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job centre credit JJ Ellison wikipediaA coalition of churches is calling for an independent review into benefit sanctions, saying recent changes to the system will not fundamentally change the impact on struggling families.

The government announced an end to benefit sanctions lasting longer than six months, but the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) (representing the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Church of Scotland) say this will only help a small proportion of families affected by sanctions.

Read more: Time to rethink benefit sanctions says churches

Mission Council three day round up banner pic formattedThe spring meeting of Mission Council, the United Reformed Church’s (URC) executive body of the General Assembly, opened on 13 May at High Leigh Conference Centre, in Hoddesdon.

Session one
It began with worship led by the Revd David Coaker, Chaplain to Derek Estill, Moderator of General Assembly.

The Revd Neil Thorogood, Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge, gave the sermon during the opening Communion Service and preached on the account of the Last Supper.

Read more: Mission Council May 13-15 May 2019

Day three 16 May startSession nine
Worship and Bible study
The last day of Mission Council’s business began with worship led by the Revd David Coaker, Chaplain to the Moderator of General Assembly.

The Revd Neil Thorogood spoke to Mission Council on the parable of the prodigal son, illustrated by Sieger Köder’s painting of the story, ‘Home’. He invited representatives to consider their own experience of lostness, the way that being found means waking up to something better, and our liability – like the elder brother – to become lost again.

Read more: Mission Council round up day three: 15 May 2019