Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

In this week’s gathering we discussed how the Coronavirus crisis has impacted the lives of children and young people.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

This week we heard from:

  • Wayne from Nightsafe, a charity which supports homeless young people in Blackburn and Darwen
  • Zoe from the Food Foundation who has been researching how the crisis has been affecting children’s access to food
  • Rys Farthing who advocates for young people’s rights, especially digital rights

We were also joined by Sarah Knowles from Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen, and actor/writer Ellis Howard.

Wayne told us about some of the difficulties that Nightsafe have faced over the last couple of months supporting homeless young people during the pandemic. Both the night-shelter and the daycentre, which are vital lifelines for many young people, were forced to shut during lockdown, but Nightsafe are still running three supported housing projects, accommodating sixteen young people.

Wayne told us that one of the major issues affecting young people is that stopping of education and the cancellation of courses and the structure that they provide is having a negative effect on mental health. But staff are finding new ways to engage with the young people living in the supported housing, such as inter-house events and competitions, and some of the residents have really embraced using this time to learn skills such as cooking.

The pandemic has caused lots of difficulties for Nightsafe, but as we are all learning to work in new ways, there are things they are hoping to carry forward into their future work. Wayne reflected that communication across the organisation to improve, and this is something they can take into the future. Find out more about Nightsafe here.

The Food Foundation has been doing research on the impact of the crisis on vulnerable groups and their food experiences. Zoe told us that at the beginning of the crisis there was a major supply issue of there not being food in shops, but now economic issues are more critical and intense and this is likely to continue in the recovery phase. There have also been major issues with the systems that are supposed to ensure that children are still able to access free school meals.

The Food Foundation are sharing the findings of this research with government departments and the media to try and shape the public narrative about this issue and allow people to understand people what has been happening. They have also have been recording podcasts with their young ambassadors, but this has been very difficult due to issues around digital exclusion. You can listen to the experiences they were able to record here.

Rys Farthing works on involving disadvantaged and marginalised young people in discussions about social issues. She told us that young people are now spending twice as much time online as they did before Covid, which has created a new frontier of inequality. Rys says that when thinking about youg people’s digital rights you can divide them into two categories: protection rights and participation rights.

  • Protection rights – Research has shown that factors like living in care or having mental health difficulties heightens the risks that young people face online, but very little research has been done into how living in poverty can impact these risks too. It is important not to assume that all young people are digital savvy and know how to protect themselves online. Lack of access to a high quality digital literacy curriculum means that young people facing inequality face much higher online risks.
  • Participation rights – This is something not many people were talking about before Covid, but we are now. Devices such as laptops and phones are now vital to education and participating in many aspects of life. A lack of reliable broadband connection is also a big problem for many young people, and having to pay for expensive data packages is a new form of the poverty premium. There is also need for education about how to use these digital resources.

However, Rys also sees the rise of the digital as being a space for incredible opportunities for young people. She hopes that increased digital civic engagement will be a way to tackle inequality and create new openings for social mobility. You can find out more about Rys and her work here.

Covid-19 is a global pandemic, affecting the lives of people in poverty across the world. Next week we will be shifting our focus beyond the UK and exploring the theme of global solidarity.

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Cornwall is at its most beautiful right now. Wall to wall sunshine. Clear blue skies without endless plane trails. Uncrowded roads. To some that would be normally be the pinnacle of the dream and yet, right now, it really isn’t.

We are in a state of complete limbo. Despite the pockets of vast wealth that we have, areas of Cornwall remain in the top three poorest areas in Europe. What little economy we have is almost solely driven by the leisure industry, which traditionally starts up at Easter. Good weather means a bumper year – a plethora of hospitality-led zero-hours contracts, but at least it’s work? Yet this year we have nothing. Our sector is shut. Just this week, two of the biggest hotels in Newquay have closed their doors for good. There will be many more closures and much more unemployment to come.

