We start our Shelter Project next week and at St John’s this Sunday we will be hearing about the work of Crossway Pregnancy Crisis Centre. But beyond this, there is a lot the church in London is doing to care for vulnerable people.
Andy Burns, Executive Director of Capital Mass, and Alison Tsang from Just Finance gave an enthusiastic and inspiring talk to the Hounslow Deanery Synod earlier this month. Capital Mass aims to engage and support every parish in the Diocese of London in tackling poverty and inequality. It does this by providing an extensive range of resources through its website, online newsletter and events. Parishes are encouraged to register local initiatives so that experience can be shared across the diocese. So far 240 projects addressing poverty have been registered. Other projects cover issues such as homelessness, modern day slavery and assisting refugees.
Proverbs 31:8-9 reminds us that we should “speak out for those who cannot speak” and “defend the rights of the poor and needy”, Capital Mass also campaigns for social justice and employs an expert immigration lawyer as Refugee Response Co-ordinator. The Just Finance Foundation is a separate part of Capital Mass, focusing on providing advice and assistance in cases of financial crisis, e.g. job loss, housing, funeral costs and debt.
Capital mass links up parishes online so that those considering starting projects can be in touch with others who are running or considering similar initiatives such as drop-in centres, lunch clubs, English language tuition.
Building on the success of the Shelter project Hounslow in which we participate, maybe we could consider whether there are other areas in which our church might seek to offer help to people in need. Do have a look at the website and speak to Dave if you have any suggestions.