I’m Meg, and I’m so excited to start work as a JPIT / House of Commons intern. I’ve just graduated from the London School of Economics with a politics degree. I spent my time at university playing sport, working part time for a South London MP and volunteering with my church’s compassion ministries.
Quite the opposite of many Christians who see politics as a dirty word, I grew up without a faith but very political. In all honesty, I viewed Christianity, and Christians, as either largely irrelevant or fairly annoying in most areas, especially politics. Funnily enough, in spite of myself I became a Christian in my late teens – hurrah for youth work & cheers to my best friend for praying for me for years. Since then, I have been exploring what it means to follow Jesus, and what He says about how we should respond to the injustices around us.
At University, I grappled with questions around the role of Christians in politics (I even wrote my dissertation on them!). Throughout this, James 1:27 has always rung out to me: “What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.” To me, this is a deeply political call to us as Jesus’ followers. Whilst the Church does an amazing job of caring for marginalised people on the frontline, I’ve often felt frustrated that work to tackle the symptoms of systematic injustice are not always accompanied by efforts to challenge their roots.
I think that Desmond Tutu put it pretty perfectly: “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” One of the things I’m most excited about working for JPIT is the opportunity to help the Church go upstream, and explore how we can be a force stopping people from falling in. I really believe that in order to love the (metaphorical and literal) orphan and widow in our communities, our work must start upstream. Here we find a unique opportunity to enact lasting change.
Over the last few years, I’ve realised I’m particularly passionate about helping people find home, both spiritually and practically. In becoming a Christian, I was welcomed into a family that is more loving, gracious and hopeful than I ever knew, and found a home that is impossible to not want to invite others into. Practically, in my work my heart has burnt most for those without a home. Families suffering from inadequate housing due to our social housing crisis or parents with No Recourse the Public Funds restrictions unable to support their children as a product of the Hostile Environment. I’m hoping over this year at JPIT that I’ll be able to push deeper into understanding how best we create home for the marginalised, and the role that the Church has in this.