Displaying items by tag: United Kingdom
Early on 15 September a major rehearsal took place for the 4,500-strong military parade ahead of the funeral of the Queen on the 19th. The funeral will be the biggest parade of its kind in living memory. Pray for God to bless all the many preparations now taking place. On the 15th the King had a private day of reflection, not attending any public events. This provided him with a break from public duties while preparing for his new role. Other members of the royal family will represent the monarchy by lighting candles, viewing floral tributes and books of condolences in various cities. Pray for the royal family in the days before the funeral; may they be blessed with peace and stamina.
As groups of people streamed into London last week to offer tributes and tears to their Queen, another faction with heavy hearts filed through the capital’s congestion. The group of supporters marching with the family of Chris Kaba, who was shot dead by armed police in south London on 5 September, was so large that a Sky News reporter broadcasting live mistook them for royal mourners. An embarrassing - and perhaps telling - mistake from a media so often accused of ignoring or misinterpreting the stories that matter most to black and brown communities. Chris Kaba, 24, who was engaged and due to become a father, was killed by a single shot fired by a Met police officer after a car chase in Streatham. The vehicle he was driving was flagged by a number plate recognition camera linking it to an earlier firearms incident. It has since emerged that the car was not registered to Kaba, but to someone else. In other words, this was a young, unarmed black man killed by someone paid to protect the public. Kaba’s family understandably want answers. In a statement, they said: ‘if Chris had not been black, he would have been arrested and not had his life cut short’. The police officer who shot him has been suspended.
An appeal fund has been started by Buckinghamshire Council to help people facing a cost-of-living crisis. It is working with the charity Heart of Bucks; about £17,000 has been raised to date. Martin Tett, its Conservative leader, said the county had some ‘relatively affluent’ people; he was asking them to make a donation for those struggling to get through the winter. Through the Helping Hand programme, advice, financial help, and information is being offered to people ‘to cover the food and energy costs to households in crises. He said, ‘In the council area not everyone is literally down to their last farthing. If you can afford it, if you can help other people, to help them get through the winter, particularly struggling pensioners and people on very low incomes, we'd like you to consider making a donation towards our crisis fund.’ The council also has Welcoming Spaces programmes, opening libraries for people to spend the day somewhere warm.
Liz Truss is being urged to relax the limits on earthquakes caused by fracking to kickstart an energy revolution. She is poised to end the fracking freeze, to make Britain energy independent by 2040. Fracking businesses are lobbying for limits on seismic activity to be substantially increased to kickstart the industry. Currently drilling must stop if tremors of 0.5 occur. Experts say those occur naturally and are often imperceptible above ground. Cuadrilla want equality with other industries. Geothermal energy can create earthquakes of higher magnitudes than 0.5. The USA allows magnitude 4 tremors. A 2012 report said magnitude 3 tremors were ‘felt by few people’. But when Cuadrilla’s Lancashire test caused a 2.9 tremor, homes shook and objects fell off of shelves. A petroleum geologist at Newcastle University said fracking had thus far not been a major source of earthquakes; coal mining had caused many times more.
A charity has criticised the decision to make Catholic MP Therese Coffey the secretary of state because of her views on abortion. The newly-appointed deputy PM voted against extending ‘pills by post’, allowing women to take abortion pills at home, instead of a clinical setting. Ms Coffey said she would never condemn someone for having an abortion, but she would rather they did not have the procedure. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said that a health secretary who would place their personal beliefs above expert clinical guidance is concerning’. Meanwhile, Liz Truss said she shares the values of the Christian faith but is not a practising religious person. She abstained or was absent from parliamentary votes on legalising suicide and abortion, and voted to impose abortion on Northern Ireland. She also voted for same-sex marriage.
400 Isle of Man teachers are demanding a pay rise and have stopped covering breaks or setting or assessing work to cover other teachers' absences. They are balloting on industrial action, including strikes. The department of education has made a pay offer which would see island teachers paid 1% more than their counterparts in England. It was rejected. Pray for the Manx government to come to an agreement with teachers so that schools are kept open and safe and young people receive consistent education. A policy review by Guernsey’s Home Affairs Committee found staffing essential services could only be maintained if more people immigrated there. There need to be government changes to allow extensions to short- term employment permits’ and review birthright privileges, as well as removing recruitment restrictions and building more houses for migrants to live in. Proposed changes will be debated next month.
It was announced on 8 September that the Queen had died following a short illness, attended by all four of her children. She was Britain’s longest reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch. On 6 September she had presided over the ceremonial handover of power to new prime minister Liz Truss at Balmoral, her summer residence. Her oldest son, now King Charles III, said his mother's death was a moment of ‘the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family’. Justin Welby said, ‘As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service, and humility has helped us make sense of who we are.’
Lord, we thank You for every miracle You have worked in our nation in past seasons: for the turnarounds, the revivals and the personal miracles of provision and healing which have transformed lives, families, and communities. In the name of Jesus we declare what we have seen in the past is only a shadow of what we will see in the days ahead. We pray for Liz Truss; may she step into Kingdom purpose, moving the very structures of the nation towards righteousness and Godliness. We pray for justice, truth, mercy and moral law to be established, and for every government action to cause the UK to be aligned to God’s values and objectives within our land. May she carry and impart God’s vision to the men and women in her Cabinet, and may every MP walk in wisdom and integrity according to Your plans. May our Christian MPs boldly step into their identity and purpose.
Current guidance states that if a case of monkeypox is known to be imported from West Africa, a region where it has been endemic for decades, then the individual must be admitted to a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) hospital unit for monitoring. Recently, an individual was admitted to the HCID ward at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Preliminary analysis revealed the type of monkeypox virus they contracted is a different strain from the one widely currently circulating in the UK with 3,279 known cases (79 were identified in the last week). Dr Sophia Maki said, ‘We are working to contact the individuals who have had close contact with the person infected with the new variant prior to confirmation of their infection. We will assess them as necessary and provide advice.’ See
A new review from the Children's Commissioner has shown that 23% of UK families are lone-parent - 10% higher than Europe’s average. The communities minister highlighted the need for better government policies that support families. The head of public policy said, ‘What is required is not just laws but wholesale culture changes. We need to value marriage (between a man and a woman) as a sacred, lifelong bond, and promote marriage as the best and most stable and successful structure for bringing up children.’ There are no policy recommendations in Part 1 of the review, but Part 2 will look at the impact of its policies on families. Sadly, for too long, the Government has done little or nothing to promote or support families. In fact, it has done the opposite, finding time in the coronavirus crisis to pass legislation for ‘no-fault divorce’. This means potentially enabling one partner to unilaterally destroy the family.