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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