Displaying items by tag: United Kingdom
Social care organisations want Boris Johnson to fix the broken care system.They want long overdue changes to funding social care and ‘immediate’ cash injections to cover costs incurred during the pandemic. Councils need money for new technology and fairer deals for care staff. In 2019 Boris Johnson vowed to fix the funding crisis ‘with a clear plan we have prepared’, but discussions around changing costs are still ongoing. Social care is not free to vulnerable people with assets over £23,500. Below that they receive council help. Consequently, thousands of people annually must sell their homes to pay for their care. Charities warned that ‘every week of dithering means an extra 13,000 pensioners being denied vital help’. It is believed the PM supports a £50,000 lifetime cap on care costs to shield pensioners from catastrophic bills. However Rishi Sunak is concerned over finding £10billion a year to pay for this.
At the end of 2020, national records reported that over 1,200 people had died of a drug-related death, putting Scotland at the top of the chart for drug-related deaths in Europe. The report painted a heart-breaking picture of loss and pain in so many families and communities across Scotland. Evangelical Alliance Scotland, Bethany Christian Trust, and Cross Reach carry out amazing work caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, but they want to find out how they can further support the work of churches and agencies that focus on drug addiction. Therefore they are currently carrying out a survey with key questions around how drug addiction affects people's churches and how they can together provide sustainable solutions.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is widely expected to become the next leader of the DUP in the extraordinary political drama which has consumed the party in recent months. This follows the resignation of Edwin Poots; his main challenge will be to restore stability following one of the most turbulent periods in the DUP’s history. He originally put his name forward to become leader after Arlene Foster was ousted following internal party unrest, but was defeated by just one vote in the DUP’s first ever leadership election last month. He will have to pick up the pieces and deal with many of the same challenges which faced his predecessor. He may be expected to take a harder line over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which unionists oppose.
We celebrate all that has been done in the past by God’s people across this nation: church planting, mission, transformation and social care. Many Christians believe that God is taking His people back to the very roots and foundations of His gospel, releasing and empowering a people who will move in the mandate of this season - to make disciples of all nations. Pray for apostles to arise in fresh levels of authority, building, empowering and equipping God’s people, so that the Kingdom will be released into all areas of society. Pray for teachers to be raised, to preach the word in all its fullness of truth, calling the Church back to its first love. Pray for evangelists to teach and equip the saints – so that the gospel is preached into all communities with signs and wonders following.
When Covid hit last year, our nation quickly turned to science - epidemiologists seeking to contain the virus and researchers creating vaccines. But how much did the church use the opportunity to point to our hope beyond death? On 30 June, a Church Unlocked livestream will feature Canon J.John and other evangelists talking about how the pandemic and lockdowns have changed evangelism. Has the widespread use of streaming technology transformed how the Church will reach out? What are the felt needs of those around us, post-Covid, and how can we help people see that Jesus is the answer to those needs?
The Light and Life Christian festival at Rutland showground attracts 1,500 members of the travelling community, but local residents contacted police over fights, theft and drag car racing in the streets. The Rutland police resourced staff from the wider force for this event. It is legal, but two arrests were made for attempted robbery and antisocial behaviour. Local shops closed early due to staff being abused and speeding cars through villages. A festival organiser said the issue had been blown out of proportion. ‘They may see some young lads who are being rowdy and think everyone is like that,’ he said. ‘Actually 99.9% are not. They are family people with small children.’ He said that the event was not to blame: it was being held to reach out to those who are not Christians. ‘This is a mission and is for those who aren't yet saved.’
Rev Richard Coles has called for an end to conversion therapy. Speaking during a BBC programme Morning Live, he said that the practice, which attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, causes ‘untold misery’. Last month, the Government announced in the Queen's Speech that measures would be brought forward to ban the therapy. ‘I'm a priest of the Church of England and I'm also gay and for me that's never been a problem’. he said. ’But some people do and indeed find that so unendurable that they seek, some would say therapy, intervention, call it what you will, to pray the gay away.’ Coles said he always took his own homosexuality as ‘a given that I had no choice over at all’. The Church of England says conversion therapy has ‘no place in the modern world’. For an alternative perspective, see
Speaking on a beach in Cornwall at the G7 summit, ITV's Robert Peston asked Boris Johnson whether he is now a practising Roman Catholic, having recently married in Westminster Cathedral. The Prime Minister replied, ‘I don't discuss these deep issues, certainly not with you’. Peston laughed and followed up by saying that Sir Keir Starmer has said he does not believe in God, and asked again if Mr Johnson did. The Prime Minister paused then referenced Psalm 14: ‘The foolish man has said in his heart there is no God’. Peston accepted his answer and finished the interview. The sentence also appears in Psalm 53. The rest of the verse describes those who deny God: ‘They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.’
On 16 June Parliament rubber-stamped extending lockdown rules in England until 19 July. Scientists say Covid is growing - with much of it being driven by younger people who are not yet immunised. However, tentative signs in the latest daily data suggest growth may be beginning to slow. The rollout of vaccinations to younger people is key to reducing further spread. Rising infections have boosted a seven-day average to 7,888 cases. The UK recorded 9,055 cases on 16 June - the highest number since 25 February. Hospitalisations have also increased, but daily deaths remain low, with a weekly average of nine deaths within 28 days of a positive test. The Government has clearly announced that it wants to vaccinate all adults in the period between now and 19 July. That will make a very big difference and increase the overall population immunity.
Justin Welby said, ‘The world is facing a crisis of truth. Claims and counterclaims about the virus, vaccines and the effectiveness of government responses take centre-stage globally. Conspiracy theories circle the globe; misinformation causes repercussions. We need to learn to judge the information we receive, think critically and kindly, and act accordingly.’ There has been a rise in conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination campaigns and growing confusion as people question whether Covid-19 is really a threat. Social media stand accused of spreading misinformation faster than reliable facts and corrections. Is the vaccine safe? Are the statistics accurate? How likely am I to get Covid? The postmodern idea of all truth being relative falls far short of the mark when the truth can save your life.