Sunday, 17 July 2011

A week with the Methodist Church

Tim Fry is a student of Clifton College, Bristol who has just completed his GCSE's and has spent one week on work experience with the Joint Public Issues Team. In this guest post Tim gives his impression of this week and the work he did on Housing Benefit.

Wow, a shame that such a thrilling and interesting week has come to a close. A very varied experience in which I learned about how the Methodist Church brings their work together on public issues and advocacy.

From the communications department which posted the goings on to all concerned to the statisticians/ researchers who tirelessly work at their computers and travel the country and find out exactly what’s going on. And also the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) who are making important issues heard and also presenting the policy of the churches to both decision makers and church members.

A very informative week was mostly spent on the government’s proposed cap on Housing Benefits which threaten the poor and will cause over half the homes in London to become unaffordable by 2016 and between 500,000 and 750,000 people to be affected.

This was a startling wake up call for me as I realized just how dire the situation was for the impoverished with their situation seemingly becoming worse with every action the government takes to cut expenditure. Questions must be raised however by its unwillingness to cut as much from the MoD even though the tip of the spear in Osama Bin Laden has been blunted and the terrorist threat level lessened.

Though such serious thoughts faced me this week still the brightness of the whole JPIT team shone through and made it an extremely enjoyable week.

Tim Fry