As we head into the Autumn and Winter of 2022-2023, the cost of living crisis is of major concern for all of us.

The huge jump in fuel bills in coming months, plus rising food, petrol and rent costs in London mean for many, life has just become unaffordable.

We know that churches already offer ministry in their community, and many of these serve and reach these most vulnerable who will be most affected by this coming crisis.

We’re collecting useful resources, links and blogs here, for churches who want to respond. We will update this throughout the Autumn and Winter months.

Upcoming Trainings

Cost of Living Lunch and Learns

A series of monthly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions related to the current cost of living crisis. Running from February 2023 on the third Tuesday of each month, and hosted by the Compassionate Communities Team, these sessions are aimed at church communities in the Diocese of London. For more information and to book your place, click HERE.

Resources for Churches

Warm Spaces

Information and guidance for churches considering opening up spaces where people can keep warm this winter

Universal Credit

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.

Money Help Toolkit for Churches

Our Money Help Toolkit is put together as a helpful resource bank for any churches wanting to help their community around money. Talking about it, budgeting with it, saving it, and what to do when someone is in money crisis.

We have produced 8 simple videos/training sessions, with experts and churches, on a range of ways in which churches are engaging with issues around money struggles, along with downloadable resources and useful organisations you can contact and partner with.

Paying the Living Wage

While we think about our responses to serving our community, we must also consider those our churches employ. Paying them the Living Wage, ensuring they have enough to live on is an action of justice that we can take in responding to the Cost of Living Crisis.

  • Our training event on zoom on how to help churches accredit to the Living Wage - details here
  • You can find out more about the Living Wage here

Fuelling the Problems?

This helpful BLOG (originally shared on Jon Kuhrt’s site here) is a must-read as we think about our approach to responding.

Corin Pilling challenges us to think about any response we offer: not by kneejerk meeting of need, or “service delivery” but instead a response that is distinctly Christian, with social and spiritual transformation at it’s heart. In it he sets out 6 principles of participation for any churches wanting to respond to our current crisis.

“Many churches are tiring of models of social action that simply add an extra layer of welfare provision to our creaking system.

When the focus is too much on need, it can fail to offer any social or spiritual transformation.

I want to challenge our survival mode responses and explore opportunities for genuine community building which might offer something more authentic and more Jesus-flavoured.”

Corin Pilling

Cost of Living Crisis briefing, May 2022

Our friends at the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) have produced this briefing outlining the extent of the crisis & offering ways to respond.

Jubilee Plus: “Responding to a Deepening Crisis”

This excellent little booklet has been produced by Jubilee Plus for churches who are preparing for the impact of the cost of living crisis. It has helpful tips and principles that everyone in every church can consider.

Signposting and Advice on Energy Bills & Finance

Diocesan Briefing for Churches on Energy Price Rises

This page covers the cost of gas & electric price rises and the impact on churches, as well as where to go within the Diocese for more help and support

Advice on Energy Bills: Empowered

This excellent website runs down the basics of what support is offered to households with their energy bills currently, and how it will be delivered.

Helping Someone in Debt

This comprehensive blog from Love your Neighbour outlines some steps to take if you are helping someone who is struggling

Advice for those on Pre-Payment Meters

One of our clergy, Revd Alice Smith, has created this excellent downloadable guide to helping those on pre-payment meters access the help they are entitled to with the energy crisis. You can download it below in PDF or Jpeg form: please do share it!

Energy Support Scheme: Information for people on low income on Pre-Payment Meters- JPEG.
Please feel free to download and share!

Organisations Who Can Help or Partner

Here are a few organisations who offer support for churches in responding to practical poverty in their communities:

Acts 435

Acts 435 is an online giving charity, directly connecting those who want to give with those who are in genuine need of their help,through a network of local churches and charities. Churches can sign up to be an Advocate Church and then post on behalf of those in hardship for small gifts, which are all crowdfunded by people all over the country. More info on how to do this here.

Your Local Pantry

Your Local Pantry help churches set up ‘Food Pantries’- membership food shops, focused on a particular neighbourhood. Pantries enhance communities and are a preventative approach to food insecurity.

Hygiene Bank

The Hygiene Bank organise to donate, collect, sort and distribute hygiene products to a network of community partners - a mix of organisations, charities and schools - who support those of us pulled into poverty.

Crosslight Advice, Christians against poverty or Community Money Advice

These charities all offer churches partnerships where you can set up your own free debt advice to those struggling. A map of churches currently offering free debt advice in the Diocese is here.