Those who were already on benefits before this pandemic are probably coping better than most – being poor and going hungry was already their normal

It is true that those who were already on benefits before this pandemic are probably coping better than most – being poor and going hungry was already their normal. But right now they are being joined daily by a whole new section of people who have no idea how to cope.

People are being literally left to go hungry because they didn’t fit the furlough criteria, couldn’t get the self-employed help or simply couldn’t access the benefit system

Just last night on the regional news, the food bank at Camborne was featured. They painted an honest picture about the increase in demand. How people are being literally left to go hungry because they didn’t fit the furlough criteria, couldn’t get the self-employed help or simply couldn’t access the benefit system. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Cornwall very often doesn’t fit the national schemes. The food bank also highlighted the huge amount of people who thought they had a pretty good and safe income and are now stuck in a limbo land. No access to help, slow access to benefits (if at all) and facing the prospect of feeding their children from the food bank.

We are on the edge of a very, very big problem

We haven’t even got to the school summer holidays yet. We are on the edge of a very, very big problem.

I should also just touch on mental health. Whilst people with already diagnosed mental health conditions are largely coping OK (it was their normal anyway), huge numbers are being driven to turmoil by their sudden lack of employment, their total lack of opportunity and their near-complete lack of hope. The mental health services burst their banks long ago. GP surgeries can’t cope. The suicide rate is on an alarming rise. Yet it is the reliance on the charity sector that is fast becoming absolute. A whole other debate, but it ties in irrefutably and needs to be out there.

We don’t have any answers, but we do have amazing and resilient communities

So what are we doing? We have amazing schemes such as The Hive who are pioneering feeding people from literally nothing other than waste food. On just one afternoon last week they distributed 10,800 preprepared, packed and frozen meals to a charity in Newquay alone. This doesn’t even tie in with the food banks and their struggle to keep up supply.

Perhaps our biggest problem is that we don’t know what we are planning for, or when. The daily increase in demand is stressing our systems already and yet it keeps on growing. We don’t have any answers, but we do have amazing and resilient communities. However huge the problem, local mutual aid, kindness and support will get us through – but at what cost? Right now, no one can predict that.


Andrew Howell, End Hunger Cornwall
endhungercornwall@gmail.com

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

You Can’t Eat the View

How a few photos from 2008 still undermine attempts to tackle UK poverty

New wine, new wineskins part 3: What needs to change?

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Press play to listen:

Three women in north Sheffield share their lockdown insights, including on autism, friendly support, digital exclusion and staying connected

Carlie, left, and Charlotte, from Parson Cross in Sheffield

We all need to stay connected, now more than ever.

Church Action on Poverty and many of our partners have been finding new ways to ensure we sustain community, and even build new relationships that will outlast the coronavirus outbreak.

In the second episode of our new podcast, The Cast to End Poverty, we hear from three people in Sheffield, with particular insights into how the lockdown has impacted people who are most marginalised.

Charlotte works for the Parson Cross Initiative (PXI) in north Sheffield. She has already written two excellent blogs about the consequences of the outbreak in her neighbourhood, and she updates listeners on PXI’s work.

The project has always run groups around music, gardening, cooking, art and food, bringing people together through shared passions.

Charlotte says: “The social aspects of what we did have had to be put on hold, so it’s had a big impact. We’ve still been able to offer emergency food but people are missing the social contact, that’s the thing we’re really picking up on.

“We’ve set up something called keeping close with PXI because we wanted to say to people that we’re still there and that we still wanted to keep contact so people have been sharing their news and their craft projects they’ve been doing.”

On the podcast, Charlotte introduces two local residents: Carlie and Michelle.

The Parson Cross area of Sheffield

You're not on your own

Carlie lives alone with her two children, Isaac, aged six, and Lillie, aged 12, and she is also a co-founder of a support group, Autism Hope. Michelle works in local schools and with families that are on the margins.

Each of them had recorded conversations with Charlotte, which feature on the podcast.

