Displaying items by tag: england
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.
For many years groups have gathered at locations along the Scotland/England border in a spirit of unity and reconciliation, confessing and repenting of the sins of one nation towards the other. There is a sense that much has been achieved, but there is still work to be done. In that spirit a small group from both sides of the border met to pray and discuss over recent weeks; the result is ‘Cross Border Blessing’ on 28 April. Sixteen individuals/couples will pray a blessing from one nation to the other, in 15-minute sections, criss-crossing the border from east to west. You can join them from where you are by using the blessing prayers In the evening there will be an online gathering of people from both nations to worship and pray under the banner of unity, celebrating what God is doing to build His church.
With effect from 4 July, where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should stay ‘one metre plus’. Churches may open for prayers, services, and weddings for a maximum of 30 people, subject to social distancing and no singing. Restaurants and pubs will offer hospitality with table service only and limited contact between staff and customers, who must give contact details on arrival. Hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites, and caravan parks can also reopen; people can stay away from home for the first time since March. Other restrictions for meeting indoors and outdoors are being eased, as long as businesses protect the public from risk of infection. Sadly thousands of sun-seekers flocked to the beach at Southend just one day after the announcement, completely disregarding all rules by sitting or standing close together on a packed beach. See
After further easing of lockdown measures, health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the ‘real risk’ of a second wave. In an open letter published in the British Medical Journal, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter which stated, ‘While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk. Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain.’ The chair of the BMA urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a ‘constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach’, tasked with developing practical recommendations. Pray that the public calmly consider this warning and act wisely.
Shelter revealed that 135,000 children are homeless in Britain, one in 200 people in England are without a settled home, and 280,000 people are recorded as homeless. However, the charity pointed out that these statistics could be the tip of the iceberg, with hidden homelessness and rough sleeping difficult to document accurately. The scale of the challenge that Boris Johnson’s new government must face is daunting. Pray for government action to address the lack of social homes. A spokesman for the ministry of housing said, ‘Everyone should have somewhere safe to live, and councils have a duty to provide accommodation to those who need it, including families with children’. There are 1,450 Big Issue sellers working on the streets each week. Homelessness blights lives, leaving lasting imprints of trauma, and many are only days away from becoming homeless.
There are more slaves today in the world than at any other point in history. Right now, over forty million people are trapped and exploited in slavery. Over 25% of these are children. IJM invites you to join them, standing in the gap and going into deeper intercession for the survivors who have been rescued and crying out for those who are still trapped; praying for the teams going into the darkest corners of the world. Come in May to London or Glasgow, prepared for a day of storytelling, inspired intercession, and worship. Join guest speaker Benson Shamala (IJM Kenya’s deputy director), Dr Amy Orr-Ewing, and singer-songwriter Lucy Grimble in London, or with 24-7 Prayer Scotland’s Crystal Cryer and worship group Ps & Gs Music in Glasgow. Pray for justice and courage to equip you to raise your voice against the strongholds of violence and be part of ending slavery for ever.