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JPIT: Asylum seekers, climate change ...

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

Can’t read this? Click here

Newsletter 106   July 2019

Dear Friends,

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.

One of our most popular items from last month’s newsletter was the ‘Lift the Ban’ campaign. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch. So far we have sent out 1,500 postcards. With the deadline now shifted to the end of August (thanks to the previously mentioned leadership contest!), there is still time to get involved, so check out the update below.

This is the time of year when church organisations often consider their themes and speakers for the next term. If you would like someone from JPIT to come and lead a session on an issue your community is tackling, now is a great time to send your request. And make sure you’ve got Saturday 7 March, 2020 marked in your calendar for the JPIT Conference. It’s going to be a great day!

Please do keep in touch by sharing your thoughts and concerns on our social media pages, drop us an e-mail or come and join us at an event taking place soon.


With every blessing,


Hannah & Roo

Faith in Politics

Episode 8: Ross Greer MSP

This month’s podcast features an interview with Ross Greer, Green Party MSP. As one of Scotland’s youngest politicians, Ross discusses the challenges of representing younger generations and how the relationship between faith and the environment affects his role in tackling the climate crisis.

We also talk to Paul Williams about practical ways churches are addressing environmental issues, and to Irene MacKinnon about “Meet Your MSP”.

Listen to the latest episode here

Lift the Ban

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’ve produced some postcards which you can give to your friends and congregation for them to sign, to let the Home Secretary know that we believe there is a better way. Or add your name to the online petition. It just takes a few moments.

You can find out more information over on our website:

Lift The Ban

Meet Your MP Blog Week

This week we are celebrating some of the stories of congregations from our churches who have taken up the challenge to meet their local MP.

Each congregation was able to demonstrate their concerns for the local area, express their hopes and dreams, and invite partnership and dialogue which would allow peace and justice to flourish, but the ways they went about it were as varied and creative as the communities they represent.

Meet Your MP blog week

Latest Blogs

Guest Blog: Sanctuary Sunday

Perhaps Jesus’ most subversive activity, for which he was criticised, was to eat with those considered to be the outsiders or social outcasts of his day. He expressed his solidarity with the most marginalised people around him by sharing food with them, and eating with them... The followers of Jesus have no option but to welcome the stranger, and to share good hospitality.”

Posted during Refugee Week, Revd Inderjit Bhogal argues that welcoming outsiders should be core to Christian discipleship.

Read it here

More than Welcome

During Refugee Week, Roo went to visit a well-established community event for asylum seekers in Southampton. He was on a mission to find out how the church congregation, the British Red Cross and two other community groups come together to make it all happen, what they offer and the impact it has on those who come.

He discovered it was a little like Heaven.

Read it here

Brexit, Populism and Universal Credit

“Politicians constructed a picture of a reality that we wanted to live in and told us it was true. The British public was largely happy with that. Indeed, for many the only immediate impact of this constructed reality was a tax cut. For many others – those we tend not to listen to – the impact was appalling.“

Paul unpacks how the church can respond to Justice Secretary David Gauke’s recent comment that politicians say what we want to hear, and we are more than willing to believe it.

Read it here

The Time is Now

‘The Time is Now’ mass lobby of Parliament was an opportunity to tell our MPs about our concerns for the planet and to ask for a comprehensive strategy to end climate injustice. The main organisers have told us that over 12,000 people came to the streets around The Houses of Parliament to share their thoughts with over 300 MPs.

[image: Faith leaders and representatives including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, Methodist Vice-President Bala Gnanapragasam, URC General Secretary John Proctor and Baptist Union of GB Public Issues Enabler (and JPIT member) Beth Allison-Glenny. Courtesy of Christian Aid]

It was a privilege to stand with people of different faiths and no faith, declaring in unison that we want to protect the Earth and all within in. An obvious Christian presence demonstrated that our Churches take our world seriously and want to be part of the solution.

These encounters enabled previously unconnected people living within the same constituencies to join together for the same issue. Some campaigners have established closer links with their local MPs and are already forming focus groups as a result.

Thank you to everyone who took part either in person or via messages of support.

[Image: Roo (JPIT) with concerned citizens of central Croydon, waiting to talk to their MP.]

The Time is Now – Keep up the pressure[links to Christian Aid website]

Creation Time – 1 September to 4 October

September is a great time to reflect on the wonder of creation - churches often have a Harvest Festival at this time. For churches that wish to go beyond “We Plough the Fields” and invite participants to wrestle with the plight facing our planet because of human action, please take a look at the wide variety of resources available from Season of Creation. 

Creation Time resources

Save the Date!

The 2020 JPIT conference will take place on Saturday 7 March in Derby. We’d love to see you there! We’ll be releasing more details soon.

Dates for your diary

23 August 2019

UNESCO International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

More information

23–26 August 2019

Greenbelt Festival

The Joint Public Issues Team will be hosting roundtable discussions:

Changing the Conversation around Immigration – Saturday 10–11am

Changing the Conversation around Islamophobia – Sunday 8–9pm

Changing the Conversation around Poverty – Monday 10–11am

More information on the Greenbelt Festival

13 September 2019

Workshop: Transforming injustice in UK austerity and poverty

A participatory workshop featuring Paul Morrison (JPIT), Niall Cooper (Church Action on Poverty), the Life on the Breadline team and others. With small group work discussing to what extent our Churches and Christian NGOs are transforming the unjust structures that lead to and perpetuate poverty. Held in Coventry. More information

11–15 November 2019

Cliff College Short Course in Social Activism

The Certificate in Social Activism is an exciting week-long course designed for those interested in making the world a better place. More information

7 March 2020

JPIT Conference

The JPIT Conference occurs every two years and has inspirational talks, workshops and seminars around issues of peace and justice. This year, the conference will be held in Derby. More information released soon.

The Public Issues Calendar includes special dates of focus and commemoration around justice and peace issues for the whole of 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 30 Jul 2019

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