I’ve been doing Harvest assemblies and celebrations for 22 years. I think they’re much richer and more authentic now, and Foodbanks are partly responsible. Nostalgia and guilt Harvest celebrations used to be overshadowed by nostalgia and a vague guilt that we were losing connection to the land. People used to turn up at urban and… Continue reading Foodbanks have saved Harvest celebrations from nostalgic irrelevance – by Simon Cansdale
Matt Bird recently wrote an article titled Be for the poor, but not against the rich. According to Matt, God’s material riches of Solomon is evidence that ‘God is not opposed to wealth or the disparity of wealth’. He chastises a development charity for describing as ‘unacceptable’ the fact that the richest eight people in the… Continue reading Prophet warning: a response to Matt Bird – by Justin Thacker
This week I was at a church in central London, talking with the minister when a man came to the door asking for help. He explained that he was not from London but his wife had just been discharged from UCH (a London hospital) following an emergency operation. He said they had nowhere to stay… Continue reading Why Pope Francis is wrong about begging
Everyone who cares about poverty and community life in the UK should make sure they watch the BBC drama The Moorside. It is a thoroughly researched and brilliantly acted film about the tragic case of Shannon Matthews, a young girl from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. In 2008, Shannon was reported as missing by her mum, Karen Matthews.… Continue reading The Moorside: Shannon Matthews and the three faces of poverty
Poverty is not entertainment, it’s not noble or romantic. Poverty is... heavy. It’s heavy hearts and heavy legs. It’s sore skin and hollow eyes. It’s upset and downhearted. It’s hunger. Malnourishment. It’s always thinking about the next meal. Poverty is bailiffs, it’s food banks, it’s queues and lists, it’s never being told what you’re entitled… Continue reading Poverty is many things…
I first met Bob Holman in 1973. Following on from a turbulent adolescence I had experienced a radical conversion to Christianity. At the same time Bob was considering his future as Professor of Social Administration at Bath University. With an amazing sense of vocation from him and Annette, he resigned his academic post and moved,… Continue reading ‘A thorn in the side of comfortable socialism’: an appreciation of Bob Holman (1936-2016) – by Dave Wiles
This week I was invited to an event at Parliament to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous film Cathy Come Home in the company of MPs and its director Ken Loach. In 1966, it was watched by over 12 million people and had a massive impact on people's views about homelessness. It led to the creation… Continue reading Wallowing in nostalgia or facing up to the challenges of today?