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Act On Poverty – a Lent programme about tackling UK and global poverty

Church Action on Poverty and our partners are launching a course on practical activism ahead of a much-anticipated General Election.

Almost 1,000 churches have signed up already to a new course entitled Act on Poverty, aimed at encouraging people to put their faith into action in the run-up to a General Election.

We’re proud to have joined forces on the initiative with international development agency Christian Aid and other partner organisations – including the Baptist Union, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church,  and the Trussell Trust.

Over six weeks, those taking part will find out more about the reality of poverty both in their communities and around the world, through activities designed to inspire them to take actions such as engaging with MPs.

The series of resource packs contain guidance for short Bible studies; recordings of conversations with activists; questions and prompts for group discussions; videos about taking practical action; and a guide to steps churches can take to advocate for change.

Christian Aid Campaigns and Activism Officer Katrine Musgrave explained: “We have hope for a world where there is justice for all and we believe our relationships and communities can be restored and transformed. With a General Election approaching, we have an opportunity to unite our churches with a compelling message for our next Government: it is time to act on poverty. We hope churches around the country will sign up to Act on Poverty and we look forward to seeing the results of their actions.”

Chief Executive of Church Action on Poverty, Niall Cooper, said: “Working in partnership is a core principle of Church Action on Poverty, and this course demonstrates the power of people coming together in faith. Every prayer, every gift, every action helps transform lives and I look forward to
seeing church communities taking part in this initiative and putting into practice what they have discovered to tackle the injustice of poverty and its effects, both locally and globally.”

Church leaders around the country are supporting the initiative.
The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, said: “Poverty is not a new problem and its effects are widespread, impacting people’s lives and futures. We see it in our neighbourhoods and we see it in vulnerable communities around the world.”

Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, added:  “Loving our neighbours means living out our faith on a local and global scale. This course offers valuable resources to help us make a difference by speaking out and engaging decision-makers.”

And Revd Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference, said: “If as a church or a small group within a church, you are wondering what to do next in your stand against injustice or in your endeavours to play your part by being a justice-seeking church, why not take a look at the Act For Poverty resource? This inspired new resource created by JPIT (Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church), in partnership with Christian Aid and others, provides a wonderful opportunity for both learning together and being stirred into action as the General Election draws closer.  We serve a God of justice – this resource can help
us all to use our voices and our votes to help make tackling poverty a priority.”

Church Action on Poverty encourages churches to follow the Act on Poverty programme during Lent, as a way of following up on Church Action on Poverty Sunday. We are running the course online for anyone unable to run it in their own church.

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