January
The Trussell Trust network will give out 61% more food parcels than last year.

The Trussell Trust network will give out 61% more food parcels than last year.

Findings of Trussell Trust new research with Heriot Watt University

Trussell Trust new research with Heriot Watt University estimates that food banks in the Trussell Trust network will give out six emergency food parcels every minute this winter, a 61% increase on last year. The report, Lockdown, lifelines and the long haul ahead: The impact of Covid-19 on food banks in the Trussell Trust network, also shows that families have been hardest hit, and during the start of the pandemic there was a significant increase in the number of people receiving support from a food bank for the first time.
Fifty-two Sundays to rescue creation - byMADDY FRY 05 SEPTEMBER 2020 in The Church Times

Fifty-two Sundays to rescue creation - byMADDY FRY 05 SEPTEMBER 2020 in The Church Times

Climate Sunday initiative, launched this weekend, .. a “brilliant resource”

THE Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, has described the Climate Sunday initiative, launched this weekend, as a “brilliant resource” to help parishes reach the target of zero emissions by 2030 and campaign for more government action. The Climate Sunday initiative was announced in June (News, 12 June) by a coalition of Churches and charities calling for more action on global warming. This Sunday, 6 September, is the first in a year in which individual churches are encouraged to choose their own Creation Sunday.
The uncertain future faced by Palestinians in the West Bank cannot be underestimated. - article in  Quake

The uncertain future faced by Palestinians in the West Bank cannot be underestimated. - article in Quake

“In Palestine normal life is complicated, we don’t have the space to allow kids to discover their worth. Now Coronavirus is another obstacle to young people.” Omar, a social worker in Bethlehem

As children, parents and teachers around the world adapt to home-schooling and half-empty playgrounds, the worry of how external forces will impact their children’s education and opportunities is not a new experience for parents and teachers in the West Bank. Daily barriers can include military presence on school routes, military checkpoints and intimidation from settlers, Israeli citizens living in communities built on occupied land in the West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) estimates that more than 8,000 children and 400 teachers in the West Bank need some form of accompaniment in order to safely get to school. This usually comes from nonviolent international monitors whose visibility can act to deter soldiers from more aggressive behaviour. For some schools in the West Bank, children are required to walk past Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers every day on their way to and from school making these monitors important in helping children to access education. Currently the lockdown situation has made the presence of international monitors in the West Bank more difficult.
Why compassion needs to be at the heart of our response to Channel crossings -

Why compassion needs to be at the heart of our response to Channel crossings -

Bridget Walker in Quake outlines why safe routes and a culture of belief need to be central to the UK's response to Channel crossings.

People take dangerous routes because safe ones are not available. Over the past months hundreds of fragile, overloaded boats have made the perilous crossing over the English Channel in search of refuge. For many of the men, women and children on board this is the last stage of a dangerous journey that may have taken them months or even years. They have been fleeing from war torn countries such as Syria, Sudan, Libya and Iraq, from repressive states such as Eritrea, and from countries like Mali where climate change and political unrest put lives at risk.
McAleese Once Again Calls Out Church Teaching on Homosexuality In No Uncertain Terms

McAleese Once Again Calls Out Church Teaching on Homosexuality In No Uncertain Terms

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese recently denounced the Church’s teaching on homosexuality

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese recently denounced the Church’s teaching on homosexuality saying the doctrine “empowers the homophobic bully,” and that it is the church teaching, not homosexuality, which is “intrinsically evil.” Novena News reported that McAleese, who served as president from 1997 to 2011, made the remarks on a podcast entitled Dive Into Pride during Dublin’s Pride celebrations. McAleese holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. She currently serves as chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin.
Covid 19 and financial challenges facing the Anglican and RC Churches

Covid 19 and financial challenges facing the Anglican and RC Churches

“working together in the coming months to collectively re-shape our use of resources and ministry structures”

