Entering the Wilderness: Come join the winning side

wildernessWe live in bleak times. We are bombarded by bad news.  At times we may feel discouraged, hopeless and impotent in the face of spending cuts and rising prices, whose impacts are bearing increasingly heavily on the lives of the some of poorest and most vulnerable in our communities. In a bleak climate, whither do we turn?  I, for one, don’t have all the answers – but here are a few thoughts.

Hearing the cry of the poor: A community of faith?

If we are entering a period in the Wilderness, do we need to return to our roots?  To find ways of embodying the core values and beliefs that many of us hold dear?  As Christians, these must surely include a duty to speak up for the poorest and most vulnerable  – articulating God’s bias to the poor – naming injustice as an act of faith and discipleship.

In a society which has seemingly lost its moral compass, can we find ways together of being a beacon for an alternative set of values? Can we find ways of becoming a community, for those who feel isolated, downtrodden, and (sadly) sometimes even ‘outsiders’ in their own church for holding true to such beliefs?  Surely there is no task more important for those of us who seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth?

Speaking truth to power:  A community of witness?

Secondly, are there ways we an act as a community of public witness:  not just ‘speaking’ out, but offering a voice to those who are, normally, voiceless and marginalised? ‘Speaking truth to power’ is always counter-cultural and certainly a challenge to the ‘powers’ of the world. Even if no change is brought about as a result are not such ‘acts of witness’ intrinsically valuable?  It has certainly been encouraging in this regard to see church leaders from across the denominations speaking out strongly and persistently in the past few weeks about the growth of poverty and hunger, and the erosion of the welfare safety net which we all have to rely on when times get hard.  But what of our own role in such a community of witness?

Change agents: A community of solidarity?

Thirdly, is there also a role for us as agents of change?  I know from my work with Church Action on Poverty that empowering people with the skills and confidence to speak and act in their own right – can transform their own well-being, and lives and livelihoods are changed as a result.  More than this, through acting together we are able to bring about concrete changes in policies and institutions which affect peoples’ lives on a larger scale.

But, in the face of a Government determined to force through the deepest cuts in a generation, whilst denying that these cut have anything to do with the huge growth in foodbanks and hunger, it can feel like no change is possible: What happens if our actions appear to have no meaningful impact?

Taking the long view…

The end of slavery, the end of segregation, the end of apartheid… Each only came about as the result of a long struggle against a clear injustice (at least clear in the minds of those opposing it), a determined movement combining those directly affected and those whose faith drove them to campaign for the rights of others, and a passionate belief that another world was possible.  Even when all appeared to be hopeless, the candle of hope burned bright and in each case, the movement survived, regrouped and came back for more.

So let us not become disheartened.  As we enter the Wilderness, let us take the long view.  Let’s hold true to our faith, be steadfast in our witness, and courageous in our acts of solidarity.

Desmond-Tutu-001As Desmond Tutu famously said, in the face of the seemingly all powerful apartheid regime – ‘you may have the guns, you may have all this power, but you have already lost. Come: join the winning side.’ 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

This is about truth and justice

image_miniChurch leaders speak with unprecedented united voice on welfare and food poverty

Church leaders from across the denominational spectrum have spoken out powerfully and with one voice to challenge the Government’s narrative on welfare, destitution and food poverty over the past week.

In 20 years its hard to think of any other issue on which such a breadth of church leaders from across the denominations have spoken out so clearly and powerfully from the same hymn sheet (as it were).

Nicols: Welfare cuts a ‘disgrace’ that has ripped apart nation’s safety net

nichols2014Cardinal Vincent Nicols led the way, a week ago, criticised the Government’s welfare cuts, calling them a “disgrace” and arguing that a safety net for the country’s most poor has been removed. The now Cardinal Nichols added that because of a punitive administration system, some people are being left with no resources for several weeks, relying instead on food banks.

