Welfare Reforms

  • Child Poverty Action Group presentation on the Welfare Reforms here
  • Contextual Theology Bible Study on Welfare Reform here

Report on meeting on Welfare Reform - 1st October 2013

The first meeting of the London Churches Social Action Network focussed on the issue of Welfare Reform. The meeting included church leaders and others engaged in social action from various parts of London and representing a variety of church traditions.

The EXPERIENCE of Welfare Reform was explored through Martin Wiliams of Child Poverty Action Group making a presentation on the government’s changes to the benefits system related developments. It focussed on the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap as well as changes to the provision of Legal Aid. This can be viewed at http://www.londonchurches.org.uk/12.html

Those present shared their experiences of the impact of the reforms in local contexts and it was clear that the reforms are increasing poverty and anxiety for many affected by the changes.

A REFLECTION on the issues in light of scripture was led by David Barclay of the Contextual Theology Centre. This focused on the story of Nehemiah and can also be viewed at http://www.londonchurches.org.uk/12.html

LEARNING from the discussion included the need to scale up the church listening to the experience of those affected by the welfare reforms and to consider how churches can work not just to provide solutions themselves but to work alongside those in poverty to build long-term change, not least through political lobbying.

Suggested ACTION included making use of the following resources:

Southwark Justice and Peace briefing on the benefit changes:

JPIT resource Truth and Lies about Poverty

The Just Money Campaign

Various resources on the website of Together for the Common Good

Suggested theological work on food banks and what the churches might say as a result of such work back to themselves and to wider society.

George Ansah, Anglican Borough Dean for Lambeth, then led us in PRAYER.