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We had a fantastic response to our email announcing The Advent Sleepout Challenge 2015. Lots of you have already said that you will be holding your own sleepouts. And the great news is, the Advent Sleepout Challenge website is now live, so you can start to get organised!
What’s the challenge all about?
This Advent, people all over England will be sleeping out with friends, families, churches and community groups in spaces transformed into Advent ‘stables’. This could be in churches, community halls, scout huts or even garden sheds. The aim is to come together, have fun and raise sponsorship money that will help Church Urban Fund reach out to some of England’s most marginalised people.
What to do next
The first thing is to visit www.sleepoutchallenge.org.uk
On the website you can download the toolkit which is packed with useful resources, tips and advice to make sure your event is a huge success. You’ll also find video ‘How To’ guides to take you through the registration process and how to invite people to your event.
Make Advent really special this year
The Advent Sleepout Challenge is your chance to do something really special in the build up to Christmas. It will bring communities together and give hope and support to thousands of people across England.
So please take the challenge and help us transform even more lives.
The Church Urban Fund Team
Imagine a future where every individual and community in England is flourishing
Leave a legacy that will continue transforming lives for years to come…
Long-term supporter, Steve Purcell, recently showed his passion to see the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in England transformed.
When his mother passed away, Steve transferred his share of his mother’s legacy to Church Urban Fund. In her memory, Steve asked that his gift benefit projects working with the elderly to break down the barriers that lead to isolation and loneliness.
Watch Steve as he visits two of the twelve projects his gift supported
Help make our vision for the future become a reality today.
Many of our supporters told us that our in- memory envelopes are a really positive way to commemorate the life of a loved one. They are often used as an alternative option to flowers.
Contact our resources team on firstname.lastname@example.org to order your free in-memory envelopes
Church Urban Fund and Edinburgh University’s Divinity School, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, are hosting a series of events that will bring people from different disciplines and sectors to talk about poverty issues. So far two of the four events have taken place:
Growing Stronger Together: how can we build flourishing communities?
A Silent Epidemic: how can we share one another’s loneliness?
Follow the links to download reports of the events and to listen to the presentations delivered by key speakers including Maurice Glasman, Prof Luke Bretherton and Prof John Swinton.
Homelessness: are we really helping?
Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland, a joint venture between Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of York, recently hosted an event on the theme of homelessness.
Gathering together a large group of practitioners from local homelessness agencies, faith-based charities and the local authority, the day was a chance to reflect on how these agencies could work together to more effectively transform the lives of the homeless.
Read the summary of the talks and discussions from the day.
Money Matters Conference
Join us on November 5th in Manchester at our Money Matters National Conference. Hear from Sir Hector Sants, head of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s task group on responsible credit and savings, Karen Rowlingson, Professor of Social Policy at Birmingham University, and Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, executive director of the Centre for Theology and Community in London.
Financial exclusion is one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time.
Through the conference we want to bring together church leaders, church members, activists and community-based practitioners to:
Build understanding of financial exclusion
Reflect theologically on what a fairer and more inclusive financial system could look like
Showcase a variety of efforts to build financial inclusion and build the capacity of participants to join in those efforts in their local community
Read our latest blog on some of the realities of financial exclusion.
Inspired? Get your tickets for the conference.
Share Your Harvest
Our Harvest Resources are ready to download!
This year we’re encouraging churches to praise and thank God for His abundant provision using our preaching notes and reflection, and our prayers.
Take action this Harvest by sharing with those in our society who have less. You could organise a Harvest Supper fundraiser to help us continue to support those most in need.
Download the resources.
School Uniforms for Families Seeking Asylum
Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland are supporting an appeal for second hand school uniforms in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Stockton on Tees. They are hoping to collect enough uniforms to organise a day when families seeking asylum can go to a venue to choose school uniforms for their children’s schools before the new term starts.
If you can help please get in touch with Bini Araium, Investing in People and Culture, on 07411157589.
Donations are being taken within the next two weeks at the IPC, the basement of the John Paul Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 5AU
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Church Urban Fund
Church House, Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3NZ
Thank you for supporting Poverty Sunday!
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who organised a frugal lunch or Poverty Sunday service, and to all those who attended!
From cheese and bread to soup and a roll you have all been working hard to help raise vital funds to tackle poverty in England. Some of you even had frugal brunches!
You told us some of the ways Poverty Sunday helped you think about poverty in your community…
St James’ Church in Bolton used a map to think about the people they could share grace with in their lives.
All Saints’, Evesham used sticky notes to write down ways they could tackle poverty in their community and pinned them on a board.
Your valued support goes toward helping people like Dave.
Dave found himself alone and on the street, completely hopeless, until the Joel project in Kingston Upon Thames, stepped in.
They gave Dave the space and support to turn his life around and now he is able to talk about overcoming his difficulties and his hope for a new life.
And the good news is there is still time to hold your own frugal lunch and help transform more lives.
Just to let you know Poverty Sunday 2016 will be on Sunday June 12th!
Come along to our Money Matters National Conference.
This year at our National Conference we will be exploring the issues surrounding financial exclusion. We want to help you bring the best advice and service in this area.
