Displaying items by tag: United Kingdom
In recent years, Sports Chaplaincy UK has been encouraging its Chaplains to host stadium carol services at Christmas. Sports stadiums have been described as secular cathedrals as many people go there at weekends. At Christmas we remember God moving into our neighbourhood. How might you, or your church, pray for and support one of these carol services to celebrate this amazing fact? Warren Evans, Chief Executive of Sports Chaplaincy UK
In August 2011, Tottenham Hale in north London was at the centre of a series of riots, arson attacks and looting which ignited in London, the Midlands and the north-west of England. Two years later the work started on building St Francis. The first purpose built local church in 40 years provides a place of worship and also allows the congregation to grow and play an important role at the heart of Tottenham Hale life by hosting pop up cafés and the Make Lunch project, designed to tackle food poverty in the area. The new St Francis in the Engine Room Church is part of a planned 100 new Christian communities to be planted in the diocese. Elsewhere in London, planners have given consent for the 1970s Holy Trinity Church in Swiss Cottage to be demolished and replaced by a six-storey complex including a 450-seater auditorium, recording studio, and accommodation for vulnerable young people.
Power is a vital tool in mobilising the Church. Jesus demonstrated ‘power through weakness’. Yet the Kingdom, power and the glory are his. God made us joint heirs with Christ. Love so amazing, he left his Holy Spirit for the tasks ahead. We have hope and are assured to do greater works than Jesus, so that God will be glorified.
(Danielle Fetuga-Joensuu, Prison Hope)
At the second of eight late-night Commons sittings on the EU Withdrawal Bill, on 15 November, proposals were put forward for transposing EU law onto the UK statute book after Brexit. The expected backbench rebellion did not happen, but similar issues will be debated again in coming weeks. It appears that the problems arise from the same challenge (how Government approaches and drafts legislation). Pray for the Prime Minister, ministers, civil servants, and advisors to have supernatural support and strength to complete the task ahead in God’s timing, and not go in ever-decreasing circles to achieve answers and agreements. Pray for the ministers to follow God’s template for the transition. May all government departments have Kingdom answers and God’s approval as they face the depth and scope of the task ahead.
(Linda Digby, Prayer Alert)
Following last week’s PA article, ‘Foreign secretary’s blunder’, regarding Boris Johnson and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment in Iran, continue to pray for this situation. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe has met Mr Johnson and hopes to travel with him to Iran; he said the ‘softly softly’ approach is not working. Pray for them to have a safe passage to Iran in the near future. It has been reported that Britain is preparing to pay a decades-old £450 million debt to Iran in a diplomatic effort at improving Nazanin’s chances of release. Pray that Mr Johnson can use fresh negotiation methods which will be acceptable to the Iranians. Pray for further anointing and wisdom for all the staff preparing for these negotiations. Pray for Richard Ratcliffe, and all assisting him, to have patience and peace and for God to hold Nazanin close to Him and heal her emotional, physical and spiritual wounds.
A Christmas advert by Tesco, showing a Muslim family celebrating by exchanging presents and cooking Christmas dinner, has divided shoppers. One comment was, ‘Muslims don't believe the truth of Christmas, and Tesco doesn't even have a halal turkey for them’; another, ‘The advert is inclusive and promotes diversity’. Some are crying ‘racism’, but others say, ‘It has nothing to do with racism, it is to do with religion. Christian festivals such as Advent, Christmas, Easter and Whitsun proclaim our nation’s Christian heritage’. See also
A school has written to parents asking for a £1-a-day voluntary contribution to help pay for pens, pencils, books, etc. The Robert Piggott CofE School in Berkshire said national changes to school funding meant they had to request donations to make up the shortfall. The school is in the Maidenhead constituency, which is represented by Mrs May. Many are saying that Theresa May was elected to represent Maidenhead on a manifesto that guaranteed to protect school funding, but she can't keep her promises to her own voters, let alone the rest of the country. Ministers have insisted that more money is being pumped into schools, and recently announced a new funding formula to ensure money is allocated in a fairer way. Education secretary Justine Greening said that an extra £1.3 billion will be found for England's schools from existing budgets. The next Budget is on 22 November. See also:
On 9 November, the Scottish government launched a consultation exercise on proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. The suggested changes include creating a third gender, neither male nor female; allowing children as young as 12 to become transgender through the courts (even without parental consent); and removing the need to provide medical evidence of transgenderism, which will now be self-declared. Thomas Pascoe of the Coalition for Marriage said, ‘These proposals are terrifying. Making it easier to change gender removes all protection against medical manipulation. One academic study found that doctors in Oxfordshire were stopping male paedophiles from transitioning in order to win the confidence of children by appearing to be women. If the law changes, there will be no grounds to prevent abuses like this taking place.’ He said it is an attack on the family when children of 12 can change gender without parental consent; they are too young to understand the long-term effects of the decision. To see the paper go to
Joshua Sutcliffe, a respected Christian maths teacher at an Oxfordshire secondary school, is facing discipline for 'misgendering' a student. On 2 November a complaint was made that Joshua referred to a pupil as a 'girl', rather than the desired ‘boy’. Although born as a girl, the pupil had self-declared as ‘male’. Joshua had not been given any formal instruction on how to refer to the pupil. An investigation began immediately; Joshua was prevented from teaching and forced to spend all his time ‘in isolation’ in the staff room. He is now suspended, pending a further investigation. Joshua said, ‘While “gender is fluid” conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs, I recognise my responsibility as a teacher and Christian to treat each of my pupils with respect and dignity. I have never looked to impose my convictions on others, I just try to live out the gospel of peace.’
Theresa May has called for a ‘new culture of respect’. In this challenging time for our Parliament, we can intercede for all our leaders to begin to demonstrate the Kingdom values of respect, moral uprightness, financial integrity, truthfulness and wisdom. We can cry out for a fresh move of God’s Holy Spirit to touch minds and hearts so that the guilty are convicted and repent, victims see justice, and all corruption and scandals are removed to make way for a new Kingdom culture to be established at the centre of political life. Pray that God will cause the Prime Minister’s spoken words to become a self-fulfilling prophecy: ‘a place in which everyone can feel confident that they are working in a safe and secure environment, where complaints can be brought forward without prejudice and victims know that these complaints will be investigated properly’.