43 Church leaders sign letter in support of End Hunger Fast

On Thursday, 43 Anglican, Methodist, Quaker and United Reformed Church leaders signed a joint open letter published in the Daily Mirror, which equally did not mince its words:

“We often hear talk of hard choices. Surely few can be harder than that faced by the tens of thousands of older people who must “heat or eat” each winter, harder than those faced by families whose wages have stayed flat while food prices have gone up 30% in just five years.
Yet beyond even this we must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using foodbanks have been put in that situation by cut backs to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.
There is an acute moral imperative to act. Hundreds of thousands of people are doing so already, as they set up and support foodbanks across the UK. But this is a national crisis, and one we must rise to.”

27 Anglican Bishops signed the letter, with many of them following up by taking to the airwaves on local and national tv and radio and in local papers to reinforce their support for the letter.

Archbishops of Canterbury, past and present, join the call

Justin WelbyIn the face of criticism of the Cardinal’s remarks from David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, weighed into the fray, saying that Vincent Nichols was giving voice to an ‘upswell of feeling’ in communities with his warning that benefit cuts are leaving the poor facing ‘hunger and destitution.’

Rowan Williams, the ex Archbishop of Canterbury, added his voice on Friday, stating that:

“People who are using food banks are not scroungers who are cynically trying to work the system. They are drawn from the six million working poor in this country, people who are struggling to make ends meet in low paid or bitty employment.”

Methodist President: This is about truth and justiceruth-gee

And on Saturday, the President of the Methodist Conference, Rev Ruth Gee, posted a powerful blog entitled Trampling the head of the poor into the dust of the earth

It wasn’t acceptable in the time of Amos (8th century BC) and it isn’t acceptable now.
This isn’t about party politics.
This isn’t about scoring points.
This is about basic morality.
This is about according respect to human beings.
This is about feeding the hungry.
This is about facing up to the fact of our divided society, recognising inequality and injustice and doing something about it.
This is about truth and justice.

With church leaders from Wales and Scotland adding their voice, to date, there has not been a single church leader anywhere in the UK expressing a dissenting voice.

On this issue, the Churches are clear and united:  This is about respect for human beings, feeding the hungry, facing up to a divided society.  It is about truth and justice.

Next week sees the launch of the End Hunger Fast – sign up now!

Ash Wednesday next week (5 March) sees the launch of the End Hunger Fast – an unparallel opportunity for the churches – and others – to speak and act together with one mind.  If you haven’t signed up to the End Hunger Fast , do so now!

For those who doubted that the Churches – when the speak with one voice – can have a powerful national impact – and force politicians to think again about the policies which are having such a destructive impact on the lives of thousands in communities across the country – think again.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

End Hunger Fast: Government must act to tackle the nation’s food poverty crisis

The Government’s failure to take seriously the nation’s growing food poverty crisis has come under the spotlight today, with the launch of the End Hunger Fast campaign.

The Government finally released its oimage_miniwn long-suppressed report into food aid overnight, in response to the publication of a joint Open letter from 43 Church leaders published in the Daily Mirror this morning.

The report, commissioned almost a year ago from the Food Ethics Council by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, confirms the growing demand for foodbanks is driven by people in crises situations, and directly refutes the Governments claims that it is caused by the growing number of foodbanks.

The DEFRA report states that “the most feed insecure households do not always turn to food aid.  The evidence suggests that turning to food aid is a strategy of last resort, when households have exhausted all other strategies.”

Worryingly, in the nine months since the report took its ‘snapshot’ last March, the situation has dramatically worsened, with many foodbanks reporting a doubling or trembling in demand since April.

Cameron and Clegg remain in denial over the impact of welfare changes

Most worrying of all has been the response of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to the Church Leaders statement that there is now an acute moral imperative to act in the face of a growing national crisis.

The Prime Minister, in claiming that ‘cutting benefits is the morally right thing to do’ has completely failed to gauge the seriousness of the situation facing hundreds of thousands across the country.  Whilst there are merits in the Government’s commitment to reform the welfare system, and to make work pay, there is nothing moral in cutting benefits for people who are already struggling to make ends meet.

