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Budget hits poor hardest

Commenting on today's emergency budget, the Revd John Marsh, moderator of the general assembly of the United Reformed Church said that the church will need to rediscover its mission to the poor as the austerity measures announced begin to impact on people living in the UK. "Whilst the Chancellor is to be given credit for seeking to achieve a measure of fairness in spending cuts and tax increases, it is the poorest members of our society who are going to bear the brunt of the cuts to benefits and public services and the increase in VAT from next year" he said.

URC call for fairer taxes

Leaders from the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches, together with Church Action on Poverty, have called on the chancellor to opt for fairer taxes today.
Amidst predictions of harsh public spending cuts, the Free Churches and the anti-poverty action groups are asking the Coalition Government to make a thorough revision of the taxation system a central part of the Emergency Budget, which will be delivered from midday today.

A new fatwa: violence has no place in Islamic teaching

"Violence is violence. It has no place in Islamic teaching", says a leading Muslim scholar in a fatwa, an extended religiously-based argument, directed at those who justify hatred and terror in the name of faith.
Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri Ul-Qadri's 600-page analysis is "arguably the most comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism to date," according to the Quilliam Foundation, the London-based counter-terrorism think tank.

Protect the poor, say Baptists, Methodists and URC

As the government prepares for its Pre-Budget Report today, three of the UK's largest Churches have called for priority to be given to job security and protection for the poor.

The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church (URC) have challenged a call made yesterday (8 December) for public sector cuts.

They have criticised the right-of-centre thinktank Reform, which has suggested that jobs should be cut in the National Health Service and the police in order to reduce public borrowing.

Welcome to Christmas services at St Andrew's!

Sunday 20th December 11am-12noon
All-Age Nativity Service
Speaker: Timmy the Lamb
Christmas Day 10.30-11.15am
All-Age Service 
Bring a present to church!

Muslims are not offended by celebrations of Christmas

Muslims regard Judaism and Christianity as divine religions. Islam is a continuation and an extension of those great religions. In order to qualify as a Muslim, one has to believe in Moses (Musa) and Jesus (Isa) along with all the Biblical prophets, peace be upon them. Muslims have to believe in the Torah (Tawrat), the Psalms (Zabur) and the Gospel (Injil) although Muslim scholars do have some issues about the accuracy of a few parts of these scriptures.

Dear Mr Woolas, all I want for Christmas is...

Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Church leaders have called on people to send an extra card this Christmas, to Immigration Minister Phil Woolas MP, asking him to end the detention of children in the asylum system.

Charter for Compassion launched

The Charter for Compassion (http://charterforcompassion.org/), reproduced in full below, was launched globally on 12 November 2009.

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

John and Margaret Fall appreciated by St Andrew's Tennis Club

For decades Margaret and John Fall have been mainstays of St Andrew's Tennis Club, with its own hard courts on Graham Road, acting as secretary and treasurer. Now they have handed on these responsibilities, along with the club's proud reputation as a friendly group where people of all abilities are welcomed, the club has thanked them with the presentation of a specially commissioned painting of the club. For more information about St Andrew's Tennis Club, see the Falls or Marion Howdle.

Our church's response to the British National Party on 'Question Time'

"The United Reformed Church believes support for the BNP to be incompatible with Christian discipleship. We have consistently advised members not to vote for parties holding racist views. If a BNP representative does appear on Question Time, we expect it to demonstrate clearly that the party's views are extreme, and are held by very few people." The Revd Richard Mortimer, Deputy General Secretary of the United Reformed Church

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