Rediscovering the heart of the gospel
Just Church is a free programme for use by churches, Christian groups and ecumenical bodies. It’s designed to help you embed a concern for poverty and social justice issues in the life of your community.
What can we do to make concerns for tackling UK poverty centre-stage in our churches’ lives? How can we be more Just Churches in our worship, our work with children, our personal lifestyles, our local communities and our wider political engagement?
Concerns for tackling poverty and social justice are at the heart of the Gospel. There is a rich biblical tradition from the Old Testament prophets through the Gospels and New Testament. This has been carried forward in differing ways by all the major Christian traditions to the modern day.
Just Church draws on existing resources for promoting social justice, and links them with wider understandings of mission and ecclesiology across the denominational and theological spectrum: from Catholic social teaching, through the URC’s “five marks of mission” and the Anglican “mission-shaped church”, to the new evangelical emphasis on “integral mission”. There are also rich reflective and worship resources, including materials from the Iona Community and across the theological and liturgical spectrum.
By its nature, poverty in the UK is largely hidden. It does not mostly involve people sleeping rough, starving or in absolute poverty. Responding to poverty on our own doorstep – even in a society where inequalities between rich and poor continue to grow – is no less a challenge than promoting trade justice for people in poverty on the other side of the globe.
Just Church was published in 2008 but most of the content is still relevant and useful today.
The full programme includes 12 modules, each of which has enough material for a 90-minute session. But the first module features a process of analysis and reflection which will allow you to select the modules that are most valuable in your context. You could use six modules to run a Lent programme, for example.
Click on the images below to download the modules.
If you have any questions about the programme and how to use it, please contact our Supporter Relations Manager.
Just Church provides an excellent resource for challenging all of us to remember the biblical mandate to provide justice for the poor and the marginalised.
———— Dr Anthony G Reddie
I hope Just Church will enable many local churches to embed the gospel concern for justice more deeply into their lives.
———— Baroness Kathleen Richardson
We found Just Church rightly challenging and very helpful. I am recommending it as a valuable resource to all our parishes.
———— Right Revd John Hawsthorne, former Roman Catholic Bishop of Hallam
We’re pleased to share this article from Lichfield Diocese about Transforming Poverty, a new course which we published in February 2019.
Six sessions for churches and house groups: use the film 'I, Daniel Blake' to engage with God’s heart for poverty in your community.
Transforming Poverty is a course by Revd Gayle Greenway, a curate in the Diocese of Lichfield.
In six sessions, the course will bring church or house group members together to talk, think and pray about the struggles that local people, maybe including yourselves, have today or have had in the past because of having little money. Alongside this, it will help you look at how the Bible and your faith in Jesus guide you to respond to these issues.
The course uses Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake to inspire conversations and apply scriptural insights to everyday life issues relating to socioeconomic deprivation.
We know that in most parishes there are people whose low income makes choices between heat, light, food and health a daily challenge. This course will help people to talk together about these things, and hopefully to move beyond talk to prayer, and to action and loving sharing.
———— Canon Dr Christina Baxter, St John’s College
Last year, we took members of several Poverty Truth Commissions to the Greenbelt festival for the first time. It was an exciting and inspiring experience – especially the opportunity for us to reflect together with Clare McBeath, our friend from the Centre for Theology and Justice. Clare collated and shared these theological reflections on the experience of being part of Poverty Truth Commissions.