January 2014: Churches called to stand alongside people in crisis

phawlogo.gifNews release
13 January 2014  
For immediate use

Churches called to stand alongside people in crisis

Charities focus attention on poverty and homelessness

At the end of this month, the seventh annual Poverty & Homelessness Action Week will see churches across the UK giving, acting and praying in solidarity with people who are pushed to the edge of our society.

Running from 25 January to 2 February, the week includes Homelessness Sunday and Poverty Action Sunday, which have been marked by UK churches for many years. The week challenges Christians to take notice of the poverty, exclusion and injustice around them - and to speak out. It supports the work of three Christian charities: Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice, and Scottish Churches Housing Action.

Churches can get involved by using free resources available on the website www.actionweek.org.uk. The materials highlight stories from the work of the three partner organisations - including challenging stigmatisation, organising night shelters, and providing affordable homes - and encourage churches to tackle poverty and homelessness in their own communities.

Dozens of supporters have already published their plans for Action Week. A map on the website shows events across the country, including church services, 'Question Time' evenings, workshops on inequality, sponsored sleep-outs and full-scale conferences.

Niall Cooper, Director of Church Action on Poverty, says: “Channel 4’s Benefits Street programme shows why we need to stand alongside people in poverty. The storm of abuse it has whipped up is based on prejudice, on the part of both TV commissioners and the general public. Churches are part of the communities where benefit recipients and homeless people live, and know the realities behind sensationalist media coverage. Action Week is a chance for us to make those voices heard.”


Notes for editors

  1. Poverty & Homelessness Action Week is an annual opportunity for churches of all denominations to demonstrate solidarity with people who live in poverty or experience homelessness and other forms of social exclusion.  In 2014 it runs from 25 January to 2 February.
  2. The Poverty & Homelessness Action Week partners are:  Church Action on Poverty (www.church-poverty.org.uk); Housing Justice (www.housingjustice.org.uk); and Scottish Churches Housing Action (www.churches-housing.org).
  3. The organisers can supply resource materials, prayers and video clips on request.

For further information contact

Liam Purcell, Church Action on Poverty
Tel 0161 236 9321
Mobile 07728 290 777
Email liamp@church-poverty.org.uk

Church Action On Poverty, Unit 28 Sandpiper Court, Water’s Edge Business Park, Modwen Road, Salford M5 3EZ

Telephone 0161 872 9294 or email info@church-poverty.org.uk

Registered charity number 1079986. Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 3780243.

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