A Christian charity has laid up a strategy to deal with the rising cost of living.
Christian organizations are being urged to take swift action in the face of rising energy costs and other rising costs of living by a Christian charity.
Jubilee Plus, a social action charity, has produced extensive guidance to help local congregations support families and individuals in preparation for the upcoming winter, while the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, and other politicians describe their replies.
Churches and Christians are urged to take swift action by Jubilee Plus in a new report titled “Responding to a Deepening Crisis.”
The organization, which works with neighborhood churches, proclaims, “To understand that the cost of living problem is having a terrible effect on many in our neighborhoods now requires no special powers of prophecy. As always, it’s the most vulnerable who are being affected hardest.
“Hardly a week goes by without us learning that the lives of people who are already struggling or who are just about coping, are going to be affected much harder than originally thought.”
Are we, as Christians and churches, ready? such is the question posed by Jubilee Plus. to which she adds, “It can be incredibly challenging to get the time and space to think about how we can best aid people over the following months, when we’re already working flat out to support people in need in our communities.”
Under the categories “transformed churches,” “changed communities,” and “changed lives,” the charity lays out a crisis strategy.
It urges for churches to take action by setting up a crisis fund, encouraging generosity, normalising asking for aid and asking people what they need instead of assuming.
The strategy urges churches to speak up for the rights of those in need. This includes calling out those in authority and demanding they take action in the public interest. Churches are urged to reach out to influential organizations in their communities and collaborate on projects.
Jubilee Plus advises: “Brief discussions with the leader of the local council, the chiefs of police and the fire service, the head of your social housing provider, head teachers or senior social workers, as well as chief executives of long-running local charities, may be extremely enlightening and shaping.
“Going without an agenda, but merely to inquire what they think are the major challenges in the community related to poverty, where the gaps are, and how they think you might help, will give you a lot of fuel for thought, prayer, and strategic planning,” the author writes.
Churches are being urged by Jubilee Plus to make their premises available for use as a warming center for those in need during the cold winter months. What this data says is “Volunteers could be on hand to help guests feel at home. Work together with other local churches, each responsible for a different day of the week.”
In addition, the organization suggests that those with more disposable income consider paying for a month’s worth of utilities for a less fortunate family or individual, or purchasing extra things at the grocery store to give to those in need.
In light of the possibility of a protracted crisis, Jubilee Plus is pushing for swift action. “Strategy is what needs to be emphasized right now. So, whether you’re a church leader, a project manager, or an individual, it’s important to plan ahead for the years, not the months, that lie ahead. This will benefit both you and the people you aid.”
Rev Peter Crumpler is a Church of England preacher in St Albans, Herts.