Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

church and public issues

current issues

The churches undertake work relating to a broad range of political, social and ethical issues. Here are some of the current topical issues, with details below:

 

Church and Society graphic Abortion and embryo research


Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 received Royal Assent on 13 November 2008.
Full details of the bill are in the National Archives link to external website

Briefings

Dignitas Personae - Vatican document on bioethics:
Catholic Church in England and Wales link to external website

Briefing on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill from the Scottish Bishops for parishes:
Bishops warn of "scientific opportunism" behind embryo legislation link to external website

List of resources on stem cell research from CARE link to external website

News

1 July 2013
Catholic briefing - Clones and Three-Parent Babies: the Ethics of Mitochondrial Replacement link to external website

18 April 2013 
Catholic Church urges support for 'One of Us' human embryo campaign link to external website

11 October 2012
Bishop Noel Treanor's response to the news of the opening of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast link to external website

22 October 2007
Briefing paper on Abortion (PDF) link to external website prepared by the Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches.

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Church and Society graphic Child protection

 

Catholic Church in England and Wales

Safeguarding: Annual Report 2012-13 link to external website

Cumberlege Commission site link to external website with links to the report


Catholic Church in Scotland

November 2013
Scotland's Catholic Bishops announce range of safeguarding initiatives link to external website

  
Church of England

2013
The Church of England web page on Child Protection and Safeguarding includes the latest policy document from 2010 Protecting All God's Children,  a May 2013 statement on safeguarding from the House of Bishops and the June 2013 policy draft on Safer Recruitment.
Church of England - Child Protection and Safeguarding link to external website

  
Churches Together in britain and Ireland

Time for Action
Sexual abuse, the churches and a new dawn for survivors

The 2002 report to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland of the group established to examine issues of sexual abuse. More 

  
Methodist Church in Britain

2013
An extensive range of documents relating to safeguarding including The Methodist Safeguarding Handbook (with  policies and procedures which came into effect on 1 January 2011), 10 Steps for Safer Recruitment (June 2013) and Safer Recruitment Policy (June 2013).
Methodist Church - Safeguarding link to external website

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Church and Society graphic Equality

Equality Bill

This bill was published on 27 April 2009. For more details see:
Government Equalities Office link to external website

Church of England - statement from Bishops link to external website

Methodist Church FAQ (PDF) link to external website

Quakers welcome government move on civil partnerships link to external website
   

Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which began operating in October 2007, undertook a consultation on its equality scheme, which is about how it will promote equality in everything it does. The results are now available:
EHRC website link to external website

Church and Society graphicFaith communities and community cohesion

12 September 2008
Archbishop of York urges Government to recognise contribution of faith groups to community cohesion link to external website 

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Church and Society graphic Gambling


Church of England

The Church of England is committed to working alongside people who are affected by gambling and is also active in making appropriate submissions on Government legislation. More link to external website

Methodist Church

Methodist Church's current position on gambling link to external website

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Church and Society graphic Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery

      

News

March 2014

WCC to consult on migration, human trafficking and modern slavery
A World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation, titled Migration and Human Trafficking: Modern Slavery? will bring together participants from Africa, the Arabian Gulf, Europe and Asia. It will be hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka by the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCC-SL) from 4 to 7 April 2014.
World Council of Churches link to external website

Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims join together to end trafficking
Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis are backing the Global Freedom Network, an initiative aimed at eradicating human trafficking by the end of the decade. The Global Freedom Network is an open association and the initial signatories to the founding declaration included Dr Mahmoud Azab, representing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, one of the centres of Sunni Islam located in Cairo. Other faith leaders will be invited to join and support the initiative.
Archbishop of Canterbury link to external website
Vatican Radio link to external website

December 2013

Anti-slavery coalition calls for Modern Slavery Bill to be strengthened
A coalition of 15 organisations working against modern-day slavery, including the Salvation Army, has welcomed the Modern Slavery Bill but calls for it to be strengthened. A briefing paper has also been published.
Evangelical Alliance link to external website 

  
Churches and organisations

Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS)

The ecumenical Anti-Human Trafficking Group of ACTS has produced two leaflets Human Trafficking: What are the indicators? and Human Trafficking: The Human Stories:
ACTS link to external website

Church of Scotland

November 2013
Speak Out against Human Trafficking - respond to consultation with Scottish Parliament link to external website

Human trafficking and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games (PDF)  link to external website


Salvation Army

What the Salvation Army link to external website is doing.


Hope for Justice

An anti human trafficking organisation working to uncover and abolish the hidden crime of modern-day slavery, which is looking to partner with churches.

Hope for Justice link to external website

   
Stop the Traffik

Charity founded by Steve Chalke who has become a United Nations Special Advisor on Community Action Against Trafficking.

Stop the Traffik link to external website


Churches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and Humberside

"Look and see our disgrace!" A briefing paper on Human Trafficking, Nov 2007 (PDF)  link to external website

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Church and Society graphic Law and Order


Alcohol

7 February 2014
Methodist Church responds to government alcohol announcement
The Methodist Church in Britain says that the government's plan to ban below-cost alcohol sales is "a pale reflection" of the Minimum Unit Pricing policy the government originally committed to.
Methodist Church in Britain link to external website

18 July 2013
Churches condemn u-turn on alcohol pricing
The Government has broken its pledge to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol say the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army and Quaker Action on Alcohol & Drugs.
Methodist Church link to external website 

3 July 2013
The Salvation Army launches a new five year drugs and alcohol strategy for Scotland, to help communities around Scotland suffering the effects of drug and alcohol misuse.
Salvation Army link to external website 

