My recent article on Why Pope Francis is wrong about begging was re-posted on the popular Christian blog Psephizo and a number of church leaders commented on the challenge that this issue poses for them. It again reminded me of how churches, vicarages and manses are at the front line of this issue because of… Continue reading A soft-touch? Why Christians need to stop being doormats
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
Today, George Orwell is remembered as one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, mainly due to the literary and political impact of his most famous books, Animal Farm and 1984. But when Orwell moved to London in the late 1920s to begin writing he decided to intentionally spend time amongst homeless people.… Continue reading Down and Out in Cardiff and London: a George Orwell for the Facebook generation
For many people living or working in large cities, being asked for money is an everyday experience. It can often cause feelings of distress, guilt and confusion. What is the best way to respond to someone asking you for money? In 20 years of working with homeless people, it is by far the most common… Continue reading How should we respond to people begging?
A while ago I was talking with a woman on Baker Street in central London who was begging and said she was homeless. She obviously had some form of drug dependency and almost certainly some form of mental health problems. As I was talking to her about the centre that West London Mission runs for… Continue reading Should the increase in poverty affect our response to people begging?
I am at the Greenbelt festival this weekend and I am speaking in a debate on the following motion: 'This house believes that giving money to people begging does more harm than good'. I'll let you guess whether I am speaking for or against the motion (for clues see this article) but to help could you… Continue reading 10 second poll: Do you give money to people who are begging?