Displaying items by tag: United Kingdom
When Archie Battersbee’s accident left him unconscious, he was put on life support treatment, but months later he had not regained consciousness and doctors said he was brain-stem dead. They planned to stop treatment. Archie's mother disagreed, wanting a ‘realistic time’ for her child to recover saying, ‘Planned death is euthanasia, which is illegal in this country. It is for God to decide what should happen to Archie, including if, when and how he should die.’ On 22 July we highlighted Archie’s situation and the need for law changes so that the vulnerable and their families are protected in end-of-life matters. His parents began legal proceedings to keep Archie on life support treatment, but finally on 4 August the European Court of Human Rights refused their application to delay any changes to his treatment. Continue to pray for changes to be made around hospitals' power to make life or death decisions for the vulnerable.
On 1 August almost 700 migrants crossed the English Channel in 14 small boats, a record for the year so far. The French authorities stopped one boat at sea with 35 people on board. Government figures state over 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats so far in 2022. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have both vowed to toughen controls on migration into the UK as part of their bids to become next Tory leader and prime minister. Mr Sunak said he would tighten the definition of who qualifies for asylum and introduce a cap on refugee numbers. Ms Truss said she would increase the number of Border Force staff and extend the UK's Rwanda asylum plan. However, no asylum seekers have been sent to the East African country yet following a series of legal challenges. See
On 3 August thirty police officers and immigration officials raided two properties and detained a 40-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man, both originally from Somalia, on suspicion of offences linked to people-smuggling. The pair have lived in Northern Ireland for ten years; authorities believe they are part of an operation being run by an organised crime gang transporting people into the UK. Officers also searched the addresses for cash. Immigration officials say that individuals can pay gangs between £2,500 and £15,000 to be brought into the UK, often exploiting the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland. Priti Patel said the operation showed expertly-trained officers working tirelessly to keep our country safe by disrupting suspected criminal activity. An immigration enforcement officer said this was just one of the ways they worked with the police to act against people-smuggling.
An estimated 585,000 households - 13% of everyone renting in the private market - have energy bills included in their rent. Citizens Advice said renters could miss out on the £400 energy rebate and the warm home discount if they are not the bill payer because those are paid to the landlord. The charity Shelter said tenants whose energy bills were included in their rent or service charge will be at the mercy of their landlord passing on this much-needed support, as there is no specific legal obligation for landlords to do so. They are not allowed to overcharge tenants for energy used or make a profit on it, but this could happen if they pocket the government support and continue to charge the same rate for utilities. The Government is looking into this, as it has acknowledged it is not right. Landlords can only charge for energy used, the standing charge and VAT.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates to 1.75%, the biggest rise in 25 years, as it predicts an even higher peak in inflation of 13%. It fears inflationary pressures are becoming ‘more persistent and broadening’. Many companies have been successfully raising prices which will push up consumer costs in the shops. The latest rise in gas prices has led to another significant deterioration in the financial outlook as the UK is now projected to enter recession. The bank has forecast that the UK economy will start shrinking in the fourth quarter of this year, and then keep contracting through next year. That would be the longest recession since after the 2008 financial crisis. The bank also points to the UK’s ‘tight’ labour market - a signal that it is worried about a wage-price spiral, as workers seek pay rises to help with the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
After the driest July since 1935, hosepipe bans will be introduced in Kent and Sussex on 12 August and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the 5th. England has been moved into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status (the stage before a drought). Restrictions mean people cannot use hosepipes or anything that connects to an outside tap. Breaking the rules could lead to a £1,000 fine. Water UK said people use twice as much water as they did sixty years ago. Supplies must not be taken for granted. To avoid further bans people could collect water from baths, washing up, and cooking, known as grey water. Water used for cooking vegetables is nutritious for plants. Cutting off the end of a plastic bottle creates a funnel to channel water to the roots of plants, avoiding wastage. People can also reuse paddling pool water, wash dogs outside, and fill ponds with rainwater.
Sanctioned Russian oligarchs from Putin's inner circle have exploited a UK secrecy loophole left open by the Government. They use a type of company which does not need to identify its real owners known as an English Limited Partnerships (ELP). ELPs are also linked to fraud, terrorism and money laundering. Since 2017 over 4,500 have been set up to dodge anti-money laundering laws which require the real owners to be disclosed. Pray for the UK Economic Crime Programme, police and government to make ELPs illegal. Meanwhile Shell Plc has given employees a ‘Special Recognition Award’, equivalent to 8% of their annual salary, after recording profits for a second consecutive quarter thanks to soaring oil and gas prices and legally strong refining margins. The one-time payment will be made to most of Shell’s 82,000 employees. Shell said the award was not a response to the rising cost of living. See
‘God’s love for me doesn’t depend on how I perform’, says British athlete Adam Pengilly. Christian boxer Katie Taylor said, 'I actually don't know how people get through difficult moments without God in their life'. See During the Commonwealth Games, Passion for Sport will be in Birmingham hosting a special outreach exhibition featuring stories of eight Christian athletes. Three are reigning Commonwealth champions, one is a netball captain, and four are former athletes with great testimonies. Each athlete’s story is heard via a QR code link displayed in the installation. There are also visual creations of key moments from personal journeys. Pray for the success of this outreach installation, may it inspire and immerse people of faith and none into the world of Christian athletes. For 25 years, Passion for Sport has been reporting from major sporting events aiming to introduce sports fans to Jesus through comments, discussions and interviews with top Christian athletes sharing their faith.
This spring and summer across the British Isles, church members have been spending time and energy organising and preparing for youth camps and events in their locality. Now that the schools have closed for summer holidays, we can pray for the young people attending these camps. May they hear the Christian message in their hearts and not just receive head knowledge. Pray for an anointing from heaven to fall on every volunteer running these outreaches. Pray that they do not become fatigued physically or emotionally in the fast-moving environment of youth activities. Pray for God to renew their strength daily as they disciple their various age groups. Lord, be near this generation growing up in an era of stimulation, confusion, and social media. May You be the most real thing to them in a culture that offers temptation with things that look beautiful but are, in reality, empty.
Parents have concerns over ‘highly inappropriate’ drag queen story time sessions for children as young as three. The Story Hour summer tour starts next week, performing to as many as 3,000 three- to eleven-year-olds at sixty public libraries in England and Wales. The sessions include reading children’s books about same-sex relationships. Outraged parents wrote to their local councils expressing their concerns about the highly sexualised events. Their letters, co-ordinated by the Family Education Trust, say, ‘Drag shows are adults-only entertainment and not suitable for school-age children’. The letters also criticised promotion of radical gender ideology and stated, ‘To try to blind children to a most basic fact of human existence is a form of child abuse. Children who experience gender identity issues need careful and sensitive care, not wholesale indoctrination.’ In response Drag Queens organised online fundraising for ‘Mermaids charity’, which promotes puberty-blocking drugs and surgery for children who are confused about their gender.