poverty and homelessness action week

Today we began Poverty and Homelessness Action week (UK) by using our new prayer stations on the same theme together in morning worship. These stations will be up at our centre Tues 29th – Thurs 31st January for anyone to pop in and use, so do come along if you’re local. And then we’ll be publishing the resource for you to download and use anywhere and anytime.

poverty and homelessness

But today, fresh from the experience of gathering the material to create them and then praying through the issues ourselves, we wanted to share a few of the statistics, Bible verses, reflections and prayers from them that especially stood out to us.

And link to a few organisations who are doing amazing work that can help you be part of the answer to the prayers we are all praying…

On God’s heart…

‘Oh Lord, you’re showing me what’s on your heart… You’ve put a new song in my mouth. It is a hymn of praise to you. Justice and mercy are its theme. And I will live it back to you.’ (Matt Redman’s ‘Justice and Mercy’ based on Isaiah 58 and part of our playlist this morning.)

‘If you ill-treat the poor, you insult your Creator;
If you are kind to them, you show him respect.’ (Proverbs 14:31, CEV)

What is the lifestyle we should seek?

‘He [King Josiah] always did right – he gave justice to the poor and was honest. That’s what it means to truly know me. So he lived a comfortable life and always had enough to eat and drink’. (Jeremiah 22:15-16, CEV, italics ours.)

What does poverty look like in the UK?

Poverty in the UK is defined in three ways – absolute poverty (lack of sufficient resources to keep body and soul together), relative poverty ( absence of materials to participate in the average daily life of the culture you are living in) and social exclusion (a combination of factors that trap people and communities in cyclical poverty).

Absolute poverty is thought to have affected 5.8 million people in the UK in 2012. (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2012.)

One third of British children are forced to go with at least one of the things they need, such as three meals a day or adequate clothing.

In the current economic climate homelessness, poverty and debt are all increasing and thousands are thought to be going to bed hungry each night(Trussell Trust 2013.)

Tens of thousands are affected by homelessness each year and thousands sleep rough each night… while many inside still go cold as 7.4 million people live in inadequate housing and more than 5 million households live in fuel poverty because they can’t afford to heat their homes to a sufficient temperature. (Shelter 2013.)

People – and even children – living in poverty or facing homelessness face material difficulties and stigma… and behind each statistic are thousands of unique individuals’ stories. Like Gemma’s… or Sam’s or Ben’s or Chris’s…

Please pray, especially for the children who are effected…


It makes me sad
That you don’t have to be able to spell poverty
To live in it.
And it makes me angry
That you don’t have to be a grown-up
To worry about bills,
Look after adults,
Or struggle with a disability.
But I know you understand how I feel Lord Jesus
Because you felt it first.
You saw our pain and gave up everything to come and rescue us.
Please help me to turn my emotions into actions too –
Until all your children have a better childhood.

…and take action with The Children’s Society, Shelter, Christians Against Poverty, The Trussel Trust or other brilliant organisations local to you.

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