26 March 2012
Cautious welcome from the churches for Government action on alcohol pricing
Church of England link to external website 

The Measure for Measure campaign asks people to write to their MPs on the issue:
Joint Public Issues Team link to external website

5 December 2008
The Church in Wales launched a joint campaign with the Police to curb binge drinking, called Alcohol Pledge Wales link to external website

Knife crime

Church response to social disorder linked to gangs, drugs, guns and knives published by Churches Together in England "Who is My Neighbour"link to external website


Hate crime

November 2012
Catholic Church in Scotland responds to Religious Hate Crime statistics link to external website

10 October 2012
Archbishop's statement to mark the beginning of Hate Crime Awareness Week link to external website 

Religious Hatred and Religious Offence
29 January 2008
James Callaghan Memorial lecture by the Archbishop of Canterbury link to external website

Incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation
Responses:
Church of England and Catholic Church in England and Wales link to external website

Provention of terrorism and protection of civil rights and liberties 
Church of England position papers and statements link to external website
 

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Church and Society graphicLife issues
 

3 July 2012
Catholic Church in England and Wales comment on the draft Assisted Dying Bill Consultation link to external website

5 January 2012
Church of England statement on report of Commission for Assisted Dying link to external website

7 September 2010
Scottish Episcopal Church College of Bishops submission on the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill link to external website
  
20 November 2009

Response to the Director of Public Prosecutions' Consultation on the interim policy for prosecutors on assisted suicide link to external website

30 June 2009
Bishops' Conference response to GMC consultation on end of life care link to external website

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Church and Society graphic Mental Capacity Act, Living Wills and Assisted Dying

The Mental Capacity Act came into force on 1st October 2007.

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Church and Society graphic Nuclear Weapons, drones and the Arms Trade

News

December 2013

Pope's World Day of Peace message appeals for disarmament
Pope Francis called for a culture of fraternity to take us further down the pathway to peace, saying "I make my own the appeal of my predecessors for the non-proliferation of arms and for disarmament of all parties, beginning with nuclear and chemical weapons disarmament."
Catholic Church in England and Wales link to external website

Nuclear weapons 

Better Off Without Trident
Campaign by the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church which calls on the Government not to spend £26 billion of tax payers' money on replacing the country's nuclear submarines. 
Joint Public Issues Team link to external website

Now is the Time
Campaign calling for a nuclear weapons convention that would make the possession of nuclear weapons illegal and a new treaty to ensure that all fissile material is brought under international control. Supported by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales, the Methodist Church, the Religious Society of Friends and the United Reformed Church.
Now is the Time website link to external website

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland produced a briefing in 2006 to add to the public debate on the future of the UK nuclear weapons programme. It does not promote a particular position or seek to represent the views of all member churches.
Trident: UK nuclear weapons at a crossroads (PDF)


Drones

February 2014

Use of armed drones condemned by World Council of Churches (WCC)
Armed drones pose "serious threats to humanity" and the "right to life" while setting "dangerous precedents in inter-state relations" says the WCC.
World Council of Churches link to external website

September 2013

Evidence to a Defence Committee inquiry on the UK's use of Drones has been submitted by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Methodist Church, The United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. It builds on the research previously undertaken for the Churches joint report Drones: Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force.
Defence Committee inquiry link to external website 
JPIT report link to external website
   

July 2012

Church argues for Just War ethics in drone attacks
Methodist Church link to external website

June 2011

Military drones are unwelcome in Wales says Union of Welsh Independents
Union of Welsh Independents link to external website

Campaign Against the Arms Trade

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade has a Christian Network link to external website formed in 1989 to bring to the attention of national churches and Christian organisations, the immorality of the arms trade. CAAT holds regular events and meetings link to external website.

News

3 April 2014
Leaders of the Methodist Church in Britain have welcomed the UK Government's ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty saying it is a "legal milestone that should help to protect those who are abused and oppressed".
Methodist Church in Britain link to external website 

7 February 2014
The United Reformed Church calls for government action in the light of arms fair trial. "The URC endorses the suggestion by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, that the trial next week of the five Christians who staged a non-violent protest at the London arms fair should spark a public debate about the UK's support for the arms trade".
United Reformed Church link to external website

5 October 2010
The Union of Welsh Independent Churches calls on the coalition government to face economic reality and cut back on unnecessary defence expenditure and abandon weapons schemes, such as the update to Trident.
Union of Welsh Independents link to external website

5 March 2010
Welsh church leaders join campaign for nuclear weapon ban:
The Church in Wales link to external website

29 June 2009
Bishops' Conference of Scotland:
Cardinal calls Trident "immoral" link to external website

3 December 2008
World Council of Churches:
Comment on signing of Cluster Munitions Convention link to external website

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Church and Society graphicPolitics


The Church of England is represented in Parliament in several ways with the 26 most senior English archbishops and bishops sitting in the House of Lords as 'Lords Spiritual'.
The Church of England in Parliament link to external website
Speeches and articles by current and past Lords Spiritual on religion and politics link to external website

The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Church look at issues relating to politics and the Church.
Joint Public Issues Team link to external website

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Church and Society graphicPoverty & Debt


See our separate web pages within our section looking at the economic crisis:

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Church and Society graphic Prostitution

Beyond the Streets (Formerly the National Christian Alliance on Prostitution link to external website

UK charity working to end sexual exploitation.

Church and Society graphicWelfare

  
Methodist Church

31 January 2012
Church leaders say benefit cap will make UK a darker, less humane place for us all link to external website 

Illustration showing paper people holding hands

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