Read and watch our training material on Universal Credit, equipping clergy and volunteers in churches to support those who are navigating the system.
In this training we cover:
- a basic understanding of the Universal Credit system.
- the design of the Universal Credit system as a justice issue, and what the church can do to challenge this injustice.
#OFFERING DEBT ADVICE & MONEY HELP if you are interested in setting up a free debt advice centre or money courses in your church, or as a group of churches, here are some ideas about where you can start.
We’ve put together a Money Help Toolkit for churches who want to help people in their parishes struggling with money. It contains ideas, resources and links to organisations that can provide support.
While this resource was created in 2020, out of concern for people who lost income during the Covid crisis, the content remains relevant for today’s Cost of Living Crisis.
The backbone of the toolkit are stand-alone training session videos, each about 45 minutes.
Each session is themed around a practical action you can take: from simple acts such as knowing where to signpost people, or offering small gifts to help in crisis, to more co-ordinated longer term projects like debt centres or partnering with a credit union.
Each training session comes with downloadable resources, links and contacts to find our more.
And it’s a completely FREE resource for all churches!
If you want to know anything more, or if a conversation would help you, please do get in touch.
You can find out more information about why and how churches can pay the Living Wage, as part of our response to the Cost of Living Crisis, HERE.
Since April 2022, families with “no resource to public funds” (NRPF) because of their immigration status can apply for their children to have free school meals. Previously they were cut off from this, as with most other welfare support, but there has been a government policy change.
It’s important, however that they and their schools know about this change, and take up this offer if eligible. As church communities we can help to spread this message. You can find more information HERE.
We’ve put together a summary of the work that churches are doing across the Diocese around Food Insecurity HERE
Money is something we all have to deal with. But for a lot of people in our communities it’s the cause of worry and stress. Living in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world, low and precarious incomes are a way of life.
But struggling with money takes it’s toll. And it’s something that could happen to any of us: most of us are just one or two paycheques away from not being able to cover our bills.
Debt, and financial struggles have hugely detrimental effect both on individuals and on local communities. It can affect mental and physical health, relationships, and how we can participate in our communities. It can lead to homelessness, breakdown and even suicide. Debt can feel imprisoning and it can seem there is no way out, no way to get on top of money situations.
But this is where the church has the currency of hope.
There is always a way out of financial worries: and the church can be there to offer this hope practically. Across the Diocese of London, churches offer this hope: through support for budgeting, money courses, debt advice, signposting, partnering with credit unions, supporting people to talk about money; walking with people as they apply for benefits; and many other acts of compassion.
Our work around Money, Debt & Food Insecurity supports churches wanting to serve communities in the following ways:
- Debt and Money Advice - for those in financial crisis
- Crisis support for those struggling with living on low income, such as foodbanks, food pantries and co-operatives, as well as clothing and baby banks, and low cost furniture projects
- Building financial capability - money courses, budgeting and being able to support people to get in control of their money
- Community Finance - credit unions, local savings clubs, low cost borrowing, tackling illegal lending
- Campaigning for a fairer financial system - to ensure that the causes of poverty are tackled, not just the symptoms
We’re here to help the local church respond to the challenges that our communities have with money across the Diocese of London.
More than 1 in 3 of clients seeking help with debt in London were in rent arrears. The amount of rent they owed was half as much again as the UK average (Source)
The number of working-age adults in poverty in London has increased from 1.1 million to 1.4 million in the past decade. (Source)
21% of people living in London are paid below the London Living Wage. (Source)