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Over the past month, we have been exploring what it means to Love, Pray, Vote, as we head to the polling booth on Thursday. New political challenges make the call to love those around us through the way we engage in this election particularly pertinent. As we cast our vote, how can we carry with us the voice of the common good? You can find resources to help you explore this below. In an advent season, we wait in anticipation for God’s arrival among us. And when God does come, he can be found as a child, with those normally kept on the margins called in close and a message of triumphant humility in his heart. … follow the link below to read on…
Since we last spoke, a lot has happened. We passed the October 31 Brexit deadline, and remained in the EU. After a series of votes, a General Election was called for December 12.
Over the past few months, the Brexit impasse has divided and coarsened debate, and has limited our ability to push for change on issues of justice and peace. This election is about more than just Brexit – it is an opportunity to call for justice and peace through our decision making. That’s why this campaign period, we’re inviting you to engage deeply and lovingly with those around you, and the options before us. Find out more below.
This month, we’ve seen the power of collective action. Over 100 of you wrote to your MPs, and we finally received a reply from the PM to our letter expressing concerns about the effect of a no-deal Brexit on those locked in poverty. Our Church leaders have spent time at the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences, and you’ve started buying tickets to our conference. You can find out about all of this, and more. However, we realise that being people who care about justice and peace has been particularly tricky over the last few months. There hasn’t been much peace in UK political life, and the coming months do not look any less tumultuous. … click the link to read on…
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) exists to equip Christians to act and pray on issues of injustice, to resource churches to reflect and campaign effectively, and to help our Churches to speak out with a distinctively Christian voice on injustice. We hope that this newsletter helps to inspire and encourage you to pray and to keep speaking out about the injustices you see around you, no matter how uncertain the times we are living in can seem to be. Looking back over the last month and looking ahead to the next, there is so much to tell you about. We exposed the surprising link between the DWP and striptease artists, we continue to wait for a response to the letter we sent to the PM and we have some exciting announcements to make about our conference in 2020. There are changes in our staffing to update you on, plus the usual round-up of our recent blogs and upcoming events. Vital to our work in resourcing our churches well is hearing from you: please keep in touch using our contact details or social media channels, particularly about how you’re getting on and the challenges you face as we together work and pray for a more just and peaceful world.
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.
Some schools have already broken up for the summer, Parliament will soon be in recess and we hope that you too will be able to have some time to rest, recuperate and enjoy some relief from regular commitments over the next few weeks.
With the UK in the throes of a Conservative leadership contest, we’re expecting that the political currents will continue to experience some turbulence despite the holidays, and the Joint Public issues Team will have plenty to keep us occupied too, as we finalise preparations for our workshops at Greenbelt Festival in August.
…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.
Zero target Emissions by 2050
…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.
Elections — Nuclear Weapon Protest — Climate Emergency Declaration — Universal Credit Sanctions Rethink… like buses, you wait for a hot topic to come along and then a fleet of them come along at once! Over the past few weeks, the UK news has been full of reports of activists and politicians engaged with public concerns and our team has been as busy as ever, passionately representing our four Churches in a wide spectrum of issues around justice and peace. I hope you’ve managed to catch some of our work and that it has equipped and inspired you to take action.
Spring is becoming more apparent (for those in the UK at least) and with it the signs of hope for new life. Our Living Lent community has been flourishing too, with almost 500 people receiving our daily mailshot of inspiration and encouragement. Over 200 people are part of our Living Lent Facebook groups, sharing tips and stories. You can find out how to join in with these below.
We were delighted at the beginning of this month to see progress on how the UK Government will determine who is in need of support, by taking the step to also measure food poverty. Yet we all continue to await progress on Brexit. Lucy Berry, our Poet-in-Residence, has filmed a poem in response to current developments entitled ‘Christ Knows’ – you can watch it by following the link in this newsletter.
Click here to view this edition! The past month has seen the team continue to get excited about Living Lent, and becoming part of a community who are committing to respond to the call to climate action.
We’ve also continued to explore how we can create a welcoming environment for those seeking refuge in the UK, with poetry from our poet-in-residence.
As you might have seen, debate has been raised around the UK’s international aid budget, and we’ve taken some time this month to respond.
This month’s newsletter also includes an up to date response on Universal Credit, an invitation to come and work with JPIT and a list of some of the things we’re looking forward to.
With every blessing,
Hannah and Roo JPIT Newsletter Editors
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