It is often the poorest and most vulnerable in our society who find themselves being charged more for basic goods and paying extortionately high interest rates, and we want to see an end to this.
Join us in Manchester on November 5th to hear from keynote speakers Sir Hector Sants, Professor Karen Rowlingson and Canon Dr Angus Ritchie.
Poverty Sunday on 21 June gives us an opportunity to reflect on issues of poverty in England. But poverty isn’t just about a lack of money or material wealth. This Poverty Sunday we want to remember the millions of people who are affected by the modern epidemic of loneliness and isolation. There are nearly 5 million people in this country who say they have no close friends.
In this short film Valerie reflects on how it used to be:
At Church Urban Fund we’re working to turn this problem around
With help from Church Urban Fund, churches and projects are working to hold out the hand of love and friendship to their communities. Churches like St Paul’s in west Hackney who with support from Church Urban Fund reached out to their local senior citizens with a weekly 1940s style afternoon tea and entertainment, to help break down loneliness and isolation.
With loneliness and isolation a growing problem, will you help us do more?
Valerie is clear about the benefit she found from attending these events. Will you help us with a gift today, so that we’re able to support more churches and groups as they work to break down the loneliness and isolation in their communities? We’re working with churches and organisations all over the country that are reaching out to people like Valerie – who are lonely, or homeless, or new to an area, where they can find support and flourish. Just like it used to be.
Thank-you for your time.
With every blessing
Manchester Diocese is advertising the new position of Greater Together Manchester Development Worker in collaboration with the Church Urban Fund. I would be grateful if you would circulate the details to the network with a request to share as widely as possible:
Many thanks, Alison
Alison Peacock, Mission Planning Officer, Diocese of Manchester
Tel: 0161 828 1447
Here’s another useful resource for Lent. Does anyone else have anything they have prepared, or are aware of? It would be good to compile a list to go on our website.
Hope for Lent
Disenchantment with our political and economic systems is running very high.
So where might we find genuine hope – hope that will not disappoint us?
Christians believe that any hope we can really trust must have its source in the grace and love of God. That’s more than a pious platitude: in the midst of so much cynicism and disappointment, the Church is both showing and telling a different way to live.
Hope, Actually is a five week Lent course which explores the hope we find in Jesus Christ, and its power to transform our increasingly anxious and cynical society. www.cuf.org.uk/lentresources
Each session has a mix of discussion, Bible study (on that Sunday’s lectionary readings) and video stories. It ends with suggestions for prayer and ideas for action.
The latest edition of Together Tackling Poverty is available at http://cuf-news.org.uk/5DF-2U3RK-79AJY2LG67/cr.aspx
Harvest celebrations may be far from your thoughts right now, but we wanted to let you know that Church Urban Fund resources for Harvest are now available on our website. Continue reading Tackling poverty together – harvest resources
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Poverty Sunday – 22nd June 2014
This is a time to reflect on issues of poverty in this country and how churches and individual Christians respond.
How does poverty affect your local area? Find out about poverty near you by using our online poverty look-up tool.
Poverty impacts on every aspect of people’s lives. You can find out about how we define poverty and how we respond, here.
Look out for our Poverty Sunday resources for churches and individuals (including prayers and a sermon outline), which will be available later this month.
Church Urban Fund resources and multiplies the great work that churches are already doing to tackle poverty all over England. For every £1 raised by churches and individuals in 2013, Church Urban Fund invested £4.50 to make this work more strategic, effective and sustainable.
Can you or your church get involved by holding a Poverty Sunday service and collection for Church Urban Fund?
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From Bethany Eckley, Research Manager
I thought I might forward to you Church Urban Fund’s latest policy paper: The Web of Poverty.
This paper sets out our organisational understanding of poverty; what is it and how does it affect people’s lives?
We find it helpful to think about poverty as a web of interlinked factors that together, have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to flourish. As such, we group the diverse aspects of poverty into three categories: poverty of resources, relationship and identity.
The paper also explains our approach to tackling poverty and how, through our Together Network, we seek to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in England. It shows that our aim is to inform, inspire, resource and support churches as they work to tackle poverty and build strong, flourishing communities.
If you would like any hard copies of this report, please let me know.
Very best wishes,
from Bethany Eckley Research Manager, CUF
I thought I might forward to you some research we have done at Church Urban Fund about how to grow and strengthen the credit union sector. The report is called ‘Money Speaks Louder than Words: credit unions and the role of the Church in tackling financial exclusion’.
The Department for Work and Pensions has said that in order to become sustainable, the credit union sector needs to grow from 1 to 2 million members in the next 5 to 7 years. The Church is well-placed to make a significant contribution to this growth.
Our research shows that churchgoers are twice as likely as others to support credit unions. Many believe that churches should actively support credit unions, in order to strengthen alternatives to payday loans. The research also identifies the steps that need to be taken to significantly increase membership of credit unions amongst churchgoers in future.
The full research findings will be presented at a General Synod fringe event at 1.15pm on Wednesday 12 February.
If you would like to attend this event, or if you would like to request hard copies of the Executive Summary, please do email me.
Very best wishes,