The comments by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, on LBC radio today, again fail to address the reality that the Government’s own punitive policies are exacerbating an already difficult situation that thousands are facing on a daily basis.  As Cardinal Vincent Nichol’s statement alluded to last week, over 800,000 people have had their benefits deliberately withdrawn as a result of an increasingly punitive sanctions regime, causing untold harm to families across the country.

This country has a proud tradition of protecting the poorest and most vulnerable.  We have all grown up with an understanding that if we fall on hard times, the welfare safety net will protect us from going hungry.  Sadly, for increasing numbers of people, that welfare safety net is no longer a reality.

The pendulum has swung far too far towards a punitive approach to people in poverty.  It is time to restore the principles of dignity, decency to the way we respond to those who fall on hard times.

We are not a poor nation who cannot afford to look after those who struggle.  We remain the seventh wealthiest nation on the planet.  In a week when it was revealed that sales of Ferraris in the UK outstripped those in any other EU country, it is right for the nation’s Church Leaders to challenge those in authority to think again.

It is time to End Hunger Fast.

Sign up to show you care at http://www.endhungerfast.co.uk

Fast and donate

Please consider using the End Hunger Fast to raise funds for our work to tackle hunger. Your donations will pay for us to run public hearings, where people testify about their experiences of going hungry. Their evidence will form part of an Independent National Inquiry, which will make recommendations for how we can tackle the scandal of hunger.

Simply donate the money you would otherwise have spent on food.

donate
Simply give us the money you would have spent on food.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Join the End Hunger Fast

image_miniThe End Hunger Fast is an invitation to join with others in fasting in solidarity with the increasing numbers in communities across the UK who cannot afford to eat. Sign up now at www.endhungerfast.co.uk

The Christian tradition of Lent has long been at this time to fast, and by doing so draw closer to our neighbour and closer to God.  This year, we will begin a time of fasting while half a million regularly go hungry in Britain.

According to the latest research, over four million people in the UK do not have access to a healthy diet – including half a million children; people who are forced to live on an inadequate diet have a significantly increased risk of developing serious health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. They are also more likely to suffer from stress, ill health, poor educational attainment and shortened life expectancy.

The rising cost of living combined with austerity cuts is forcing poor families to choose whether to pay their bills or put food on the table.  Food banks and charities are currently meeting the essential needs of many families and individuals in crisis, feeding adults and children who would otherwise have nothing to eat.  Over 500,000 people were forced to turn to food banks to feed themselves last year.  The likelihood is that this number will top one and a half million people this year, as the impact of benefit cuts and austerity start to bite every deeper into already stretched household budgets.

In his book, ‘The Spirituality of Fasting’, Charles M Murphy says, ‘Social charity is the defining characteristic of Christian fasting. One of the main reasons Christians fast is to fight against innate human selfishness and possessiveness, and to resist the social forces that drive us to consume more and more of the earth’s resources at the expense of the poor. They fast to practice solidarity with the poor by practicing the virtue of temperance’.

Resisting selfishness and possessiveness within ourselves is important, but equally so is the imperative to work to remedy unjust structures; to campaign for justice, especially in all aspects of food production, distribution and consumption.

One of the most powerful biblical injunctions about fasting comes from the prophet Isaiah, who clearly rejects fasting if it is not accompanied by a true change in how we live:

‘Is not this the fast I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?’ (Isaiah 58: 6 –7)

We often hear talk of hard choices. Surely few can be harder than that faced by the tens of thousands of older people who must “heat or eat” each winter or harder than those faced by families who’s wages have stayed flat while food prices have gone up 30% in just five years.

Yet beyond even this we must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using foodbanks have been put in that situation by cut backs to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.

The End Hunger Fast is therefore both a personal and a public act of solidarity:  A personal commitment to go without food for a meal, a day, one day a week throughout Lent – as your circumstances and your heath permit.  But also a very visible and joint public statement by all those who join the End Hunger Fast – to call on government to do its part: acting to investigate food markets that are failing, to make sure that work pays, and to ensure that the welfare system provides a robust last line of defence against hunger.

