Public Issues

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

 

Newsletter 117    June 2020

Dear Friends

 

It seems at the moment that so much is rising up within society. Issues of justice and peace are at the forefront of our collective consciousness, as our sense of interconnectedness has deepened during the pandemic and key events have highlighted deep inequalities around the world.

 

At the same time, we have seen what happens when communities come together, demonstrated by the mutual aid groups developed across the country. We’ve seen the power for change when movements provoke us into action, such as the Black Lives Matter protests. And we’ve seen what quick action can happen when people use their popularity to speak truth to power, shown by Marcus Rashford and the provision of free school meals over the summer holidays. If anything, we have learnt from this time that together that we can make choices to create a society where justice and fairness are at the forefront of our decision making.

 

This month, we have opportunities for you to listen and grow, as well as to raise your voice and call for change. We’ve appreciated hearing from you during the lockdown period, to help us understand your experiences of the pandemic and the justice issues it has raised. Please continue to get in touch with us, by emailing enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

 

Every Blessing
Hannah

 

 

For many refugees and asylum seekers, the journey they have been on has been one of hope. Hope for change, hope for refuge, hope to be reunited with those they love.

 

This Refugee Week, we want to highlight some of these stories. At a time when it can be difficult to hold onto hope for the future, what do we have to learn from those who have journeyed across the world to seek safety?

 

"I look at the UK as a place of hope and a safe haven as it has provided me with safety, the education I have always dreamed of, and a roof over my head."

Read Nouran's Story Here

This Refugee Week, raise your voice to call for changes which will bring hope to many refugees and asylum seekers.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Prime Minister promised that asylum seekers would ‘receive the Home Office funding they need and deserve’. 3 months in, they have been granted a mere 26p extra per day. 

 

During normal times, this is not enough. During a pandemic, this is dangerous. 

 

Add your voice to the call for Asylum Support to be raised by £20 per week by emailing your MP through Refugee Action. 

Write to your MP

Indefinite detention is one of the ultimate threats underlying the UK’s Hostile Environment policies. Right now the Immigration Bill is making its way through parliament and a new law has been proposed that would bring an end to this unjust system. But we need our MPs to vote for it.

 

Could you write to your MP before the 25 June, to ask them to support the ammendment calling for this change?

Ask your MP to support this change

Following the tragic death of George Floyd, rightful and righteous anger has been raised across the world. Together, we are working to educate and change, that we might create a world where we see an end to racism in all its forms.

 

Read statements from our Church Leaders here.

 

Read our prayer for the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are more likely to be hit harder by Covid-19. Read our blog exploring this challenge.

 

 

Covid-19 has brought huge changes to all our lives, but inequalities mean that some people have been hit even harder than others. 

 

That’s why we’re calling for all of us to Stay Alert to Justice during the pandemic, and beyond. Watch members from across our denominations join the call to Stay Alert to Justice.

Watch the video

 

One of the ways you can do this is by joining us in Stay and Pray, our daily prayer initiative which highlights key justice issues. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive these, or sign up by email.

 

Holy or full of holes? The values of our social safety net - with Jonathan Reynolds MP

 

 

In the latest episode of the Faith in Politics Podcast, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Jonathan Reynolds shares his thoughts on the furlough scheme, Universal Credit, Universal Basic Income and the future of social security in the UK. Cameron and Rosella muse on what the Bible and the Church may have to say on Universal Basic Income and what values should shape our social security system.

 

Listen now on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes and other podcasting platforms.

 

Listen Now

 

Peace, pandemics and plastic bottles – prioritising the future?
Monday 29 June
7-8:15pm

 

When it feels as if different priorities are competing, how can we respond with integrity to God’s call for justice and peace? Join us online for the annual Beckly Lecture, delivered by Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal.

 

Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal OBE is founder and President of City of Sanctuary, a grassroots movement to build cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety for asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable people. Inderjit is a former President of the Methodist Conference, was Leader of the Corrymeela Community and is President of the Methodist Peace Fellowship.

 

Inderjit will be talking from his many years’ experience as a public and practical theologian about how our world and our churches face the challenges ahead.

 

Register for your free place here

Climate and Covid-19

 

"If we take seriously the need to respond to both the current pandemic and the climate crisis well, we have to be careful with the way we communicate our hope for long-term change."

 

Read our blog exploring how we can continue to fight for climate justice in the light of Covid-19.

 

Read it here

Webinars 

Money Makes Change – Online Sessions – Thursday 18th June at 11am and 8pm - Join ECCR to explore the Money Makes Change programme and have a taster experience of the Money Makes Change interactive workshop, suitable for small groups, meetings and churches. Find out more here.

 

‘Power, Privilege and Pandemic: the toxic case of Brexit’ - Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 7.30pm – 8.30pm. Hosted by CTBI and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. How did the issues of immigration and racism affect the British decision to leave the EU in 2016? Featuring Prof. Anthony Reddie, author of “Theologising Brexit”, and the Archdeacon of Croydon, the Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett. Register for your place here.

 

As Churches, we hope for a world where our environment is renewed. This means working for climate justice, which we all play a part in. That’s why we’re part of a coalition inviting churches to get involved with Climate Sunday! This is an opportunity for churches to add to the collective voice of Christians calling for climate justice before COP26. Could your church add their voice by holding a climate Sunday in 2020-2021?

 

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