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Windrush credit Youmanity Official Met Police YoutubeToday (22 June 2018) the United Reformed Church joins in the nationwide celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving in Tilbury docks carrying passengers from the Caribbean.

They, along with many others who had arrived by different means, had responded to the British government’s call to assist with post-war reconstruction.

The contributions made by the ‘Windrush generation’ towards British social, cultural and political life has been invaluable and been well documented.

In honour of the arrival of the Windrush, the Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries for the URC, introduces a short film entitled 'Longing to Belong: A Windrush generation story', scripted by the Revd Richard Becher, Minister for Broadway URC, East Sussex, and filmed by Kevin Snyman, Mission Enabler for West Midlands Synod.

Read more: URC marks the 70th anniversary of the Windrush arrival

News banner Hostile Environment logoA group of major Churches is launching a campaign to challenge the government’s approach to illegal immigration, which they say is leading to destitution, discrimination and distrust.

The Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have joined forces to call on the government to review entirely the web of policies that have created the hostile environment. In a new report for church members, Destitution, Discrimination and Distrust: the web of the hostile environment, they set out how aspects of the policies run counter to Christian teaching.

Read more: Churches urge end to ‘Hostile Environment’ policies

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 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

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