Dom Helder Camara once famously wrote, “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint; when I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.” In fasting we rediscover our hungry neighbours and, with them, call in to question a government and the corporations that use hunger as a weapon against the poor.

Join the End Hunger Fast at www.endhungerfast.co.uk.

I am endebted to Keith Hebden and Alison Webster for the use of material they have prepared on Lent and Fasting in the writing of this article.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Christmas Greetings George: Britain isn’t Eating

Christmas Greetings George: Britain Isn’t Eating!

Britain isn't Eating - at George Osborne's constituency office

This morning a small group visited George Osborne’s constituency office in Knutsford, Cheshire, to deliver 120 Christmas cards from users of foodbanks across Greater Manchester – together with a copy of the Walking the Breadline report and the following letter:

Dear George

Please find enclosed a copy of the report Walking the Breadline, which will not make happy Christmas reading.  It is estimated that at least 60,000 people will be going hungry this Christmas.

As you will be aware, the numbers of people turning to foodbanks has more than trebled since April, and the biggest reason given for this increase has been changes and cuts to welfare payments.

We are proud to have grown up in a country with a long tradition of ensuring that people who fall on hard times do not and up hungry and destitute.  Sadly, for far too many people neither work, nor the Welfare State, provides adequate protection against hunger.

Even in these times of austerity, we consider it to be a national disgrace that so many of our fellow citizens are going hungry.  One of the primary functions of Government must surely be to take measures to ensure that all its citizens are able to adequately feed themselves.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, we encourage you to reflect on these matters this Christmastide.

Christmas Goodwill and Peace to you!

Britain isn't eating poster

You can order your own A2 copy of our Britain Isn’t Eating poster to deliver to your MP by emailing Liam Purcell.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pressure mounting for an inquiry into the causes of hunger – add your voice!

Originally posted on A Fair Say:

Walking the BreadlineSince we published Walking the Breadline in May, we’ve been calling on the government to investigate how the benefits system is leaving people destitute and hungry. So far they have refused to act – but more and more voices are joining the call.

View original 286 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Time to tackle payday lenders

Loadsadebt imagePayday and other high-cost lenders are creating a tidal wave of misery by lending money to people who cannot afford the repayments

The following letter was published in the Times today (4 December):

Sir, Yesterday was the closing date for the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) consultation on tightening up consumer credit regulation. We write to urge the FCA to take robust action to prevent payday companies lending irresponsibly to people on low incomes. Payday and other high-cost lenders are creating a tidal wave of misery by lending money to people who cannot afford the repayments, trapping them in a cycle of debt and poverty. At a time when many people are really feeling the pinch, irresponsible lending risks pushing them over the edge, and causing serious and long-term damage to their finances, families and health.

Irresponsible lending practices also risk further undermining the roll-out of exacerbating hardship under Universal Credit — a central plank of the Government’s welfare reform programme — if payday and other irresponsible lenders exploit the move from fortnightly to monthly payment

Repeated calls for greater self-regulation by the high-cost lending industry have fallen on deaf ears.

The high-cost lending industry has proved to be incapable of effective self-regulation – it is now time for Government and regulators to step in and offer consumers the real protection against irresponsible lending practices that they deserve.

We urge the FCA to introduce — and properly enforce — regulations to: Stop payday lenders giving loans to people who can’t realistically afford to pay them back. Stop them rolling over loans and creating spiralling debt. Stop hidden or excessive charges. Stop them raiding borrowers’ bank accounts without their knowledge and leaving them in hardship. Stop irresponsible advertising and instead provide clear and transparent information. And require lenders to promote free and independent debt advice, and ensure they co-operate with other services to help people get out of debt.

Niall Cooper, Church Action on Poverty;
Right Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds;
Right Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield;
Helen O’Brien, Caritas Social Action Network;
Matt Barlow, Christians Against Poverty;
Rev Dr Michael Jagessar, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly;
Rev Stephen Keyworth, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

What if God was one of us?

