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Category Archives: FoodBanks

Christian values in the UK today…

Every so often there is a call in some of the press about the UK being a Christian nation, and that we should have Christian values. But then again there is also the saying to be careful for what you wish because you might just get it.

So at the end of a week when there is what I can only see as a created controversy over the inclusion or not of “Easter” in the name of some events. We have on the one hand those who say that it is all bad because some lumps of chocolate (wrapped in foil with pirates, robots and princesses on) that are hunted for don’t have the name Easter associated with them. As Mark Steel puts it “Theresa May is right: if we let someone drop ‘Easter’ off an egg hunt, we may as well hand Britain to the jihadis

But of course this is in the same week that the Churches raised the issues of child poverty and the effects changes in the benefits system on this. Of course this is not new, as the the item from the Joint Public Issues Team highlights, there have been a number of reports and items raised on this. Going back to 2015 there was the Enough campaign. And even further back the church has been raising such issues. What also surfaced for me this week was a piece in the Guardian where (the then) Victoria Coren defended the Bishops of the Church of England for standing up for children in the befits system – and this was back in 2012.

 

So what are Christian values, to me the latter set of standing up for the poor, the oppressed, being a voice for the voiceless. As it is put in the letter of James

26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

and then there is continual call in Deuteronomy about how we care for the widow, orphan and stranger, with just two examples below.

1018 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing.

2417 You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge.

So for me once we have sorted out what can be seen as core Christian values; as come from Jesus him self, and of course he then goes on to explain who a neighbour is

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27 He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ (Luke 10:25-28)

And for who is my neighbour – Luke 10:25-37

 

Then we can try for the minor things like chocolate eggs…

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“Faith in Foodbanks”, supproting them in fact a prayer

Well more about Foodbanks, with some resources now to support them, with both facts and prayers, from the folks at the JPIT. As Ruth Gee blogs and the info about it for the Press.

 

http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/faithinfoodbanks/

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in FoodBanks, Seen by the outside

 

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Food banks today

Today the numbers came out about how many are using food banks

Food banks see ‘shocking’ rise in number of users up by 51%, and the Churches voiced their anger at this not at the people needing the food, but that they needed to use food banks.

Along with this the church leaders put out a letter about food poverty issues, that appeared in the Guardian, which also reported on the issue. The letter is part of the End Hunger Fast campaign. And I’m glad to say that my name appears among the many.

A small contribution to raising a voice for those who need it, by those of us who can.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in FoodBanks, Ministry

 

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Food Banks

What are foodbanks for?

I’d say that they are a short-term solution for the individual in need. And that being aware of this position – short-term solution for the individual, and the larger problems with the system – the local foodbank here has written into the document that each of the churches who support it sign up to an undertaking to

“To act as they deem necessary to lessen the need for the Food Bank through campaigning for social justice”

The foodbank knows that it is a sticking plaster, but is one that also then turns to the churches and calls them to be the voice for the voiceless. The foodbank also has as a key aim the need to close due to lack of demand for the service it provides.

As to the direct need of those around, I will take Nehemiah 8:9-10 and Matthew 25:34-36 as a guide. But also take the lessons about mammon and witness of the prophets as to unfair measures.

Having spent sometime thinking about this – and hoping to do some more about the topic and get it written so it can be engaged with – I think we need both foodbanks and food coops. The first is there to meet needs in an emergency or crisis (to reach out and feed those who have no food), then the second is there for the long term need for food that people can access.

I think the bigger issue is when the two objectives get mixed up, foodbanks are not there in my understanding for long term support, however they do fill a need. Food coops it seems to me fill the long term need around accessing food, however can not give food in a crisis. Thus the two can be seen to complement each other.

However I also think that the church needs to do some theological thinking around these – not instead of doing, but alongside it. This is to work out why we are doing it, and how to best do it.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in FoodBanks, Ministry, Seen by the outside

 

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