“CUF was established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need and has been active in local communities for over 30-years. Our vision is to see people and communities all over England flourish and enjoy life in all its fullness.”
“…David Primrose wants you to know about the launch of our research Christians in Practice, which will take place on Thursday 19 October 2017 in the West Midlands.”
“Our research, backed by CUF, Arthur Rank Centre, and the dioceses of Lichfield and Birmingham, has surveyed over 1,000 Church of England churchgoers in 32 congregations, and we’re interviewing 30 individuals in depth, to explore how Christians regard the connection between faith and practice. Like our previous research, What Helps Disciples Grow, we’re shaping a research report and launch event to provide practical learning for the church. The results are pouring in at the moment. The responses I’m seeing to questions like ‘how could your church help you connect your faith and your community activity?’ promise some very interesting reflection on the day.”
“If you’re interested, please put the date in your diary. We’ll add your name to our regular mailing list and send you more details in the coming weeks.”
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.
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 email@example.com 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
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.
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:
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.
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10 million rely on church community, new research shows
New research conducted for Church Urban Fund, shows that 10 million adults a year use community services provided by churches and church-run organisations. This is more than half of all those who access these services. The wide range of support includes food banks, luncheon clubs and night shelters along with relationship courses, financial advice and access to computers and the internet.
In a foreword to the Church Urban Fund/ Theos report Good Neighbours: How Churches Help Communities Flourish, launched yesterday in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “This report demonstrates the scale and nature of that love for neighbour in practical action. It shows that relationships are at the heart of every community, and that churches are at the heart of local communities. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Church is part of the solution for building community blessing at every level.”
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?
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,
A network of people passionate that the Church engages with the issues of our communities