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Welcome asylum seekers credit Takver FlickrA parliamentary debate, held last week, heard cross-party support for lifting the ban on asylum seekers taking paid employment.

Caroline Noakes MP, the Immigration Minister, said the government was ‘listening very carefully’ to the arguments on the right to work, that they have ‘much merit’, and that she was ‘looking forward’ to further discussion.

Read more: Cross-party support heard for lifting ban on asylum seekers working

candles zoran kokanovic 530941 unsplashA mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in which 11 people died has been condemned by the United Reformed Church (URC), the Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN), and the Faith Communities Forum.

The victims – eight men and three women aged between 57 and 94 – were targeted at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday (27 October) morning.

The alleged gunman, Robert Bowers, 46, is in custody to face charges against what is said to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history.

Read more: Church leaders condemn Pittsburgh Tree of Life Shooting

news banner East Midlands Synod groupSocial justice will be a key topic at the United Reformed Church’s Youth Assembly themed ‘One Body: we’re all in this together’ to be held between 18-20 January 2019.

The event is open to children and young adults aged from Year 10/S3 to 25 years from across the URC and beyond.

It is described as ‘a weekend to focus on Jesus, to share in community with other young people, and to explore what it means to be church together’.

‘God’s people, in every age, have been called to agitate for justice,’ said Simeon Mitchell, the URC’s Secretary for Church and Society, a guest speaker at the event.

Read more: Young people challenged to be agitators for social justice

pound coin 3005885 960 720The United Reformed Church (URC) joined 14 food poverty charities and church leaders in urging the government to create a £2 billion budget investment to help fix Universal Credit.

On 16 October a letter was hand delivered to Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, urging them to take action and fix the policy.

Read more: URC backs call for £2bn investment to help fix Universal Credit

Tim Farron MPModerators of the United Reformed Church General Assembly joined four other Free Church leaders at three political party conferences this autumn. At each conference, the delegation spoke to MPs and Lords about issues of concern to Christians, prayed with and for political leaders at a dedicated prayer breakfast, and sought to listen and learn from conference delegates. Together, the five leaders represented the URC, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Quakers in Britain and the Salvation Army.

Mr Derek Estill, who attended the Labour conference in Liverpool, said that the delegation ‘demonstrated unity across our various denominations’. The Revd Nigel Uden, who was part of the delegation to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, said: ‘It was especially significant to be part of bringing into creative dialogue our various perspectives on topics that too often can mar abundant life – not least migration, climate change and poverty.’ 

Read more: Church leader delegation at political party conferences