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.
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