Churches from all denominations are preparing to 'break barriers' in Poverty and Homelessness Action Week 2012, say organisers.
The week takes place from 28 January to 5 February. Over 100 events are planned across England, including flash mobs in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, discussions in Sheffield, arts events in London and Cambridge, baking in Leicester, a fair in Nottingham, and numerous sleep-outs and prayer services.
The week also sees the launch of a new winter night shelter project in Birmingham and a community news service run by homeless people in Leicester.
Poverty and Homelessness Action Week is jointly organised each year by Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action.
It includes two Sundays traditionally marked by many churches with services and collections: Homelessness Sunday and Poverty Action Sunday. The theme for Action Week 2012 is ‘Breaking Barriers’.
Niall Cooper, Coordinator of Church Action on Poverty, comments: “We are delighted that so many churches and Christians are joining us during Action Week. We know that when we act and pray together, we really can break down the barriers created by poverty and inequality.”
As well as organising public events, people are invited to support Action Week by following an online prayer diary. Supporters can register on the website (www.actionweek.org.uk), on Facebook (facebook.com/actionweek) or on Twitter (@phactionweek).
The diary, which runs from Homelessness Sunday on 29 January to Poverty Action Sunday on 5 February, highlights a different barrier every day with information about the issue, prayer points and suggestions for action to break it down.
The highlighted barriers are: housing benefit, silence, support, stigmatisation, housing shortage, pay and tax.