A golden thread of hope

Good SocietyChurches and community groups across the UK are talking about what makes a Good Society, and how we can work together to make it real. Church Action on Poverty is  hearing from these conversations what a Good Society would look like in neighbourhoods and communities, and what is preventing it from taking shape. Amanda Bickerton, our National Community Linkworker, shares what we’ve heard so far.

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Visions of the Good Society: Plaid Cymru

Good-Society-logoWe’re working with churches across the UK to share visions of a Good Society – first at events on Church Action on Poverty Sunday, and then by holding General Election hustings events based on the churches’ Vision of a Good Society.

By sharing our own vision, we hope churches can challenge politicians to talk more about their own positive visions, and less about short-term problems and negative issues. So we’ve asked Christian politicians and candidates of all parties to share their reactions to our 2020 Vision of the Good Society, and talk about their own aspirations.

To avoid any bias in our presentation, we’ve selected the order of these guest blogs at random. This one is from Plaid Cymru.

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The Resilient City

Victoria Hall Methodist ChurchFather Shaun Smith, chair of Church Action on Poverty in Sheffield, shares some thoughts and reflections following the group’s Church Action on Poverty Sunday service in Victoria Hall Methodist Church on 15 February:

We had a congregation of more than 60 people. Canon Nick Jowett prepared and led the service, with the assistance of Revd Jonathan Haigh who hosted the service as minister of Victoria Hall.

We heard different voices from people who had been asked to share their visions of what makes a good society (caring for each other, offering love and support, feeling safe, and open to all), and then we shared our responses with our neighbours in church.

Readings from Jeremiah 29:1-7 and Matthew 5:3-16 then led us into a thoughtful sermon from Canon Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.  Drawing on his involvement with the Faith in the City report in the 1980s and reflecting on how things have changed since then, he spoke about spiritual poverty at all levels of society and the role of the church. His address appears below, after the break.

We said together this prayer at the end of the service:

Loving God, you made us in your image and inspire us with your story. Bless us with dreams and visions which are big enough to see your kingdom. Strengthen our hands and hearts as we work with Church Action on Poverty towards that good society where the promise of fullness of life is real for each and every one. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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Visions of the Good Society: Stephen Lloyd (Liberal Democrat)

Good-Society-logoWe’re working with churches across the UK to share visions of a Good Society – first at events on Church Action on Poverty Sunday, and then by holding General Election hustings events based on the churches’ Vision of a Good Society.

By sharing our own vision, we hope churches can challenge politicians to talk more about their own positive visions, and less about short-term problems and negative issues. So we’ve asked Christian politicians and candidates of all parties to share their reactions to our 2020 Vision of the Good Society, and talk about their own aspirations.

To avoid any bias in our presentation, we’ve selected the order of these guest blogs at random. This third one is by Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on RE in schools.

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Visions of the Good Society: Stephen Timms (Labour)

Good-Society-logoWe’re working with churches across the UK to share visions of a Good Society – first at events on Church Action on Poverty Sunday, and then by holding General Election hustings events based on the churches’ Vision of a Good Society.

By sharing our own vision, we hope churches can challenge politicians to talk more about their own positive visions, and less about short-term problems and negative issues. So we’ve asked Christian politicians and candidates of all parties to share their reactions to our 2020 Vision of the Good Society, and talk about their own aspirations.

To avoid any bias in our presentation, we’ve selected the order of these guest blogs at random. This third one is by Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham and chair of Christians on the Left.

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