A Stirring of the Spirit

 

In a year of political upheaval in the UK is the church waking up to its calling to God’s justice?

It’s been a year of political shocks for the Church in the UK (something much of the world experiences because of us very often!).

But with the increase in welfare cuts and changes, the withering of legal aid, public debt, and the rise of anti-minority rhetoric from both press and politicians it has been, in the UK, a challenging year in which to be hopeful.

On Sunday evening I joined a group in Birmingham for Political Night Prayer, inspired by the activist-theologian Dorothee Soelle. Nearly a hundred people turned out for an ecumenical Sunday evening service rooted in social justice and activism. This doesn’t happen!

The National Estate Churches Network has a new team, and a huge amount of optimism about it with over 400 members and good numbers with great energy in both its north and south gatherings. The Jesus Shaped People course has a new life and is changing churches so they engage more deeply in both spirituality and social justice.

UTU is seeing a recent increase in membership and, following a move of its teaching base to Sheffield city centre has new energy for finding new members and partners.

Citizens UK and the charity Safe Passage and others have helped to change the governments approach to child refugees in a way that has saved hundreds of lives already.

Are we seeing a new defiance from the churches? Is faith in the city alive and well again? I think it’s worth hoping!

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