These reflections on what it means to be a church on the margins were shared to open our weekly online discussions.
Being a Church on the Margins in a time of Coronavirus (2 April 2020)
Carmel Murphy Elliott, Urban Life, Manchester (with an introduction to the series from Niall Cooper)
Suffering and Solidarity (9 April, Maundy Thursday)
Deirdre Brower Latz, Nazarene Theological College, Manchester
Prophetic Imagination (16 April 2020)
Urzula Glienecke, Greyfriars, Edinburgh
Who is my neighbour? The walkable parish (23 April 2020)
Chris Lawrence, InnerCHANGE, East Harlem, New York City
Where are the margins? (30 April 2020)
Stef Benstead, Manchester
Click on the right to download the latest issue of SPARK, our newsletter for supporters of Church Action on Poverty.
We’re very sorry, but for the first time in many years, we aren’t able to send out a printed newsletter. Our printer is closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, and our staff and volunteers are unable to manage the mailing.
So please share this digital newsletter as widely as you can in your church, and with friends and family.
The focus of this issue is on the ways we can stay connected despite lockdown and isolation. It’s full of inspiring stories of how communities continue to look after one another. It also has tips and ideas to help you stay well, and to use the time for reading, thinking, prayer and reflection.
'Telling Stories and Shaping Solutions' is a toolkit for empowering people who have lived experience of food poverty, developed by our Food Power programme.
“I got involved because I’ve lived it and I wanted to speak out for those who can’t. The toolkit is there to make sure those working with people who might be
experiencing poverty have the right support in place, things that organisations might not necessarily think about.
“We’ve done the pitfalls and know what works and doesn’t work, with the toolkit we can share this learning. I hope it achieves more clarity and makes organisations think before they start working with people at the grassroots.
“For me I’d never done anything like this before, I’ve now something I’ve co-produced that has my name in it, it’s a massive boost. It’s made me think I can do more stuff that I never thought I could do, it’s helped me build a large network of friends and support in the process.”
Penny Walters, Food Nation
When you read your Bible, use the questions on this bookmark to help you reflect on what you read.
You may find that the scriptures surprise you, overturn your assumptions – and challenge you to take action to tackle poverty and injustice in the world today.
If you would like us to send you a printed bookmark, please email us.
The Bible shows us again and again that God is on the side of the poor and the oppressed. People on the margins.
In a thread that runs through all of scripture, God is concerned first and foremost with people who have been excluded from society by poverty, oppression and injustice. Laws like Jubilee in the Old Testament are designed to ensure that no one is left behind and exploited… The prophets stand up constantly against the rich and powerful who would oppress people in poverty… Mary sings of a God who has “brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly”… Jesus says “Blessed are you who are poor … But woe to you who are rich.”
But too often, when we read scripture in our churches, we forget that perspective. We focus on other aspects of the story, or we become so familiar with the text that we don’t notice the challenging things it has to say to us.
The five Bible studies in Untold Stories focus on the Gospel of Matthew, and highlight different perspectives. We look at Jesus’ teachings and miracles through the eyes of minor characters in the margins of the story. We remind ourselves that the original audiences for Jesus’ teaching, and for the Gospels, were primarily people who were themselves marginalised by poverty, living under military occupation.
The five studies in this resource look at different passages. Most of them also include an ‘unheard voice’ – a piece of creative writing, imagining the perspective of a minor or marginalised character in the story.
We hope that these Bible studies will help you find fresh perspectives on scripture, and challenge you to put your faith into action in the world today.
Read our new report, laying out the evidence supporting our call for urgent action to End Hunger in the UK.
In 2018, Church Action on Poverty’s report for End Hunger UK Step Up to the Plate called for comprehensive government thinking on responding to hunger in the UK. Household food insecurity is now being measured in the UK – but comprehensive policy responses are still lacking.
Our new report Why End UK Hunger?, published in November 2019, emphasises again why action is so urgently needed.
We worked with the University of Sheffield, King’s College London and ENUF to produce the report. Edited by leading food poverty experts Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford and Dr Rachel Loopstra, Why End UK Hunger? newly brings together leading thinkers to make renewed arguments for why it is so important to address the root causes of hunger on the basis of seven key ‘cases’:
- the moral case;
- the child’s case;
- the health case;
- the secure income case;
- the human rights case;
- the political case;
- and the public opinion case.
This report supports End Hunger UK’s new goal: to persuade all UK political parties to develop serious action plans to halve household food insecurity by 2025, and to make good on our existing commitment within the Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger by 2030.