I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Austria, Italy and Switzerland. All my travelling was by train which gave plenty of time for personal reflection whilst watching the scenery go by. I came back wonderfully refreshed. One of my observations was the camparison between the fortress mentality of getting in and out of the UK as opposed to the seamless crossing of borders between Switzerland and the EU.
Today is the first National Windrush Day. https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/uk/windrush-day
In the last few minutes the Court of Appeal has ruled that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen are UNLAWFUL.
The Court found that the government had failed to properly assess whether there have been breaches of International Humanitarian Law.
This historic judgment means that the government must now stop issuing new arms exports licences and suspend existing licences to export arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, and retake all decisions in accordance with the law.
These sales should never have been licensed in the first place. Even as schools, hospitals, weddings, and funerals have been bombed, the government has licensed the sale of billions of pounds of weapons for use in the conflict.
We have now shown that these arms sales were not just immoral, but also unlawful.
But even now the government is likely to resist. Every step of the way it has done all it can to keep the weapons flowing.
We need MPs to know about this ruling, to keep building the pressure to stop these sales once and for all.
Campaign Against Arms Trade
37,000 people a day are forcibly displaced by fleeing conflict, war or persecution last year. That is 70.8 million people last year. Our news headlines are Tory Election Contest & Woman knocked down by royal convoy police motorbike. Something is terribly wrong with our world.
Violence flares again in Kenya with seven policeman killed by a roadside bomb. Please pray for an end to the violence.
The June Newslink has been added to the website
Outline details of the Celebration of CfR at Barnes Close are
Please let us know if you are coming. Email Ian if you need overnight accommodation
Blog re-ordered to put latest news first
Please add your prayers to PEACE SERVICE FOR THE UKRAINE more details on the linked poster
Today is Pentecost when we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. We pray for a fresh outpouring upon individuals and the church today. We pray for a listening to the truth, repentance for sin, a desire to follow Christ and an ever depening discipleship.
8th June – received from Birmingham City of Sanctuary
As we commemorate the D-Day landings and the sacrifice paid by so many in order that Europe might be free let us give thank that Europe has been free of war for so long. We should also remember and give thanks for the EU, initially set up to ensure peace and co-operation in Europe
Supporters of the Palestinians might be interested in this
Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for only the third state visit of a USA President during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Whilst it is appropriate for the UK government to have conversations and good relations with other governments and leaders we question whether it is appropriate to make it a State Visit with all that implies.
Concerning news from the Golan Heights, Israeli troops have fired into Syria killing three Syrian soldiers. This is allegedly in response to shots fired at the Golan Heights that did not cause injury or death.
New Prayer Calendar added
Today is Ascension Day when we rememember the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ from earth to his throne in heaven. In doing so we need to ensure that he is enthroned in our hearts as our Lord, King and Saviour. Take time out today to reflect upon this.
The European Elections show just how divided we are in the UK. The Brexit Party were the clear winners but when the UKIP vote is added to theirs they are still way behind the clear remain parties, namely Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Change UK. Conservative and Labour who tried to hold the middle ground were soundly beaten. ‘Remain’ acheived 40.4%, ‘Leave’ achieved 34.9%, and ‘Lab/Con’ 23.2%. It is difficult to draw any conclusion from this other than we are a divided country in which more people wish to stay in the EU than leave. It was not a ‘first past the post’ election, vote share was taken into account. We need to pray for those taking this country forward and for the Conservative Party as it seeks a new leader at this time of deep crisis, both for itself and for the UK.
The Eurovision Song Contest is in Tel Aviv today. Artists have been banned from making political statements. It is a travesty that this event is being held there when there is so much suffering in Gaza.
Today is Internation Conscientous Objector Day. Further information is here about this very significant day. Please offer a prayer day for those who have, and still, stood firm for peace over violence.
It is very concerning that a leading Conservative politician should call for spending on defence. We should be seeking peace and spending more on the social problems in our country and on refugees and asylum seekers
Violent Protests in South East Europe. Please Pray
Thousands of Albanians have been protesting against Prime Minister Edi Rama, with some throwing petrol bombs at his office. For the last three months, there have been anti-government demonstrations in Albania. Mr Rama faces allegations of electoral fraud and corruption. Opposition leader Lulzim Basha urged crowds to continue protests until Mr Rama steps down from power.
The divisions in the UK over Brexit are a great cause of concern. Much disinformation and twisting of truth is taking place on all sides of the debate. Please pray that a way forward may be found that respects the closeness of the referendum result and brings the country together rather than dividing it further
Andy has found four young people to go out to Romania to help with the summer youth camp. Please pray for the planning, preparation and that the necessary finance may be found.
More violence in Gaza. Please pray for it to end
Had a very good Easter weekend when we welcomed a small number of residential guests and some local visitors for evening meals
Speaking About CfR and issues relevant to our work
If you would like me to speak about the work of CfR at your church, organisation or group please email me or call me on 01562 710231