'Standing alongside people in crisis' will be action week theme

By staff writers
5 Jan 2014

Poverty and Homelessness Action Week 2014 will focus attention on the work of three partner organisations - Scottish Churches Housing Action, Church Action on Poverty, and Housing Justice.

From Homelessness Sunday on 26 January through to Poverty Action Sunday on 2 February, churches will invited to support and celebrate the work of tackling problems of poverty and homelessness, and to show solidarity with people and projects.

The 2014 theme is 'Standing alongside people in crisis', the three partners and many supporting organisations, which include Christian Aid and Triodos bank, have announced.

Low wages, zero-hours contracts, outrageous interest charges by doorstep lenders, benefits cuts, benefits delays, ‘sanctions’ on job-seekers – all these and more contribute to a Britain where many are locked out of what the rest take for granted, they point out.

There are plenty who are not destitute, but teetering on the edge. 'Just two pay-packets away from homelessness' is how many feel.

A Poverty and Homelessness Action Week spokesperson explained: "In the Old Testament, we see an emphasis on social duties and community obligations: the periodic jubilee under which property debts were wiped out; the importance of supporting the widow and her children, of providing for the stranger and the refugee. In the New Testament, Jesus demonstrates grace in the stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.

"These biblical approaches are a world away from the current fixation with driving a wedge between the poor and the comfortable in our land. Action Week is one opportunity for churches to stand together and speak up for people in poverty."

* Download free worship resources and other materials from the PHAW website here: http://www.actionweek.org.uk/home.html

[Ekk/3]

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