Carlie tells listeners: “We’re coping; just about. There have been some extremely difficult times. Isaac, who has autism and severe learning difficulties struggles the most, so not being able to access school and having his routines taken away has had a huge impact on him. As the weeks have gone it is has got worse.”

She says Lillie has been amazing and weekly calls from school have been useful, but Isaac misses his grandma, his routine, and ordinary visits to the supermarket.

The greatest support has come from the autism support group, which has been keeping in touch online and through phone messages.

Carlie says: “You’re not on your own; other people do understand and are going through the same thing. One of my friends has two children with autism and has lost her own mum but has been sending little gifts to Lillie.”

She says:

“I think this has been a glimpse for everyone to see what it is like to feel isolated and to not be able to access things that other people can”.

She says she hopes that as society redesigns itself after this outbreak, families don’t have to get to breaking point before help is available.

Carlie at an Autism Hope event

Enduring support

Charlotte says: “There are obviously a lot of families who are really struggling with lockdown and they had been marginalised and felt isolated before and I think that’s what Carlie expresses really well.

“I also think what she expresses well is how they were supporting each other before, on facebook, calling one another – that support was happening before and has been going on throughout this and I took from our conversation what a strong group they are.”

You can hear Charlotte and Carlie’s full conversation on the latest episode of our podcast, Cast To End Poverty, available on all podcast platforms now. On the same episode, you can also hear Michelle talking about she and colleagues have responded to the crisis, including by providing laptops to help combat digital exclusion.

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

During this pandemic, communities have come together to support each other. In this week’s gathering we discussed at coordinated responses to the crisis and mutual aid.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

Sam Dyer from Cambridge Sustainable Food told us about the formation of community food hubs in Cambridge. There had already been a food poverty alliance in Cambridge for two years, working with frontline organisations such as foodbanks, housing providers, churches and the city council, so there were already relationships and networks in place at the start of the crisis. However, a lot of the kinds of provision that were already happening, such as community lunches, fell away because of social distancing, so people had to come up with new ways of meeting pre-existing need as well as coping with new demand.

The city council have been very supportive in Cambridge of the mutual aid groups that have sprung up. The alliance has been working with these mutual aid groups to establish community food hubs. Sam says that the challenge going into the future is how to move on from the emergency food provision model into something that is run by the community.

We also heard from Jayne Gosnall who spoke about the importance of mutual aid and supporting one another in the recovery from addiction, as well as getting through this crisis. Jayne is involved in several WhatsApp groups that help keep people connected through sharing things like crafting ideas and creative writing.

She also talked about Self-Reliant Groups and how they are supporting each other, even when they can’t meet in person, and how some people are even becoming more connected than before by coming together online. Jayne said that these groups and connections may seem on the surface to be ‘quite a soft thing’ but are actually having a profound impact. You can find out more about Self-Reliant Groups here.

Next week we will be looking at how the crisis has impacted the lives of children and young people and will be joined by Rys Farthing (Researcher), Tia Clarke (Food Ambassador), Faith Marriott (Nightsafe) and Zoe McIntyre (Food Foundation). Join us on Tuesday at 2 pm.

Over the following few weeks, the gatherings will be focusing on:

  • 2 June:  Children and young people
  •  9 June: Global solidarity

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You Can’t Eat the View

A report from End Hunger Cornwall

Report from a conference held in October 2019, highlighting the impact of food poverty and food insecurity throughout Cornwall. 

You Can’t Eat the View

Church on the Margins: video reflections

SPARK newsletter summer 2020 – online edition

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

At this week's Gathering on the Margins, we discussed our visions of how we can build a better world after the pandemic.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

Many different organisations are thinking about how we can do things differently after the pandemic, and hold onto the values of solidarity and compassion that have sustained us through lockdown. We invited some of them to share thier thoughts and spark discussion.

