is the Gospel in the era of Brexit, Trump, Putin and hate crime?' The annual Wesley Memorial Lecture will take place in Oxford and will be given by Alan Beith, Methodist Local Preach, former Liberal Democrat MP and now life peer. Find out more here.

17 - 23 June 2019: Refugee Week

20 - 30 June 2019: Refugee Festival Scotland. Find out more here.

23 June 2019: Sanctuary Sunday. Find resources here.

11 – 15 November 2019: Cliff College Short Course in Social Activism.
Designed for those interested in making the world a better place, the Certificate in Social Activism is an exciting week-long course looking at this important and developing subject. Find out more here.

7 March 2020: JPIT Conference!

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