If we are to celebrate the birth of the Homeless God, we must surely seek to understand the true face of what life without a home means in 2013, and sleeping rough is only part of it.

Nativity-SceneIs it time one of our most beloved and iconic Advent/Christmas traditions – the Nativity Scene – had a makeover?  But beyond the schmaltz and faux crib, stable and animals, can we really face the fact that God’s was born into a homeless family?

A couple of years ago, an alternative nativity scene which portrayed Mary and Joseph as twenty first century homeless people caused a stir with residents of a North Devon village. The life-size scene, in the window of a derelict shop on Chulmleigh’s Fore Street, showed two faceless adults huddled round a fire in an urban back-alley while the baby Jesus lies sleeping in a shopping basket.

The scene was completed by a cardboard box containing sleeping bags, copies of the Big Issue strewn across the floor and a brick wall with graffiti reading “What if God was one of us?”  Alongside was Jesus’ quote from Matthew’s gospel: “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

On the same tack, but in somewhat more calculated fashion, the Railway Children charity placed nine Nativity cribs in high profile locations across London, as part of a hard-hitting campaign designed to highlight the plight of thousands of children surviving on Britain’s streets without care.  The nine cribs represented the fact that there are just nine beds available nationwide, for the estimated 100,000 children who end up living rough each year, 30,000 of which are aged 12 or younger.

More incongruously, a 53-year-old man with nowhere to sleep on Saturday night was reported to have decided to warm himself up by stealing the three wise men’s garments from a full-size nativity scene standing in the centre of Essen in western Germany.

How do you respond to that?   What if it happened to a Nativity Scene near you?  How dare an actual homeless man desecrated or steal clothes from the Holy Homeless Family!

But what indeed, if Christ was born into a squalid squat, abandoned house, or empty caravan on the outskirts of your village, town or city?

Alastair Sloan recently took to task the sponsored sleep-out – a favourite fundraising strategy of many homelessness charities (and churches) up and down the country – in excoriorating terms:  “Jollies under the stars, making a mattress from cardboard and bedding down – these Bear Grylls excursions just perpetuate the myth that homelessness is about rough sleeping, and is therefore a much smaller problem than it really is.”

His language might have been a bit strong, but his fundamental point holds true: Rough sleeping is the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t begin to cover the extraordinary scope of homelessness. Each year homelessness affects around 400,000 people.

Imagine if “experiencing homelessness” was sold to you as it really is. Most homeless people do not sleep in the street. You would most likely be sofa surfing, squatting, staying in hostels or being passed around B&Bs by the local council.

Tens of thousands more homeless live in filthy squats, far out of reach of help. Hundreds of thousands more float from sofa to sofa, the legion of “hidden homeless.”

And countless thousands more may have a roof over their head, but hardly a place they can call home. With house prices now soaring above where they were before the economic crash, home ownership is moving ever further out of the reach of many families.  In London and other parts of the country, over-crowding is now rife, with one in nine of the capital’s dwellings having too few bedrooms for their occupants – and in Newham, the figure is a shocking one in four.

Ceecee’s experience is far from uncommon:   ‘I live in a one bedroom ground floor flat with my two boys who are aged three and eight. When I went to the council to ask how long it could take for me to move, they told me to turn my living room into a bedroom. I don’t know what to do because I’ve been doing everything and three years later I’m still here.’

It was not for nothing that the UN Special Rapporteur, Rachel Rolnik found on her visit to the UK in September that “Increasingly, people [in the UK] appear to be facing difficulties in accessing adequate, affordable, well-located and insecure housing.”

In spite of the brickbats she received for her efforts, her conclusion is worthy of repeating:   “The right to housing is not about a roof anywhere, at any cost, without any social ties. It is not about reshuffling people according to a snapshot of the number of bedrooms at a given night. It is about enabling environments for people to maintain their family and community bonds, their local schools, work places and health services allowing them to exercise all other rights, like education, work, food or health.”

I’m sure, if the Holy Family were discovered in a back alley near you this Christmas, their response would be “Amen to that.”

