Does charity without justice sustain injustice?
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Last week was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This week it’s Poverty and Homelessness Action Week. For Christians of all traditions, charity and justice go together. We want all human beings to flourish and we’re tired of mopping up after a system that generates poverty and inequality.
Watch the video ‘50 Ways to Close the Foodbank’ This is a song by some Canadian volunteers who began helping at a foodbank in 1990 thinking they would lend a hand for a couple of years; they are still doing it 22 years later.
Against this backdrop, it's heartening that other common good initiatives are happening and we’re delighted to be collaborating with some of them. There is undoubtedly a wind of change underway. Do share with us what you know about this fast moving picture.
This week, on Wednesday 29 January, Housing Justice is holding Housing for the Common Good, a seminar in London, 6 – 8pm. Book online http://bit.ly/LvgQnM
The new Common Rights Project is alerting us that homeless people are, effectively, denied access to water, shelter, sanitation and food, access to all of which the United Nations defines as a human right. http://www.commonrights.org.uk
In the first half of this year we are writing up our research report and preparing the groundwork for our book. We are collaborating with others and planning an event. We are working entirely pro bono so if you can offer us financial support we’d love to hear from you. In the meantime we have been working hard collecting material to share with you.
We were impressed with a speech given by David Blunkett MP at the Centre for Social Justice recently: 'Politics is not a spectator sport – Alienation affects us all’. And we want to honour the memory of our friend Paul Goggins MP, an inspirational man against whom we want to benchmark our own values, our personal and political behaviour. He knew that Christianity and social justice are 'inextricably linked'
On the T4CG Blog John Ellison leads us in a series of short meditations linking Pope Francis' insights in Evangelii Gaudium with everyday life. Looking at online bingo, he sees that 'the agenda setters of contemporary society are not overly concerned with the concept of solidarity.' Meanwhile, David Clark introduces The Kingdom at Work Project, offering a new communal model of work and a servant model of institutions based on Celtic, Jesuit, Methodist and Quaker traditions and drawing on Catholic Social Teaching. Join the discussion.
Take a look at our Storify here - it’s a quick way to see what’s been happening recently and if you’re curious about Twitter this will give you an insight.
We recommend Marcia Pally’s book ‘The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good’. With a foreword by John Milbank, this book tracks signs of change in the American evangelical movement, with a growing number whose political affiliation is becoming less tribal as they focus on poverty relief, environmental stewardship and immigration reform. Find this and lots of new stuff in our growing Resources pages.
For an international perspective on welfare myths, mortgages, personal debt, food banks, poverty and the minimum wage, have a look at this article (with graphs) by Simon Duffy on what's really going on.
We hope your own work is going well. We are always pleased to hear from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch - after all, we're working Together for the Common Good.
Every best wish for 2014,
Together for the Common Good
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Together for the Common Good is guided by a Steering Group: Tim Livesey, Revd Dr Peter McGrail, Rt Revd Stephen Platten (Chair), Professor Hilary Russell, Revd Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, Jenny Sinclair.
© T4CG 2014. www.togetherforthecommongood.co.uk