A challenging new programme has been launched to help church congregations engage with poverty and social injustice in Britain.
Church Action on Poverty's 'Just Church' initiative is calling Christians to address the gap between the richest and poorest, which campaigners point out is at its widest for years.
Almost 4 million children still live in poverty in Britain and 5,000 elderly people die of cold each winter, those backing the programme point out.
Church Action on Poverty co-ordinator Niall Cooper said: "Just Church does more than ask for sympathy; it challenges us to respond to the injustice which damages the lives of our neighbours. This is action rooted in spirituality.
The programme is made up of twelve modules. Churches can choose whether to use some or all of the modules.
"Within that framework we have suggested a menu of six which form a highly effective Lent course" Cooper continued.
"Naturally we hope such groups would be so committed they would also use the remaining modules, but Lent is a particularly good time to explore what Jesus is calling us to do today."
Each module includes an action plan and, at the end of the course, whole congregations are challenged to enter into a 'Just Church covenant' as part of their ongoing commitment to action.
The modules, have been created by people from a wide range of church traditions.
Just Church is being sponsored and supported by a wide range of church bodies, and also the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia.