This is my first entry into the wonderful world of blogging….  As National Coordinator of Church Action on Poverty (www.church-poverty.org.uk) I’m going to use this on an experimental basis to post some observations on poverty in the media and any other random thoughts that come my way. If you’ve suggestions as to what you want to read from me, please leave a message below..


3 Responses to About

  1. Adrian Wait says:

    An open letter

    Dear Each & All,
    Please give me a moment of your time to read a reflection on a question I was recently asked by a dear friend…

    “How Do I Feel?”

    A reasonable question, a caring and considerate enquiry one that is much appreciated:

    ·£18 Billion cuts demonise and demolish welfare…
    ·Housing benefit cut would make London ‘unaffordable’
    ·Archbishop of York said: “I am not an economist, and I am not a politician, but to cut investment to vital public services, and to withdraw investment from communities, is madness. You do not escape an economic downturn by cutting investment and by squashing aspirations..”

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    ·chief executive of Shelter, said “We are concerned this could mean tens of thousands of households forced from the centre, creating concentrations of poverty and inequality and adding to the already significant levels of homelessness and overcrowding in the city.”
    ·Archbishop of York said: “The Government has signalled for a long time that cuts must be put in place to tackle the economic deficit. The CSR is the swinging axe that follows the cuddly blanket and soothing words of ‘The Big Society’
    ·Cuts to council budgets threaten care for elderly and disabled…

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    ·Archbishop of York said: “When will the Government have the guts to tackle the huge bank bonus culture. This is a gravy train that is running out of control. Urgent action is needed. “The promotion of social justice should be a primary moral imperative for any government, and for every publicly funded institution.”
    ·A Prime Minister worth at least £4m in his own right tells us we are “all in this together”. A Chancellor who has never known anything but privilege declares that half a million jobs will be lost – and is cheered by his fellow MPs.
    ·Many within church leadership want to speak up, but, have their moral authority undermined by the way the Church behaves. Like when the Archbishops railed against hedge funds, only to be told the Church had lost a billion from its assets, including millions in, … Erm,, hedge funds!
    ·How did we become a society in which a young man can earn 200,000 a week for kicking a football… When it comes to self-centeredness – being obsessed with its own form, fitness and survival above all else – right now the Church of England puts Wayne Rooney to shame.

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    The CofE is tearing itself, disestablishment is happening by default. The character of the nation is changing. All the old certainties we used to guide us are gone, or crumbling. People are floundering, real people not statistics. I received my ‘re-evaluation form for ESA in late September early October – to be completed by the 11th November – it was complete within a week and returned. Despite having a further three months until I am required to forward another sick ness certificate – which I can only do for a six moth period. This is due in January.
    However, on Saturday the 30th October at 5pm I received a telephone call from the DWP, Department of Works and Pensions, I was shocked by the call… 5pm on a Saturday evening? Where they expecting me to be at the “Match” or in the “Pub” or preparing to dine out at the states expense?

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    The telephone conversation was to tell me I was to attend a further medical evaluation on Tuesday November 17th 11am. I asked the caller if this was part of the purge by the coalition government sustained pressures designed to cause anxiety and in some cases ill health? I was told that the caller had had to call cancer patients and do the same it was policy. I reminded him that we were now entering the area where people would say, “I am only doing my job”. He seemed quite contrite, and was only doing his job. I requested confirmation in writing, which should arrive on Wednesday. But, the heavy sense of injustice, painful as it is, is not has difficult to face than knowing that there are so many, too may individuals facing this callousness alone. It is almost unbearable to carry this weight.

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    The squalid anthem of derision for the most vulnerable that accompanied the cruellest sections of George Osborne’s spending review statement seems to have brought little response from the Christian community. One cannot imagine the Hebrew prophets, or the writer of James, maintaining such complicit silence.

    Perhaps the forthcoming “Year of the Bible” will provide a platform for more active engagement; for a rereading of God’s priorities against the regressive inequality that Osborne’s statement promised? A foundation could be laid from Paul’s “Galatian Manifesto”, where he outlines qualities defined as “the fruit of the Spirit”, which form direct contrasts to the social-slash-and burn coalition agenda. (Galatians5.22-25)

    “How Do I feel?” …How do they feel?

    Jesus declares his manifesto of intent in the midst of a time of oppression. It was a declaration of hope then, and we need a declaration of hope now, for the many people whose lives are going to be profoundly changed by the reduction in public spending. The Fairness Council could commit itself to a statement that “We will not abandon the vulnerable or fail to hold our Government to account in its commitment to fairness.” It is time for an old manifesto to be declared afresh with new intent:

    “The Spirit of the Lord is on
    me because he has anointed me to
    preach good news to the poor. He
    has sent me to proclaim freedom for
    the prisoners and recovery of sight
    for the blind, to release the
    oppressed, to proclaim the year of
    the Lord’s favour.”

    Is it time for a ‘Fairness Council’ a federation of groups, churches action groups to call the government to account – at least let the bullies know they are being monitored and their actions will be revealed in the light of day. (Further info: Contact; Rev ROB MERCHANT, The Rectory, Over Old Road, Hartpury Gloucestershire GL19 3BJ)

    Oh… “How do I feel?” …. I’m fine…like so many others who will end the day by turning out the light. Like so many others I feel bruised, perhaps fractured but not broken, hurt but not beaten…I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I know who holds it. Through Grace alone I hope to run the race and complete the course.

    Yours in faith,


  2. Adrian Wait says:

    Please find below a reflection dedicated to the most professional community development workers there is – The Community Itself.

    Poverty and Memory loss.

    When was the last time I bought new clothes?
    I can’t remember

    When was the last time I had a holiday?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last purchase on a whim?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last go to the Cinema?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last purchase a newspaper or a book?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last have money in my pocket?
    I can’t remember

    When did I become surplus to requirement?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last socialise?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last feel useful?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last trust politicians?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last go to church?
    I can’t remember

    When did I last feel like a Person?
    I can’t remember

    When did I lose my Faith?
    Never, thanks be to God

    When did I become Invisible?
    I can’t remember

    When did poverty become History?
    When hell froze over – or wristbands sold out

    When was the last time I had dignity?
    Yesterday, Today, and Forever
    Sola Deo Gloria.

    Adrian Wait.

    Dedicated to the worlds
    “Nobodies” who are more than ‘somebodies’
    to God, family and loved ones.

  3. Marius Zărnescu says:

    God bless you. I started to write in English. I hope I can be useful around here… So, if you need ..I can share some of your stuff on my blog as well. Take care, Marius

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