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Research papers in the category People and Power.
The Department for Work and Pensions' Fit for Work Service (FFWS) programme is being rolled out across the country from November 2014. It is designed to intervene when a person has been off work, or is expected to be off work, for four weeks or more due to illness. GPs will be expected to refer patients to FFWS, which will then perform an assessment and draw up a plan to get them back to work as quickly as possible. If such a scheme was motivated by a genuine concern for a person’s wellbeing, implemented in an understanding and supportive manner, it could be beneficial. But the way it is being established, its underlying assumptions, contracting and economic model raises cause for concern. Ekklesia associate Bernadette Meaden offers an initial assessment and identifies key issues that need addressing.
Remembrance Day needs to be re-imagined in more hopeful, truthful, meaningful and inclusive ways for future generations, says this report commissioned by Ekklesia. That would include an honest if painful acknowledgement that some do “die in vain”, an end to “selective remembrance”, a positive stress on peacemaking, and making Armistice Day a public holiday. The report, originally published in 2009, followed the death of the 'last Tommy', Harry Patch from World War 1, who sadly described current patterns of Remembrance Day as “just show business”. Remembrance has been ‘cheapened’ by a failure to back up words with action, particularly when it comes to successive governments' inadequate care for war veterans, but also -- vitally -- the lack of serious resources put into peacebuilding. The report traces the development of Britain’s remembrance tradition and makes a series of proposals about how Remembrance Day might be positively developed. It also includes reflection on the meaning and practice of 'memory', not least from a Christian theological standpoint.
This detailed, evidenced and wide-ranging report on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the Work Programme and recommendations for a new system of support (for people with disabilities and long-term health issues in and out of work) is the most important document of its kind published to date.
Beyond the Barriers is based on the responses to five separate consultations receiving over 1,200 responses from sick and disabled people going through the ESA system (Employment and Support Allowance, previously Incapacity Benefit or IB) and the Work Programme. It provides a comprehensive challenge to the present system, plus policy guidelines for alternatives.
Entirely researched, written and supported by disabled people, the report from the Spartacus Network - endorsed and backed by the think-tank Ekklesia and other NGOs and charities - draws on the widest evidence considered and presented to date. It is a major challenge to the UK government to reconsider and recast its policies and systems, and provides a clear platform for positive reform set out by those who live at the sharp end of the issues it unpacks in considerable detail and with great expertise.
This document is a response to the Public Engagement on Police Use of Water Cannon consultation. It sets out reasons for regarding the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) proposal to introduce the use of water cannon in London as a dangerous and retrograde step. It spells out the preferability of service, community and consent-based policing, and commends further active research into nonviolent police methods, resourced by the engagement of Christians and others.
A Church of England working party on sexuality, chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, has called for a more welcoming approach to lesbian and gay people, though not full inclusion. It recognises the current lack of consensus on the theology of sexuality, including what the Bible has to say, and recommends that clergy be free to hold services, though not weddings, for same-sex couples.
The report is a small step forward, though it is over-cautious and its handling of historical and scientific evidence is weak, this detailed analysis from Ekklesia suggests. It is also unbalanced, giving too much space to one dissenting member of the working party, firmly opposing any shift by the church towards a more pluralistic stance on same-sex partnerships. Yet it acknowledges diversity, encourages openness to listening and growth, and may lead to further progress in enabling the church to value its lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) members and credibly witness in today’s world to God’s love for all.
Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change by Simon Barrow (Ed)
The Subversive Manifesto: Lifting the Lid on God's Political Agenda by Jonathan Bartley
Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy by Jonathan Bartley
Consuming Passion: Why the Killing of Jesus Really Matters by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley (Eds)
Threatened with Resurrection: The Difficult Peace of Christ by Simon Barrow