Great Britain: Churches give fresh impetus to social justice challenge

The Joint Public Issues Team

The work of Baptists, Methodists and members of the United Reformed Church in the field of social justice has been given fresh impetus, with new work priorities and the appointment of a new leader for the Joint Public Issues Team.

Rachel Lampard, previously responsible for political and parliamentary liaison in the MethodistChurch, is to take over as team leader, when she returns from maternity leave. She said: “Our three church traditions share a passionate concern for issues of poverty and injustice. By working together we have been able to make a much stronger impact. Our challenge is to help the churches to promote justice, equality and peace by influencing those in power. We also want to help resource and energise local congregations in their effort to live out the gospel of Christ”.

The Joint Public Issues Team was set up two years ago as a ground-breaking initiative between the churches which is now being adopted in other spheres of work. Staff retain a denominational identity but pool their expertise and produce resources jointly for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the MethodistChurch and the United Reformed Church.

Team members are currently working on poverty in the UK, theology and climate change, human rights and corporate responsibility, business ethics, and human embryology and early human life. They have responded to government consultations on alcohol strategy, gambling, and climate change, and have produced a series of studies for home groups called “The Art of the Possible” which explore why Christians should be interested in public issues (

A new Methodist member of the Team, Dr Paul Morrison, brings added expertise in the field of science, technology and bioethics. Other team members bring experience in international affairs, conflict, UK politics, theology, education and business.

The Joint Public Issues Team is managed by a group consisting of Janet Morley, head of the Christian Communication, Evangelism and Advocacy Cluster within the Methodist Church Connexional Team, Simon Loveitt, spokesperson on public issues for the United Reformed Church, and the Revd Graham Sparkes, head of Faith and Unity for the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

More details on the work of the Joint Public Issues Team from Wendy Cooper ( or at

The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) is the Baptist family in England and Wales (there is also the Baptist Union of Wales). It is made up of churches, regional associations, the national resource centre and Baptist colleges. The Union works with others in mission locally, regionally and internationally. It is a diverse union with small and large congregations, different nationalities and differing styles of worship yet united by core values and a common purpose of changing lives and transforming communities with the message and love of Jesus Christ. There are some 140,000 members of 2000 Baptist churches associated with the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

The MethodistChurch has about 295,000 members and 800,000 people are connected with the Church. It has about 5,800 churches in Great Britain, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.

The United Reformed Church comprises one hundred thousand people in 1600 congregations. It has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ. Worldwide, more than 70 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition. The name ‘Reformed’ is used because the churches began to emerge with reform movements in the sixteenth century.

The Joint Public Issues Team combines the expertise of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the MethodistChurch and the United Reformed Church in the area of public issues. Through close collaboration, the churches aim to increase the effectiveness of their engagement in public life and parliamentary affairs. For more information about the Joint Public Issues Team, visit

03.10.2008 URC/UMC/BUGB / GEKE-Internet-Newsletter, 8. Oktober 2008

Treffen von Reformiertem Weltbund (WARC) und Reformiertem Ökumenischen Rat (REC)

WARC and REC governing bodies meet for the first time in Utrecht
Members of the governing bodies of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) will meet in joint sessions for the first time from 6 to 10 October in Utrecht.

Quelle: Homepage WARC

Grußwort Calvins zur Lutherdekade

Eine Entdeckung von WARC und SEK
In einem jüngst entdeckten Brief grüßt der Schweizer Reformator Johannes Calvin seinen deutschen Kollegen Martin Luther zu dessen am 21. September beginnenden Dekade.

Meldung auf der Homepage des Reformierten Weltbundes und des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes (SEK), 19. September 2008
Ein Treffen zwischen dem Reformierten Weltbund (RWB) und dem Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council (DECC), das im Juli in der Disciples of Christ Historical Society in Nashville, Tennessee, stattfand, sollte den Weg ebnen für eine engere Beziehung zwischen den beiden Organisationen und die Gespräche fortsetzen über „die Entwicklung einer umfassenden Partnerschaft mit dem Ziel der sichtbaren Einheit der Kirche.“

Barbara Schenck

Engage the powers of destruction, churches urged by international feminist theologians

Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, WARC: ''Resistance to empire is growing and women are very much in the forefront.''
An international group of feminist theologians has issued a dramatic call to churches to engage the world’s destructive powers, stating it is crucial to hear feminist thinking in the debate on theological issues raised by empire.

Barbara Schenck

Ein Schritt, ökumenische Partnerschaft zu vertiefen

Der Reformierte Weltbund (WARC) und das Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council (DECC) trafen sich in Nashville, Tennessee
Geneva (ENI). Two global bodies grouping Protestant Christians, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, say they are looking to establish a closer relationship.

Barbara Schenck

Clifton Kirkpatricks Amtszeit als Generalsekretär der Presbyterian Church (USA) endete

Kirkpatrick retires after guiding US Presbyterians for 12 years
''I really believe there is no better way of being Christian than to be a Presbyterian'', so der amtierende Präsident des Reformierten Weltbundes (WARC) in einem Interview zu Beginn seines ''Ruhestandes'' als ''leader of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)''.

Barbara Schenck

Nachrufe auf Lukas Vischer

Zum Tod eines großen Ökumenikers
Am 11. März verstarb der Schweizer Theologe Lukas Vischer, einer der bedeutendsten Reformierten und Ökumeniker des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Barbara Schenck

Nordamerikanische Kirchen sind Gastgeber der vereinigenden Generalversammlung

Thema der Versammlung: ''Einigkeit im Geist durch das Band des Friedens''
Nordamerikanische Kirchen werden gemeinsam die vereinigende Generalversammlung ausrichten, an der die neue Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen (WCRC) gegründet werden soll.

Lukas Vischer gestorben

Schweizer Theologe und Ökumeniker Lukas Vischer 82jährig gestorben
"Lukas Vischer was a tower of strength and a sharp theological mind right until the end," sagte Rev. Setri Nyomi, Generalsekretär des Refomierten Weltbundes gegenüber Ecumenical News International (eni).

Barbara Schenck
Jean-Arnold de Clermont, Pfarrer der Reformierten Kirche Frankreichs und Präsident der Konferenz Europäischer Kirchen (KEK) hat erneut einen Zusammenschluss von Katholiken, Orthodoxen und Protestanten in Europa gefordert.
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