First, Barry Knight spoke about the idea of ‘building back better’:

Barry Knight is involved in ‘Rethinking Poverty’, a project of the Webb Memorial Trust. He challenged us especiallly to think about locally-led, community-based ways of building a better world, rooted in ‘power with’ rather than ‘power over’ other people. He explores all these ideas in more detail in this article.

We also had an input from Paul Wood, the Head of Advocacy at Tearfund, about their ‘World Rebooted’  initiative:

Tearfund see three big shifts happening during the crisis: 

  1. From ‘I alone’ to ‘We together’
  2. From valuing productivity above all else to valuing life
  3. From small tweaks to a new way of being

Read more about ‘The World Rebooted’ here.

Finally, Emma Temple of the Student Christian Movement shared her reflections on the ‘new normal’:

The speakers sparked a very creative discussion. We shared stories of what has given us all hope during lockdown, and talked about what needs to change.

Many participants felt that we had only scratched the surface of this vital topic, so we may well return to it in future Gatherings. Church Action on Poverty is publishing a series of blogs exploring the ideas – ‘New wine, new wineskins’ – and we would welcome your comments and input.

Modified version of a cartoon by Chris Riddell (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-everything-must-change-cartoon)

Next week we will be looking at coordinated responses, mutual aid and resilience. Join us on Tuesday to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Over the following few weeks, the gatherings will be focussing on:

  • 26 May: Coordinated responses and resilience
  • 2 June:  Children and young people
  • 9 June: Global solidarity

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

Staying connected: 3 stories from Sheffield

Gathering on the Margins – 26 May

You Can’t Eat the View

How a few photos from 2008 still undermine attempts to tackle UK poverty

New wine, new wineskins part 3: What needs to change?

Gathering on the Margins, 19 May: Building back better?

New wine, new wineskins part 2: What does our faith tell us?

Reflecting together, 14 May: Power and powerlessness

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Reflecting together, 14 May: Power and powerlessness

A report from our 14 May online discussions on what it means to be church on the margins during the pandemic.

(Video reflection by Alison Webster, Diocese of Oxford)

What can we learn from faith communities in terms of how they have fared in the current context?

  • Examples of churches in Edinburgh and Birmingham – people have been looking after each other, checking in and delivering food.
  • Churches should offer specific help, people feel awkward asking for help.
  • Church of England issued guidance about not going out/ not delivering food/distributing leaflets, etc. … Is the church insular in this situation?
  • Some older people wanted to go out and ignore the message to stay at home, but when they realised that it was to protect the NHS as well as themselves they were happier to comply.
  • Being embedded in the community (pre-crisis) makes it easier to connect/ reach out to people in need.
  • Influence can be more important than power.
  • Can the older and younger generations learn from each other? (e.g. technology skills, insight, etc. )
  • What does ‘service’ look like? Who are you serving with online or offline church?
  • Connections between people are more important than the number of people attending church.

What have we as individuals learned from the power we have/lack?

  • We should turn the Thursday clap into ‘power’ to campaign for a Living Wage for NHS/care workers/key workers.
  • How you use your power is important.
  • Clergy/ministers who hold food bank vouchers have power over people’s fortunes.
  • People with disabilities have been doing church online for years because mainstream church was not accessible/welcoming. The message that online is less / ‘will do for now’ is hurtful to people who have done church this way for years.
  • Now we don’t all have the power to fix things due to social isolation.
  • There is a divide between people who want to get back to the church building as soon as possible and those who don’t.
  • Some people have to go back to work due to their financial situation – powerlessness in this context. It’s a privilege to have the choice to stay at home.
  • We do have power that we may not recognise (as a Christian community). By working together we can be powerful.
  • Whose voices do we listen to? We need to listen to the ‘powerless’.
  • ‘People are hungry and we are talking about bricks [buildings].’

A poem by Ruth Wells

God snuck home.
No longer bound by the
expectations of a ‘consecrated’ building
She’s concentrated her efforts on breaking out.
Now in the comfort of a well worn dining table
she shares some bread,
with some friends.
And she laughs.
And she weeps.
In the sacred space of home.

