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JPIT: Advent, faith in politics, Universal Credit and more

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

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Newsletter 99    December 2018

Dear Friends, 

Welcome to the final JPIT Newsletter of 2018 - we can’t quite believe it’s come round so quickly!

It has been an exciting and busy year for us here at JPIT: we’ve explored a ‘Brave New World’ at our JPIT conference, met our MPs, said goodbye to four team members and welcomed five, visited party conferences, spoken out against the ‘hostile environment’, Universal Credit, nuclear weapons and so much more!

As we round up the year, this month we have news on Advent, Universal Credit and a call to action on creating a Welcoming Environment for migrants in the UK. 

Many blessings,


Hannah and Roo

JPIT Newsletter Editors



Prepare Ye The Way 2018

The biblical story of Jesus’ birth is full of disruptive encounters. From Mary’s visit from the Angel Gabriel to a group of scholars travelling thousands of miles to meet a teenage mum and her child – these encounters couldn’t be more unlikely.


Yet these are stories of transformation, as people step into the presence of God and have their worlds changed.


This Advent, you are invited to explore what it means to step into transformational encounter with the divine. Each week, we will reflect on the transformational encounters experienced by those at Jesus’ birth, and think about this in the context of some of the issues we currently face as a society.


Have you explored our advent reflections yet? Find them here:

Prepare Ye The Way 2018

Advent poems

Throughout December, our poet-in-residence Revd. Lucy Berry will be releasing four Advent poems, reflecting on challenges of the season. You can find ‘While the World turns Worldly’ and ‘Rude, wasn’t it?’ on our advent page.

Advent Poems

Keep an eye on our social media for Lucy’s poems in the final weeks of Advent.

Lucy’s poems will also be broadcast on UCB Christian Radio throughout Advent, so do listen out for them.


Welcoming Environment Blog Series

Over the last six months, JPIT has been campaigning for an end to the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policies which are causing destitution, discrimination and distrust in our society. But how can our churches play a part in creating a more welcoming environment for migrants?


This week, we have begun a series of blogs exploring the role of the church in countering the ‘hostile environment’ with welcome. The series begun this week with a guest article by Beth Rowland from Welcome Churches, exploring their vision for every refugee in the UK to be welcomed by their local church.

Read Beth’s Blog Here

Keep an eye out on our blog and social media as we continue the series over the next few months.

Faith in Politics

Episode 2 of the Faith in Politics Podcast Season Two features an interview with MP Michael Tomlinson and a monthly musing from Simeon Mitchell. In the news, hosts Bethan and Will will be discussing the Brexit deal and the recent UN report on poverty in the UK.

Listen to Episode 2, and previous episodes in the season, by following the link below.

Faith in Politics Podcast 

Updated Briefing on Universal Credit 

Since the Autumn budget announcement in October, significant changes have been made to Universal Credit. Paul has updated our briefing with what you need to know.

Read the briefing at the link below. 

Universal Credit Briefing

For the most up to date news on Universal Credit, make sure to look on our blog. Our most recent comment, on the visit of the UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, can be found here:

Universal Credit Blogs

Lift the Ban


The last few months have been busy for the Lift The Ban coalition, as they have called for the right of Asylum Seekers to work in the UK. They have held an event in parliament, and heard comment on the issue from the Immigration Minister, which are certainly steps in the right direction.

Here at JPIT, we have been asking what we would miss most if we were denied the right to work. You can see our answers over on our Twitter page, and join in the conversation using #LifttheBan.

You can sign the petition, calling for the right of Asylum Seekers to work, by following the link below.

Lift the Ban

If you haven’t seen our 2016 JPIT Christmas Campaign, ‘A Very British Nativity’, now is the chance to like and share this too, to open the conversation about the treatment of migrants in the UK. You can watch ‘A Very British Nativity’ via the link below:

A Very British Nativity

Meet Your MP

This year, we have seen so many of you respond to the call to Meet Your MP. We have heard so many brilliant stories of communities and churches strengthening ties with your elected representatives, so keep up the good work!


Have you met your MP this year? We would love to hear about it!


Let us know about your experience using our feedback form, which can be found below.

Meet Your MP Feedback

Dates for your diary

  • There are a few days left to respond to the Christians in Parliament APPG request for evidence, for their investigation into the experience of Christians in public life today. In particular, they are looking at how living out the Christian faith interacts with public institutions such as parliament, central and local government and other professional and regulatory bodies. You can find out more information here.
    Deadline: 16th December 2018
  • 18th - 25th January 2019 - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
    This year, the theme is ‘Only Justice’, a call to be reminded again that our prayer for unity is offered up amidst injustice and that Christian disunity is in so many ways related to the divisions in our world. Find out more, and download resources, here.
    An Ecumenical Service of Prayer and Worship for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - 12 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5AA, Monday 21st January 2019 at 7.30pm.
  • 8th - 10th March 2019: Fellowship of Reconciliation Annual Conference, Pathways to Peace. Hosted at Hinsley Hall, Leeds. Find out more here.

Merry Christmas from JPIT!

That’s all for December, apart from to say a very happy Christmas from JPIT! We wish you every blessing over the Christmas season, and thank you for your continued support over 2018.


We look forward to keeping in touch over 2019!


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


Posted on 13 Dec 2018

Information on these pages does not necessarily reflect the views of St Andrew's URC Cheam