National DataBank

The National Databank are providing free data to 500,000 people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of community partners. You can join as a Community Partner to access their support, training, and access devices and SIM cards for those in need.

They describe it “like a foodbank but for internet connectivity

Are there other organisations you have partnered with, that are missing or we should know about? Get in touch!

Websites & Organisations to signpost to

Turn to Us

offer a simple Benefit Calculator tool and also a way of searching for local grants for people who may be in hardship or crisis

Fuel Bank Foundation

provide people in fuel poverty with financial support and practical advice, and partner with a range of community organisations across the UK

National Energy Action

offer among other thing a range of advice and support both directly to people in need, and via frontline workers and other intermediaries: 0800 304 7159 (Mon to Fri 10am-12 noon)

Bags of Taste

Bags of Taste works with people in food poverty to improve their diets and finances. They run FREE cooking classes with simple ingredients to residents in boroughs of Islington, Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and City of London.

Warmer Homes Grants

The Mayor of London has launched the Warmer Homes scheme, offering grants of £5000-£25000 for those on low income to improve energy efficiency in their homes

Some ideas from Our churches who are responding:

“Warm Spaces”

A few hours a week where the church can be heated for people who can’t afford to heat their homes. Some churches are planning to co-ordinate this with when the building was planned to be open anyway e.g. coffee mornings/drop in sessions/toddler groups. More resources, shared resources and tips about ‘Warm Spaces’ will follow as we gather them

Food banks

A good network of foodbanks across London in churches and community groups are already established (a map of current Diocese of London Foodbanks is here). Some already offer a cafe /drop in space as well, where people can have a hot drink, a chat, and in some cases, get offered money advice.

If you can afford to please do keep giving to them; one effect of the cost of living crisis is that donations will drop just as demand is spiking.

Clothing Banks

Baby banks

Cooking together/lunch clubs

Free Internet

to offer people to do benefit checking support (eg with the Turn to Us Benefit Calculator)

Community Meeting Spaces

Offering churches as places for MPs and local councillors surgeries to listen to residents concerns


This August, 56 charities, faith groups and political leaders have joined together with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to call on the government to take urgent action, to ensure that those who need it most are supported this winter.

The call responds to a report written by poverty expert Professor Donald Hirsch which reveals the gap between the support the government is currently offering to households and the anticipated rise in living costs. The webinar to launch this report in August 2022 is below:

Further Reading

  • “Keeping The Community Warm”

    Hannah Rich, Senior Researcher at Theos, has written this blog about the scale of the issue facing churches and community groups as we head into a winter with the fuel crisis looming large

Churches and other groups are also making difficult calculations about their capacity to continue their vital social action; other forms of social action which don’t rely on buildings, such as food delivery services, are doubly stretched by the inflated cost of both petrol and groceries.

Hannah Rich, Theos


Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis: Helping More Children Living In Poverty To Access Free School Meals

Our friends at Praxis share with us about a recent change to government policy on free school meals, in the hope that our church and school communities can help more families in poverty to access this provision.

Find out more

Restored: Supporting Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Bekah Legg, CEO of Restored, helps us to consider the impact of the cost of living crisis on those experiencing domestic abuse and how we as churches can support survivors.

Find out more

Fuelling the Problems?

Corin Pilling, UK National Director of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, reflects on how church communities can respond to the cost of living crisis in ways which are sustainable, and build community.

Find out more

Acts 435

Mother Alice Smith, vicar at St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park, describes how Acts 435 has helped her to provide practical help to her parishioners.

Find out more

Churches as Warm Spaces

Some thoughts from Revd David Ackerman, Vicar of St Johns Kensal Town, as they consider how they might offer their local church as a “Warm Space” this winter

Find out more

Food Pantries

Elizabeth Welch is involved in the “Your Local pantry” set up in Westbourne Park Baptist church - a longer term alternative to foodbanks for those on low incomes who are struggling with food insecurity.

Find out more

Beyond Food Parcels: Holistic support for families

Gloria Saffrey-Powell and her team at CARIS Haringey are providing much more than food parcels to families on the edge in their local community.

Find out more

The Hygiene Bank at Holy Sepulchre, Holborn

In 2019, Revd Nick Mottershead set up “The Hygiene Bank - Square Mile” in response to the rising issue of hygiene poverty in London. Not wanting to stop there, he is also encouraging corporate partners to upcycle their redundant resources through the “GenerosCity” initiative.

Find out more

Cooking Together: A Community Cooking Club

Jo Davey, from St Mary’s, Hornsey Rise, describes how their ‘Cook Together’ club provides support, friendship and community to those in their community experiencing food poverty and isolation.

Find out more