Research and Information Officer

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Gathering on the Margins – 12 May

This week in Gathering on the Margins, we heard from a number of creative people who told us about how they are using art and creativity to respond to COVID-19.

We have these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

Join us on Zoom by clicking the link below, or call 0131 460 1196 and using the meeting ID: 193 697 232

Digital Poet in Residence, Matt Sowerby, spoke about the importance of creativity at this time and how, despite the cancellation of all festivals and gigs, there is actually a renaissance of creativity happening at the moment as people respond to the crisis in different ways. However, he also talked about the importance of not putting pressure on yourself to be productive in difficult circumstances.

Matt’s special interest is in art as a way of making change, and says that is through creativity that when we come out of this pandemic we will stop things just going back to the way they were before. You can find some of Matt’s creative responses to the pandemic here.

Broden is a filmmaker based in Clitheroe who has worked with Church Action on Poverty on a couple of projects, including creating the film Edgelands, based upon the stories of a group of young people growing up in poverty in Lancashire. If you haven’t seen this film it is well worth a watch, you can find it here.

Broden told us about his creative process. His work mainly centres around the stories of working-class youth, and he creates really authentic pieces by using street-cast actors and incorporating real people’s stories into his work. Broden also reflected on our need for art at this time as a source of comfort. Broden seeks to use film at time like this when so many people to capture the smaller stories and highlight the ‘underworlds that are much closer to home than people would like to think’.

Next we heard from Lisa, who works with Food Power in Plymouth and uses creative methods to help people share their stories. Lisa has a background in visual art and art history and is interested in who gets to be the artist, how the art is shared, how that’s understood and art as a collective process.

As part of her work with Food Power in Plymouth she has been part of creative workshops, from which a collection of audio and visual material has been put together, and she shared with us a couple of images from this. Lisa explains how art can help people express issues that are both personal and relevant to a larger issue. To adapt to the current situation Lisa is working with a small team in Plymouth on a creative methods toolkit that can be shared online.

Ellis, an actor/write from Liverpool, told us about various aspects of his work, which includes, writing, performing, blogging, directing, contemporary dance and spoken word. Ellis’ work explores the relationship between politics and art. He told us how he began creating work around the issue of child poverty when his school was badly affected by cuts and he wanted to speak out about this. Ellis is also a blogger; you can read his blog, Skinny, Shattered, Skint  here. Ellis and others will also be leading  online workshops about creativity in the coming weeks, you can find out more here.

Jayne spoke about the restorative power of creativity and how it helped her through addiction recovery. Now she is helping to keep people afloat by keeping them connected during isolation. She has started a local Whatsapp writing group, giving people the opportunity to express themselves creatively. She says that being able to write and paint is like having a pulse and that it makes her healthier physically mentally and spiritually.

During the gathering we were set the task of creating something, be it a picture of a poem etc., in response to the question ‘Are we all in the same boat?’ Here are a few examples of what was produced from Kathryn, Broden and Isaac:

Finally, we heard from the musician Isaac who explained how he has been using music to honestly express the loneliness of lockdown, and how writing songs can help him get into a better headspace. In response to the question, ‘Are we all in the same boat?’ Isaac said that there isn’t even a boat in the first place. You can listen to ‘It Could be Worse’, a song about Covid-19 here.

Next week we will be looking beyond the lockdown and imagining a better future post-coronavirus. We will be hearing from Barry Knight from Rethinking Poverty and others to hear how they think society can change for the better as we come out of this pandemic. Join us on Tuesday to share your thoughts and ideas about how to stop things just going back to a normal that we know wasn’t working.

Over the following few weeks, the gatherings will be focussing on:

  • 19 May: ‘Building back better’ – visions of how we can do things differently after the pandemic
  • 26 May: Coordinated responses and resilience
  • 2 June:  Children and young people

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Church on the Margins: resilience

A report from our 7 May online discussions on what it means to be church on the margins during the pandemic.

