Social action, Theology & Church

Doing To or Being With? Re-thinking Christian social engagement

This year marks 130 years since the founding of the West London Mission. It was in October 1887 that WLM began its work to bring spiritual and practical hope to people affected by poverty. Back then in Victorian London we ran food depots, clothing stores, soup kitchens and even a job service for unemployed servants.… Continue reading Doing To or Being With? Re-thinking Christian social engagement

Social action

Losing their religion: why Christian charities lose their ethos

It cannot be disputed that Churches are very good at establishing social action projects. In recent years this is illustrated by the high-profile rise of church-based Food Banks, Night Shelters, debt services and a whole range of street outreach.  Organisations like The Trussell Trust, Street Pastors and Christians Against Poverty have seen their work grow at an incredible… Continue reading Losing their religion: why Christian charities lose their ethos

Social action

Love without structures: learning from the collapse of Kid’s Company

This week the BBC screened a fascinating documentary, Camila’s Kid’s Company: the Inside Story, on the demise of the famous children’s charity. What made the programme so compelling was its intimate portrayal of the Chief Executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh.  We see her close-up, as she lived through the collapse of the charity she had founded, in the full… Continue reading Love without structures: learning from the collapse of Kid’s Company

Social action

Honour where it’s due: Neil Jameson, Citizens UK and the difference between profile and genuine influence

I am not a big fan of the Honours system which awards Knighthoods, CBEs, OBEs and MBEs every year. Again this year there has been controversy over political bias in the awards as the director of the Conservative election campaign, Lynton Crosby, was given a knighthood. And as The Times reports, despite only 7% of the… Continue reading Honour where it’s due: Neil Jameson, Citizens UK and the difference between profile and genuine influence

Social action

R&R’s Christmas Quiz: Activists who have changed the world

Time for an R&R Christmas quiz! Can you name these 12 activists who have put their Christian faith into action and helped to change the world: How many do you reckon you have got? For the answers and a little bit more about each of them see here.  Many of these people are now relatively famous for their achievements.… Continue reading R&R’s Christmas Quiz: Activists who have changed the world

Social action

Faith without deeds: the dis-integration of student Christianity

When I started at Hull University in 1991, I joined three societies at the 'freshers fair'.  Firstly, the Cricket Club, secondly, the Christian Union and thirdly, the Student Community Action organisation, which was called HUSSO. Community action HUSSO (Hull University Social Services Organisation) was, and remains, an incredible organisation.  Back in those days, it organised over… Continue reading Faith without deeds: the dis-integration of student Christianity

Social action

Faith Full Service? Integrating Christian faith alongside high quality social care, 4th November, central London

Date:   Wednesday 4th November 2015, 9.30am – 4.00pm Venue: Hinde Street Methodist Church, London, W1U 2QJ Cost:    £15.00, including lunch For more details and to book a place please go to Eventbrite In an increasingly secular environment, tensions frequently emerge between a Christian ethos and the delivery of professional social care. This has… Continue reading Faith Full Service? Integrating Christian faith alongside high quality social care, 4th November, central London

Homelessness, Social action

Social action, or gospel-centred mission? A story of GrowTH – by Tony Uddin

Yesterday in a church in East London, a cross section of the community gathered to celebrate the 5th anniversary of GrowTH, the Tower Hamlets Churches night shelter for homeless people. The place was packed, literally standing room only. The crowd diverse. Christians, Muslims, those of other faiths and those of none. The marginalised celebrating alongside… Continue reading Social action, or gospel-centred mission? A story of GrowTH – by Tony Uddin

Social action

For God’s Sake Make a Difference

It cannot be disputed that Churches are very good at establishing social action projects. Recent years have seen a huge growth in projects such as Foodbanks, Night Shelters and a wide range of other initiatives. The big challenge is how these projects maintain their Christian ethos and integrate this alongside their high quality practical service. I know… Continue reading For God’s Sake Make a Difference

Social action

Isolation and loneliness destroys lives…but we can do something about it – by Jeremy Sharpe

The film Castaway focuses on one man, Chuck Noland (played by Tom Hanks) who has been marooned alone on an uninhabited island.  As well as his frantic efforts to find enough food, warmth and shelter to survive, the film also depicts his mental struggle with extreme isolation and loneliness. One of the key factors in Chuck's survival is… Continue reading Isolation and loneliness destroys lives…but we can do something about it – by Jeremy Sharpe