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 (

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

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Church Action on Poverty North East 2020 AGM, 25 September

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