Displaying items by tag: Community
The National Day of Prayer for Schools is on 28 September. A few years ago, Scripture Union research found over 95% of UK youth were not connected to a local church. 99% of young people engage in mainstream education. Many believe that if we want to reach the unchurched 95%, we need to learn how to serve our schools and meet these youth where they are. Due to the challenging situation the pandemic created for children, young people, schools, staff and families, church groups across the UK are prayer-walking their communities, praying God’s blessing over their local schools, and seeking God for breakthrough in schools. On 28 September Christians will join an online prayer gathering in the morning, with prayer videos released every hour, before they gather to prayer walk in locations across the UK later. For more information see
Society has been shaken over the past year, revealing that we need wise leaders in the church and in the public arena more than ever before. The Evangelical Alliance is inviting Christians working in the arts, media, academia, business, education, civil society, politics, healthcare and all other sectors to enrol in their Public Leaders Course. A public leader is a Christian who is intentional about bringing their faith to their leadership wherever God has placed them. The ‘public’ element means they are open about their Christianity and their leadership role is not internal to the church. The ‘leadership’ refers to where they have influence: workplace, local community, online, a social group. We can pray for filmmakers, writers, entrepreneurs, educators, health workers, civil servants, lawyers and all in the secular workplace to hear God’s call on their lives to live out their faith and draw others into God’s kingdom.
In Leicestershire two men were arrested when police uncovered a £2.2m cannabis farm in a former bingo hall on 18 May. They were growing 2,188 plants which generated ‘essential’ income for organised crime gangs and ‘misery for many’. Cannabis is not a harmless drug in any way, shape or form. Often extremely vulnerable people are recruited to look after the plants, living in appalling conditions and full of fear. ‘Because of this, we invest significant resources in disrupting this activity and identifying those responsible.’ In Wales another cannabis factory was discovered inside a Swansea home on 14 May. A huge amount of damage to residential homes is caused by such factories. Communities suffer power cuts when the criminals break into the local underground electricity cables to obtain free power for their industry: see
L’Arche are committed to providing adults with learning disabilities with the opportunities they need to lead fulfilling and empowered lives through person-centered support. There are eleven L’Arche communities in the UK. L’Arche Brecon are working to rebind old hardback books into beautiful journals and notebooks. Rebound Books are individually and uniquely created from original publications. People with and without learning disabilities work together, removing spines from the original books and, using quality reclaimed paper, intersperse blank pages with selected pages from the original book. The books are then wire-bound into unique journals and notebooks. Agnes, a workshop facilitator at Rebound Books, said, ‘Everybody here enjoys what they are doing. Just because we think a person might not be able to do something doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to do it. It is about working together to discover our gifts.’ See also
The UK has experienced a week of dangerous snow and ice culminating in below -20C temperatures. Local councils are warning residents to take extra care while the cold snap lasts, as the weekend weather will turn ‘quite hazardous’. The Centrepoint charity for homeless young people is urging the public to contact them if they see people living out in the cold. Charities are also advised to offer anyone seen to be sleeping rough a hot drink, meal, blankets or clothing. Over 100 street cleaning and waste collection teams have been diverted from regular duties to clear snow from footpaths and routes to medical centres to enable COVID immunisation to continue. On 11 February nine flood warnings indicated flooding is very likely; a further 88 flood alerts indicate that flooding is possible as the snow melts and further freezing rain continues.
Urgent testing for the South Africa variant of coronavirus is beginning in Surrey, London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bristol, Walsall, and Birmingham after cases were found with no known links to travel or previous cases. The variant, which was identified as part of Public Health England's random checks on tests, prompted fears there may be community transmission of the virus. It is not known how many cases have been identified. Mobile testing units have been dispatched to a number of neighbourhoods where the cases have been identified.
Parents will be able to claim food vouchers from 18 January, after an outcry over paltry free school meal parcels. Education secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs he was 'absolutely disgusted' by images shared by angry parents of the meagre contents of food packages which lacked the components of a rounded diet and fell short of the £15-per-child value. Boris Johnson branded the boxes 'disgraceful' and 'an insult to the families receiving them'. Catering firm Chartwells will also start including breakfast in free school meal deliveries in response to the fierce criticism of its meagre parcels.
South Africa’s pandemic infections seem to have reached a ceiling. However, with the fifth highest total in the world, no one is celebrating. The government had months to prepare, but there is a critical shortage of beds, staff and equipment. There are allegations of corruption by public officials ordering coronavirus-related supplies. As chaos and uncertainty swirled around official responses to the virus, a group of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians living and working in Lenasia decided to construct their own response as thousands of locals fell ill. Aboobaker Sayed started a community healthcare system in the middle of the raging pandemic with a community-run ambulance service; he secured advanced medical equipment and oxygen concentrators, and has turned ordinary bedrooms into critical care beds. He said, ‘We make plans, but God has another plan and He is the best of planners, so we leave it to Him’.
Nearly one in five private renting parents are now more concerned their family will become homeless as a result of the Covid crisis, new research from Shelter shows (see). As the country moves out of lockdown, the chronic lack of social housing has left struggling families with few options to escape the insecurity of private renting. A third of parents who rent from private landlords are more negative about their long-term housing situation. Shelter reported that 49,000 have resorted to using foodbanks since lockdown and cut back on food to help pay rent; 550,000 took on debt (overdrafts, credit cards, payday loans, borrowing from bank/family/friends) to help pay rent since lockdown. Pray for people in poverty to have a home they can afford. See also the next article, ‘Outdated Planning System’.
Wearing face masks in shops creates massive communication barriers for deaf people who lip-read. The group Deaf Connect have produced cards which deaf people can carry round, asking people to remove their masks when they are speaking to them. Action on Hearing Loss is advising the general public to remove their masks, make sure they face the person they are speaking to and recommend speech-to-text apps. Janice Silo from Signs of God told Premier Christian Radio that lip-reading people wearing masks is impossible. She said, ‘Sometimes we ask people to write things down and they behave as if that is beneath them. Like they'd never heard of paper and pencil before! But writing stuff down is really useful. Also, when coronavirus is finished and we don't have to wear masks any more, please continue what you've been doing, being patient and writing stuff down.’