Methodist Podcasts

Each week, the Methodist Church produces a podcast of Methodist news. See the list; there are opportunities to subscribe or listen to a podcast of your choosing.

The podcast for 15th October includes a report from Methodist Council, prisons week, Anthony Reddie and eating disorders.

Scotland’s faith leaders call for social security reforms to ease pressure of poverty

As Challenge Poverty Week draws to a close, Scotland’s faith leaders have issued a joint statement calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to make changes to the social security system to stem the rising tide of poverty.

In the statement, issued today, senior representatives from Scotland’s major faith groups urged both Westminster and Holyrood to take action “that would reflect the care, compassion and support shown by people across the country into changes that would make a real difference to families and individuals living in the grip of poverty.”
They call for specific reforms to the social security system to “boost the incomes of those most in need”.

The signatories included The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Chief Imam of Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Galloway, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Sensei at Cloud Water Zen Centre (Buddhist community), Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland, Moderator-Elect of the National Synod of Scotland of the United Reformed Church and the representative of Sikhs in Scotland on the Scottish Religious Leaders Forum.

The leaders urge the UK Government to end the Benefit Cap and the two-child limit and retain the temporary increase in the Universal Credit basic allowance.
This comes as last month 50 children’s charities, food bank providers, housing organisations, benefit and debt advisors, disability groups, and others wrote to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, urging him not to withdraw this essential lifeline. Modelling by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that scrapping the temporary increase would drive 700,000 more people into poverty across the UK, while a further 500,000 of those already living in poverty would be living below 50 per cent of the poverty line.
The statement also calls on the Scottish Government to “play its role” by increasing the Carers Allowance Supplement. It goes on, “This would recognise that carers are often locked into poverty, and in response to the additional financial pressures placed on them by the pandemic.”
“By boosting the incomes of people struggling to stay afloat, our Governments can relieve the pressure and stress that so many are now experiencing. We encourage those in power to listen to people who are affected by poverty now and take the steps we need to begin to redesign our social security to provide the support that everyone one needs.”

Responding to the statement, Peter Kelly, Director of Poverty Alliance said:
“The pandemic has shown us how much we want to look after each other. But it’s also highlighted the gaps in our system of social protection.
“This intervention from Scotland’s faith leaders is a welcome contribution to the mounting calls on both the UK and Scottish Governments to fix our social security system so it acts as a lifeline to help people stay afloat.
“Even before the Covid-19 crisis, one in five people in Scotland were living in poverty. Without urgent action, this can only be expected to get worse.”

Faith leaders’ statement

Challenge Poverty Week 2020: Statement from Scotland’s Faith Leaders

The response to the coronavirus pandemic highlighted much of what is best in our society. At its outset, we saw an outpouring of compassion and care for one another. Communities, neighbours, and families worked together to try and ensure that those most in need have not been left behind. All levels of government recognised the economic and social effects the pandemic would have, and quickly put in place measures to cushion some of its worst impacts.

During Challenge Poverty Week we are reminded that there is still much to do to help all those who are living with the constant pressure of poverty, and that despite the care and support that has been shown over the last six months we know that further action is needed to loosen the grip of poverty on people’s lives.

We are calling on both the UK Government and Scottish Government to take action that would reflect the care, compassion and support shown by people across the country into changes that would make a real difference to families and individuals living in the grip of poverty.

By ending the Benefit Cap and the two child limit the UK Government will boost the incomes of families most in need. They should also retain the increase in the Universal Credit basic allowance, maintaining the financial support that will still be needed for many as our economy recovers.

The Scottish Government can play its role by increasing the Carers Allowance Supplement. This would recognise that carers are often locked into poverty, and in response to the additional financial pressures placed on them by the pandemic.
By boosting the incomes of people struggling to stay afloat, our Governments can relieve the pressure and stress that so many are now experiencing. We encourage those in power to listen to people who are affected by poverty now and take the steps we need to begin to redesign our social security to provide the support that everyone one needs.

Signed by:

  • The Right Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Imam Razawi, Chief Imam and Director General, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
  • The Right Rev William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway
  • Sensei Karl Kaliski, Cloud Water Zen Centre (Buddhist community)
  • The Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Sikhs in Scotland, Member of Scottish Religious Leaders Forum
  • The Revd Mark Slaney, Chair Scotland District & Shetland District, Methodist Church in Scotland
  • Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator-Elect of the National Synod of Scotland of the United Reformed Church

Print version

Reset the Debt – Churches call for action to help people forced into debt by COVID-19

reset the debt logoA campaign calling for debt cancellation for people who have been swept into unavoidable debt in recent months is launched today by a group of four denominations representing two-thirds of a million Christians and ecumenical charity, Church Action on Poverty.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church Action on Poverty, The Church of Scotland, The Methodist Church and The United Reformed Church call for the Government to create a Jubilee Fund to provide grants to pay off and cancel unavoidable debt accrued by the poorest households during the lockdown period, giving them a more stable platform from which to face the difficult winter ahead.

Register for the free webinar on Thursday 15th October 2020 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

Read more about the campaign.

 

Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers

A Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers Gathering will take place via Zoom on Thursday 15 October between 11.00am and 12.30pm. It will be hosted by Ian Rutherford and David Hardman (Manchester and Stockport) and Bala Gnanapragasam (London).

Joining from Rome will be Fiona Kendall, the European and Legal Affairs Advisor with Mediterranean Hope. More information.

To join the Zoom meeting on 15 October please let Ian Rutherford know on ianr7@hotmail.co.uk and he will send you the Zoom link.

View Synod Sessions

Recordings of Sessions 2 and 3 of the District Synod held on Zoom on 19th September 2020 are now available to view on the The Methodist Church in Scotland YouTube Channel.

In Session 2, you can hear about the work of Dave Saunders ‘ Pioneer Ministry in Inverness, and Nik Wooller’s work with Churchless Christians.

In Session 3, Trey Hall introduces “God for All’