Both Churches Caversham Heights Gosbrook Road
At the Circuit Meeting of 21 February 2013 (which met in our Caversham Heights Church) something significant took place. The Meeting resolved to submit a ‘Memorial to the Conference’. Conference is the annual gathering of representatives of the Methodist Church across the country. A memorial is simply a message from a Circuit or District to the Methodist Conference. It suggests that the Conference does something, or makes a statement on an issue. One of our own members has been working for many months on an issue of injustice which has never surfaced in news coverage, due possibly to the relentless stream of abuse being heaped on benefit claimants. It concerns separated families in which the Non-Resident Parent (NRP) is required to meet a proportion of the costs of raising a child. In some circumstances the way in which this is calculated leaves the NRP with a totally inadequate residual income and unable to contribute fully to the raising of the children. Read the wording of the memorial here, and the accompanying reasoned statement here. You may also find interesting a recent report by the Methodist and other Churches: Truth and Lies about Poverty, detailed here. Also available is a digest of personal stories taken from a BBC blog following a broadcast on The One Show on 22 October 2008. This is by no means the end of this campaign. We hope to update this page with further news as appropriate. Update 10 May 2013 In December 2012, Christine had a two hour meeting with Dr Samantha Callan of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).  The CSJ is an independent and highly regarded think tank whose aim is ‘putting social justice at the heart of British politics’.  It was founded by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004. After a long frustrating delay, Dr Callan has now confirmed that the CSJ is definitely taking work forward on the issues Christine has raised, as part of their major new policy project ‘Breakthrough Britain II’.  Christine will be working with Nick Woodall from the Centre for Separated Families; he has long had concerns in this area. Update 5 July 2013 The Memorial to the Conference has been scrutinized by the Conference Memorials Committee, a body which receives all memorials and prepares a draft Reply for the approval of the Conference. We are delighted to report that the Memorials Committee has warmly endorsed our memorial. Look here to see the paperwork submitted to the Memorials Committee (the memorial itself and the personal stories, which are very slightly different from what was submitted to the Circuit Meeting in February). The Memorial paper includes the Reply, but an A5 handout can be found  here. Update 11 July 2013 The Methodist Conference has passed our Memorial. Update 17 July 2013 Here is a Press Release from Christine and our Publicity Director, Robin Gowers. Update 25 June 2015 Christine Dugdale has been working since 2011 to improve the lot of parents separated from their children. Christine will be attending an ESRC International Research Seminar on 2 – 3 July. On Friday afternoon she will be presenting  a paper on the problems of unaffordable child maintenance payments to an audience that will include senior people in the DWP. Your prayers would be appreciated.
in Caversham
Separated Families