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  • New Benefit Cap statistics show that 19 out of 20 families whose benefits were cut have children.
  • Only 14% of families affected claimed Job Seekers Allowance and were expected to look for work.
  • Churches[1] representing more than 800,000 people in the UK have said that it "cannot be morally acceptable to leave children without enough to live on”

Today’s government statistics on the Benefit Cap reveal that over a quarter of a million children have been affected by the Cap since it was introduced in April 2013. Additionally, the majority of families affected were accepted as not being able to work due to illness, disability or caring responsibilities.

The United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church have spoken out against the Benefit Cap.

Read more: Churches say Benefit Cap is 'damaging' and overwhelmingly targets families with children

Living Wage Foundation

This Living Wage Week (30 October to 5 November), the United Reformed Church’s global and Intercultural ministries team is calling on churches to speak out to ensure employers pay workers a living wage, saying a wage which is enough to live on is a necessity if we are to be a truly just and intercultural church.

The General Assembly of the URC passed a resolution in support of the Living Wage in 2008, yet it has become a matter of urgency that churches show their support for a living age – as pay and employment inequalities amongst Black and Minority ethnic people and women in Britain continue to increase.

Read more: The Living Wage is a necessity…

The United Reformed Church has joined with other investors to call for improvements to factory safety standards in response to a deadly factory fire in Bangladesh.

On 10 September 2016, a boiler exploded at the Tampaco Foils Ltd factory in Bangladesh, causing a fire and building collapse that claimed the lives of 35 workers and injured over 50 more. In a statement released on Wednesday (26 October), the URC joined 66 investors - who together have 2.3 trillion dollars in assets under management - in calling on British American Tobacco (BAT) and Nestle to improve health and safety standards in the garment sector.

Read more: Calls for improvement to factory safety standards

The United Reformed Church General Secretariat calls foul play on UK sporting governing bodies for failing to act over racial slurs

NFLUK 1In August, the General Secretariat of the United Reformed Church (URC) wrote open letters to the directors of Wembley Stadium, BBC Sport and NFL UK, calling on the organisations to address the use of racist imagery, language and stereotyping apparent in the racially demeaning name, mascot, and imagery of the Washington national football league (NFL) team, the “Washington Redskins” – who are scheduled to play at Wembley Stadium on 30 October. The General Secretary, the Revd John Proctor, has since received responses from NFLUK and the BBC that appear to fail to adequately address the racial slurs and demeaning language used by the NFL team.

The response from the BBC stated: “The BBC may not express a corporate opinion on matters of public policy (other than broadcasting) and is publicly committed to approaching controversial matters impartially. We seek to ensure that, over a period, all sides of any public debate are explored and explained, so that viewers and listeners, can be better informed in coming to their own judgment.”

Read more: URC General Secretariat calls foul play on NFLUK

dont lose reformAt last week’s Mission Council Peter Knowles, convenor of the communications committee, and Steve Tomkins, Editor of Reform, gave a short presentation to Mission Council, on the subject ‘Don’t lose Reform!’.

Read more: Don’t lose Reform!