Resilience (opening reflection by Martin Johnstone of the Church of Scotland)

Where have we seen new life/new ways of being?

  • New ‘churches’ have formed online. If these continue after lockdown how will we think about church ‘membership’? How will it be redefined? What does this mean for institutional churches?
  • People who are not usually ‘church-goers’ have joined online church services. It has become a ‘church without walls’.
  • Churches are continuing to do traditional services as usual.
  • In broadcast mode the content of online services is quite passive.
  • Foodbanks are too busy providing a service, they don’t have time to get to know people and gather their stories.
  • We can allow our online church gatherings to be messy, they do not need to be perfect. Sometimes things go wrong but this is more authentic.
  • Online church is safe space for people to engage.
  • More people are engaging online, at different times of the week.
  • We need to be church everyday of the week, not just Sundays.

Are there new resources and ideas about the church and how they can support communities to flourish?

  • One church community is taking an inter-faith approach to the alpha course … ‘Beta Max’ is an inter-faith gathering where people come together to discuss faith.
  • Examples of church ministers visiting people living on the street, bringing them food, etc. also providing packed lunches to children who are missing out on free school meals, and printed educational packs for families who do not have internet access.
  • How can we include people who are invisible during the pandemic, people who are digitally excluded?
  • Online church is more accessible for young families. Online children’s liturgy.
  • New gifts are being uncovered in the new spaces.
  • We need to be alongside and reach out to people on the margins, not ‘saviours’ dropping in and out of people’s lives.
  • We can minister to each other, we don’t have to follow the model of priest as leader and congregation. E.g. Some people have organised family funerals themselves.
  • The model of priest/minister as leader/gatekeeper needs to change. ‘The priesthood of all believers’.
  • We should keep the good things from online church when lockdown is over.
  • Some churches do not currently have ‘permission’ to help with the crisis response locally. Individuals are doing things but not representing the church.
  • Some churches are looking after their own members but not reaching out to others in the community. Will the community notice if the church reopens?
  • Food pantries as examples of community-led organisations.
  • How do we create a safe online space for people to talk about how they are feeling?

Are there any examples of churches standing alongside those on the margins (not speaking for them)?

  • Not many visible examples of the church response, some church members are probably involved in service delivery but the ‘official church’ is less visible. … Can we offer our church buildings to others who are responding in the community?
Research and Information Officer

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

You can’t eat the view

Reflecting together, 21 May: inhabiting the public realm in the midst of lockdown

Book review: Bread of Life in Broken Britain

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

Shopping online? You can raise money to loosen the grip of poverty

Easyfundraising lets you raise free donations for Church Action on Poverty when you shop online.

The pandemic and lockdown are sweeping millions of people further into poverty, while making it more difficult to raise the funds to help projects that anchor people and tackle poverty. We know that many people now have less money to use supporting causes. But there is a way you can still raise funds to tackle poverty.

You may now be doing more of your shopping online. So it’s the perfect time to sign up to Easyfundraising – a system which generates free donations for Church Action on Poverty when you shop online.

Easyfundraising has over 4,000 shops and sites which will donate to us at no extra cost to yourself, including lots of big-name retailers like John Lewis, Argos, Uswitch, eBay, M&S, Just Eat, Now TV, Domino’s Pizza and Audible.

All you have to do is sign up to support us using the link below. Then every time you shop online, go through the Easyfundraising website or app and we’ll receive a percentage of your spend as a free donation, at no cost to you or us.

Support is urgently needed -please take a moment to sign up and help stop more people being swept into poverty and hunger.

Communications and Supporter Relations Manager

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?

New wine, new wineskins: theological reflection on ‘building back better’

Gathering on the Margins – 2 June

Reflecting together, 28 May: Whom are we serving in our services?