In my 20s, I was a member of a church near King’s Cross where we started a community project called Decorating and Gardening to do practical jobs for vulnerable local people. We called it D&G for short and borrowed the Dolce & Gabanna logo. We never heard from their lawyers. The first person we did a job for was a… Continue reading Colluding with chaos or maintaining healthy boundaries?
It could be logical to assume that belief in God, life after death or anything supernatural would lead to people who are less committed to issues in the here and now. Surely ‘pie in the sky when you die’ displaces a concern for ‘steak on your plate while you wait’? But actually, it is extraordinary… Continue reading Faith don’t live here anymore
A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in a church in the North East of England with the title: Homelessness: are we really helping? The organisers had read a paper I had written for a Housing Justice forum titled The practice of grace and truth with homeless people and wanted… Continue reading Homelessness: are we really helping?
The scale and profile of church-based social action projects has grown significantly over the last 20 years. There has been a particular rise in projects which distribute practical resources, with food banks being the most high profile example. Critical reflection The growth of such activity raises questions which need to be reflected on. Is this… Continue reading Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help
In the last year, churches and faith groups have played a vital role in the Everyone In initiative which saw over 40,000 people affected by homelessness go into emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs. They helped their guests from communal night shelters into single-room accommodation and then continued to support those guests with food, support… Continue reading A day in the life of one church’s response to homelessness
HUSSO 1994: launch of a new football coaching project. Jon Kuhrt is next to Mo Cookson (front left) I arrived at Hull University in the Autumn of 1991 to study Social Policy and Social Work. I signed up to join HUSSO, the student community action group, at the Freshers’ Fair after hearing the Chair, Martin… Continue reading How HUSSO volunteering changed my life
Livability is a Christian organisation which is now focused on providing services and support to people affected by disability. But the organisation also has a rich history of community action and urban mission which should never be forgotten. The name Livability came into being in 2007 when the disability charity John Grooms merged with the… Continue reading ‘Make the community livable’: Shaftesbury’s legacy of Christian social action
Knife crime and youth violence are urgent and pressing issues in my south London community. As a parent of three secondary school-age children, it’s never far from my thoughts. Like so many families, our children have been affected by muggings and threats. This week in my youth group we held a raw and honest session looking… Continue reading A problem of resources, relationships or identity? Knife crime & the Church
by Gavin Howard I live in Cambridge, one of the most prosperous parts of the country. However it is also a city with startling income inequality. Yes, there are a few entrepreneurs selling their tech companies for silly money. But there are also a huge number of households living below the poverty line and in… Continue reading ‘Heart-led, not salary-driven’ – the difference volunteering makes
I have spent most of the last 20 years working for social action organisations founded on a Christian ethos. As they grew they developed services in some of the most complex areas of social care, such as housing high risk offenders, those with chronic addictions and those with acute physical and learning disabilities. Along with… Continue reading How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work