Churches are being urged to renew efforts to tackle deprivation this Poverty Sunday (June 22).
The Church Urban Fund has released a resource which reveals the levels of poverty in every parish.
Statistics showing the number of adults with no qualifications, poverty among working age adults and child poverty can each be found for every parish, and as an average for each diocese.
The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker is calling for prayer and a pledge to act in support of the Poverty Sunday campaign being run by CUF.
Through a nationwide network of joint ventures with dioceses CUF is offering fresh ways of both supporting churches in their practical activity in local communities and providing them with the tools they need to speak up and speak out with real traction about what is happening locally.
The resources include the Poverty Look Up Tool, which provides information about a variety of poverty indicators for every parish throughout England. The tool is available online at http://www.cuf.org.uk/poverty and as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
The statistics show there are people struggling with poverty in areas of every diocese – often with parishes within miles of each other showing great disparity.
The Bishop of Manchester, Rt Rev David Walker, a trustee of CUF, said:
“The widespread effects of poverty can be felt in every parish in this country. For this reason, I’m urging the church to pray and pledge to act this Poverty Sunday.
“Whether it’s struggling with benefits and having to rely on foodbanks, or coping with isolation and low self-esteem, the church has a vital role to play in addressing the needs of so many in our society.”
The Rev Paul Hackwood, Executive Chairman of CUF, said:
“Poverty Sunday is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on one of its primary callings, to show compassion to the poorest in society.’ All Christian people are called to take poverty seriously and we hope that these resources will equip the Church to effectively reach every community to tackle poverty.”
For further information call the Church of England Press Office on 0207 898 1326
Dioceses who are part of the CUF Together network are:
Southwell and Nottingham
West Yorkshire and the Dales (Bradford)
The Poverty Look Up Tool is available online at the link below, and available on the app store for iOS, and Google Play for Android-equipped devices:
Church Urban Fund is about Christians tackling poverty together to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in England. It was established in 1987.
Church Urban Fund works with over 300 community projects. These projects offer debt counseling, family support, children’s after-school and breakfast clubs, parenting advice, addiction advice and residential treatment, mental health support, food banks, help with re-housing, advocacy, befriending and mentoring with young people, job clubs and skills training, community development and support for elderly or disabled people.
Further resources including prayers and sermon outlines will also be available on the Church Urban Fund website, at:
Church Urban Fund was established as a registered charity in 1987 (charity number 297483) following the publication of the landmark report, Faith in the City. The charity is governed by a board of Trustees who delegate responsibilities for the running of the organisation to the Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team; our Patron is HM the Queen and our President is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.