Collections in churches are badly hit by the pandemic writes Catherine Pepinster in The Tablet with the RC Church experiencing a catastrophic drop in income after churches closed in March. The experience so far, Catherine Pepinster said, is that priests who rely on church collections for their livelihoods have endured a catastrophic drop in income after churches closed in March because of the coronavirus lockdown. Even as lockdown eases given the limited numbers of people who have returned to Mass, the financial situation still remains precarious. In some Southwark parishes income dropped by up to 70 per cent. In the CofE the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, told the Yorkshire Post that the finances of the diocese would take a “big hit” as rental income halted, donation plate giving stopped and other income streams, such as tourism and that gained through weddings and baptisms, dried up. “It won’t be until the end of the year when we know what the true impact will be.”
How HR is strangling the Church of England - Giles Fraser writing in UnHerd

How HR is strangling the Church of England - Giles Fraser writing in UnHerd

Financial pressure stimulates panicky missionary initiatives with inviting sounding names

Giles fears that what is dangerous to the overall mission and credibility of the church is the fearful reaction that often accompanies reductions of clergy and closures. Financial pressure, he states, stimulates panicky missionary initiatives with inviting sounding names dreamt up in the religious PR department. Bishop Cedd managed with the Bible, faith in the living God and a good pair of shoes.
People leaving German church at record rate - reports Christa Pongratz-Lippitt (The Tablet)

People leaving German church at record rate - reports Christa Pongratz-Lippitt (The Tablet)

272,771 people left the country's Catholic Church in 2019, and 270,000 people ended their membership of the Protestant Church.

The German bishops’ conference announced on Friday that a record 272,771 people left the country's Catholic Church in 2019. The number represented an increase of more than 56,000 on the 216,000 who left in 2018, and exceeds by a large margin the previous record of 218,000 leaving in 2014. The figures are part of a growing countrywide exodus from the Christian Churches. The German Protestant Church saw a similar loss of members, with 270,000 people ending their membership in 2019, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year. The figures in Germany are easy to record, because those leaving officially opt out of the otherwise compulsory church tax.
Occupied Palestine - few outside observers watching and reporting what is happening.

Occupied Palestine - few outside observers watching and reporting what is happening.

No palm-waving Christians, no donkey. All was still. No pilgrims in the holy places

The coronavirus pandemic means that many people in the UK and Ireland are experiencing new restrictions on their everyday lives. But for people in occupied Palestine, living with restrictions is a part of daily life, and human rights violations are common. Annexation of Palestinian lands, threatened by the Israeli government from 1 July, would make this situation permanent.
“Pick for Britain” - Grapes of Wrath revisited?

“Pick for Britain” - Grapes of Wrath revisited?

5am starts, 10 hour days, poverty wages and no running water—the grim reality of “picking for Britain”

​Our chair Adrian Alker has started a discussion on the future shape of the society we want to see. It is an urgent discussion the necessity and urgency of which was brought home to me by an article in Prospect Magazine written by Herbie Russell ( May 30, 2020) To me it seems the scenario revealed in the 1930’s work by Steinbeck “Grapes of Wrath” was being lived out in 21st century England. Herbie records how Environment Secretary George Eustice launched the official “Pick for Britain” campaign, encouraging the population to take up work on farms across the country. The media had made bleak premonitions of “a disastrous situation” in which “mountains of food are left to rot”. These warnings could find themselves realised if the call failed and, Herbie says, signalling an intensification of the recruitment drive last week the government wheeled out Prince Charles donning his humblest, most rumpled coat,
Questions arising from the AGM papers

Questions arising from the AGM papers

There were two questions that were asked in response to the Annual Report.

1. The accounts mention the costs of PayPal, so is it necessary to offer payment that way? Can we advise everyone that it is less expensive for PCN to use card etc.? From PCN Treasurer Peter Stribblehill: The accounts show the amount we pay to PayPal so that members are aware that using the service comes at a cost. It is a convenient way for them to pay for membership, conferences, publications etc and so serves a useful purpose.

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