The church buildings warned to organize for the tidal wave of poverty.

The church buildings warned to organize for the tidal wave of poverty.

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Christian charity The Trussell Trust reported an increase in demand for emergency food packages during the pandemic(Photo: The Trussell Trust)

As church leaders study government policies and find out how safely they can open their churches to public worship, they are asked to be ready to respond to the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the poorest people in the country.

The impact on urban, suburban and rural communities is likely to be severe as jobs are lost and livelihoods are threatened. The poorest in society may be hardest hit.

Churches are encouraged to respond to the devastating effects of the pandemic and build on the many existing social projects.

The Trussell Trust, which supports around 1200 British food banks, warns of a “tidal wave of poverty” that could engulf the country.

Managing Director Emma Revie has asked church leaders to speak to their communities about justice and compassion, and to work on the causes of poverty.

At a Bible Society webinar, she encouraged Church leaders to "increasingly speak with their congregations about God's concern for justice and compassion to characterize the structures of our society: how our service system works, how our economy works, employment conditions, and the People's wages. " Levels. "

Revie said the Trussell Trust was "very clear that food banks are not a solution to poverty", and the charity wanted "to see people who experience a wealth of life and are not trapped in poverty".

She praised the important role churches play in running food banks and asked the congregations "when we pray for our food banks to give room to complain about the injustices they actually need and for wisdom about them to look for how we could be. " Part of the change. "

"Because if we don't deal with these things, the tidal wave of poverty will be too high and too strong for us to respond to, and we'll see that there are many more people in poverty in Britain," she said.

On a webinar entitled "Mission During Lockdown and Beyond", the Bible Society published research that shows that church leaders expect increased demand for food banks, poverty alleviation, mental health care, bereavement support, relationship counseling, and courses such as Alpha People in the Christian faith.

The findings are consistent with other church leaders' reactions to the impact of the pandemic. Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton-Jones, warned in May of a Church of England webinar that the pandemic would lead to the growth of the "precariat", the number of people who have zero-hour contracts or juggle multiple jobs, to survive.

The bishop predicted an increase in tensions between generations, with the future particularly bleak for many young people who have lost their jobs and those who live in insecure rental housing.

In "Eleven Things to Consider When We Emerge from a Pandemic," Bishop Burton-Jones also highlighted how professions that deal with words – like politicians and the media – lose confidence, but those that care take care of the body such as the NHS has increased in reputation. Christians need to be seen to care and authentic evangelism needs a demonstration of love, he argued.

Other findings included reviving bottom-up creativity, including volunteering at the local level, the importance of final recognition of mental health, and the risk that extremists would take advantage of the "decline in public truth" in our society.

The social role of the churches during the pandemic was praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer at this week's national parliamentary prayer breakfast.

However, a Theos Think Tank report on "Religious London," published last week, argues that politicians and officials, while turning to religious communities in crisis, tend to overlook the important ongoing work of religious communities.

The report argued that London's leaders and policymakers should take greater account of religious communities and their important role in providing social welfare across the capital.

Speakers at the launch included Lewisham East MP Janet Daby, Shadow Secretary of Faith, who urged religious groups to become more involved in politics and better understand the role of denominations in the life of the capital.

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