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news banner coins 2512279 1920 pixabayFour churches, who have repeatedly expressed concerns about Universal Credit, have called the findings in a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) ‘deeply concerning’.

Earlier today (Friday 15 June) the NAO released a report, entitled ‘Rolling out Universal Credit’ which stated the welfare benefit was not value for money and failed to meet its financial objectives.

It is the first official document to take seriously the concerns of claimants and acknowledges the problems they are facing.

Read more: Churches express 'deep concern' about National Audit Office report into Universal Credit

PIC Assembly Hall credit Google mapsThe Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, has expressed sadness after the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) voted to loosen its ties with the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland.

On Wednesday 6 June, during its meeting in Belfast, the PCI General Assembly voted 255 to 171 to accept the recommendation of the doctrine committee’s ‘Relationships with other denominations’ task group which was to ‘… no longer accept invitations to the Moderator of the General Assembly, or any other formal delegation, to attend the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church and no longer issue invitations to those two denominations to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’.

During the week the PCI also adopted a new policy that means anyone in a same-sex relationship cannot become a full member of its denomination and their children cannot be baptised.

Read more: Presbyterian Church in Ireland loosens ties with the URC

news banner Finding God in unexpected places credit Matt Collamer UnsplashAfter four years of training, Jo Patterson, a Church Related Community Work student, reflects on the experiences that she has been ‘blessed to witness’.

According to Jo, there are obvious places where people would expect to find God; a common place being ‘when we come together to worship in song, prayer and sometimes in ritual or liturgy’.

But, she asks: ‘What if we arrive carrying burdens, weighed down by grief, pain or sorrow?’

Read more: Finding God in unexpected places