To download resources for Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (25 January – 2 February 2014) visit www.actionweek.org.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Drowning in Debt: The curse of modern day usury

Loadsadebt imageDebt is now big business – and everyone is affected. Debt damages many people’s lives – and all the more so if you are already struggling on a low income.  Church Action on Poverty’s latest report, Drowning in Debt, highlights the on-going injustices of modern day usury.

Take mum-of-five Donna, a member of our local partner organisation, Thrive in Stockton on Tees: “Everyone I know has doorstep lenders – family, friends. You don’t have the money to save when you’ve got children or you’re on benefits so you go to these places. But then you’re paying a thousand pounds for a second-hand washer.  Our fridge freezer is reconditioned. But it will still cost us just under a grand.  I had bailiffs coming to the door, and red letters all the time. I was scared to answer the phone. I was getting depressed. They threatened to come and take my goods from me if I didn’t pay. I was frightened. You’d get loan sharks in my neighbourhood coming to your door. You fall into it. They seem to target Christmas time, when they know people struggle. So you’re going to take that money just to give your kids a good Christmas.”

There has been an explosion in the market for payday loans in the last five years, since the credit crunch started to take its toll in the UK. However the problem of extortionate money lending has been around for a long time. Loan sharks have been operating in the UK for decades, preying on the most poor and vulnerable people and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

When I first started campaigning on what is euphemistically called ‘high cost credit’, the bad boys on the block were doorstep lenders charging interest rates in excess of 170%apr.  But more than one million people every month now take out ‘payday loans’ – short term loans typically in the region of £2-300 – at interest rates of up to a shocking 5,500% apr.   Payday lenders are not only growing rapidly, but are also hugely profitable.  In September, Wonga, the market leader, reported pre-tax profits of £84.5m for 2012, an increase of over a third on the previous year.

The repayments on a month-long payday loan can start off at an affordable rate, but quickly become unmanageable when payments cannot be made on time and loans are ‘rolled-over’ from one month to the next. People who borrow a few hundred pounds can end up paying back thousands. Half of the people who take out payday loans find that they cannot afford the repayments leading them to take out further loans and spiral into unmanageable debt.

For many people, borrow is the only way to pay for everyday expenditure on food, birthdays, school uniforms, Christmas, let alone a new cooker, or a weeks’ holiday once in a while.  A recent survey commissioned by Which? revealed that 400,000 people are using payday loans to pay for food and fuel bills and 240,000 people are using the loans simply to pay off existing debts.

In previous generations usury – charging interest on lending money – was viewed as a sin and strongly condemned by the Church.  The Israelites’ exile and enslavement in Egypt was a direct consequence of debt and economic misfortune “Our money is all spent.. There is nothing left… Buy us and our land in exchange for food.  We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh.. “

Now is the time for the Church to speak out about this modern day usury. 

Current legislation in the UK offers vulnerable customers virtually no protection against unscrupulous or extortionate moneylenders.  Interest rate ceilings apply in various forms in Germany, France, many US states, Canada, and Australia.   Yet to date, the Government has resisted calls for the introduction of an interest rate ceiling in the UK.

Please send a message to the new Financial Conduct Authority asking them to make lenders behave responsibly http://action.church-poverty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=128&ea.campaign.id=22647

But beyond tighter regulation, what can be done?  How can cheap credit be made available to those who need it most? 

Credit Unions – mutual savings and loan cooperatives – provide a fantastic vehicle for mobilising the savings and assets of the whole community in an equitable and inclusive way.   Walk down virtually any high street in Ireland, and you are likely to see the offices of the local Credit Union.  In many areas in the UK churches have played a leading role in supporting the development of Credit Unions, providing space for weekly collection points, volunteers, committee members, and actively encouraging their own churches to join.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is looking for the churches to champion their cause.

So have you joined your local credit union yet?

As ‘Jo’ said at a CAP event more than a decade ago: “People are still trapped in debt and poverty. When will change come?”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment