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Safe church credit Cartoon Mini ShutterstockHow can churches become safer for children and vulnerable adults? Ioannis Athanasiou, Safeguarding Adviser for the United Reformed Church, shares his tips.

Safeguarding is a growing issue for Christian churches and all faith communities. As disciples of Christ, we journey alongside those who have been abused, we safeguard the integrity of creation, and we all work together as one body to protect the wellbeing and welfare of all children, young people and adults.

In the United Reformed Church (URC), the completion of the past case review last year enabled us to learn and instigate a range of developments and initiatives to standardise good practice in all aspects of child and adult protection procedures and safeguarding practices throughout the URC.

Read more: Making churches safer for children and vulnerable adults

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