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tackling poverty The effects of living in poverty can be devastating: families and individuals forced to choose between eating and heating, a lack of education and opportunity, and a lowering of self esteem and motivation. As Christians, we are called to stand with the poor, marginalised and vulnerable; to bring God’s good news to those near us, so that they can live life to the full. At Church Urban Fund, we see the transformation that Christians working together bring in poor communities every day. Tackling social disadvantage, building relationships, restoring hope; these are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. But in the current economic climate – threatened by rising unemployment, reductions in benefits and the rapidly escalating cost of living – the poorest in society are already being hit the hardest. For our partner churches and voluntary groups, faced with the increasing needs of people in their communities, your support is more vital than ever. Wherever we are, rich or poor, we all have a vital role to play in helping people break free from deprivation. Thank you for giving your time and money, action and prayer during this past year. Together, we can tackle poverty. Tim Bissett, Chief Executive, Church Urban Fund

As Christians, we are called to stand with the poor ‘Poverty isn’t something that just happens in faraway places – it’s a fact of too many people’s lives on our own doorsteps. Church Urban Fund challenges that poverty, tackles injustice and helps people who have been marginalised to reclaim their dignity through the projects it supports and the partnership it offers. This is an immensely valuable task and one which I am delighted to support.’ Most Revd and Rt Hon. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and President of Church Urban Fund


at the cutting edge Researching the issues In January 2011, Church Urban Fund and Church Action on Poverty carried out a survey to monitor the impact of public spending cuts on 232 faithbased voluntary groups in the most deprived areas of England. Called At the Cutting Edge, the aim was to get beyond the headline figures – an £81 billion reduction in government expenditure over four years – to show how cuts are impacting at a grassroots level. The report revealed that: l

More than 80 per cent of groups expect the spending cuts to have a significant impact on the people they work with


Nearly half the groups have already experienced a noticeable reduction in their income as a result of the cuts


60 per cent expect their general situation to worsen over the next year

Wild Goose Cafe in Bristol, which provides warm meals for people struggling with issues such as homelessness or addiction, recently expanded in order to meet the needs of the community.

The report also showed that 44 per cent of groups were planning to increase the services they offer, in order to meet the acute and increasing need they see in their communities. Church Urban Fund is working alongside such projects to ensure they can continue. We offer the ongoing training, resources and financial support they need to provide effective, long-term responses to poverty. To download At the Cutting Edge or to find out more about our ongoing research,

‘We work with vulnerable families and the spending cuts mean that they are no longer getting the support they need.’ St Martin’s church, Nottingham

TOGETHEr… enabling others

Poverty has many faces – from young people entangled in violent gang culture to old people living in squalor and isolation – and money alone is not the problem. The effects of poverty are innumerable, devastating and unique to each community. There is no single solution. But at Church Urban Fund, we know that for every unique problem, there is a group of people with the passion, calling and local knowledge to find a unique solution. Often, all they need is a little support.

‘Thank you so much for your support – you have really enabled us to kick-start our project and we are excited about the future.’ Refugee Support Network London

In 2010 we supported 257 church and faithbased projects tackling poverty in England, providing training, advice and grants totalling £1.42 million. The Christians we support work hard to meet the material, emotional and spiritual needs of people in their own communities, addressing issues such as:

vulnerable families and young people l  drug and alcohol dependency l h  omelessness, refugees and asylum l


education, health and mental health l  debt and financial advice l

Every single one of these diverse and innovative projects is providing a vital lifeline to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals. For more information, see pages 8–11 or visit

TOGETHEr… in London

The services offered by the TAB Centre in Shoreditch, East London, grew from the church’s vision to offer practical and emotional support to local people struggling with poverty and discrimination. As well as offering a safe space for vulnerable people to come in off the street, the centre provides vital support and services for anyone wanting to change the direction of their life. ‘We work with people who are homeless, sex workers, people with HIV, young people,’ says Centre Director Andrew Sanalitro. ’We see constant streams of poverty. One of the things we are most proud of is keeping God’s love in what we do; we open doors and ask people to come in. Without the TAB Centre, the area would be a lonelier place.’

‘Church Urban Fund takes risks on new projects. The TAB Centre wouldn’t have happened without it. It’s that simple.’ Andrew Sanalitro

Church Urban Fund takes risks on new projects Church Urban Fund has supported the TAB Centre since 2004, enabling it to refurbish the church hall, develop a food bank and run a project offering women ex-offenders the training and support they need to rebuild their lives. We have also helped fund the roles of Centre Manager and Project Manager.

‘We like to help in a therapeutic way... provide the whole package of wellbeing in one building.’ Andrew Sanalitro

The TAB Centre’s ‘Food for Thought’ initiative distributes food to people living in hardship in the local community.

TOGETHEr… in Hull

In Boulevard, West Hull, 43 per cent of children live in poverty. Only one in three young people leave school with five GCSEs. The local church is small in number and its members are not wealthy. It’s here that the Hull Youth for Christ (YFC) team has chosen to live as well as work. In partnership with two local churches, the team provide daily breakfast and youth clubs, parenting courses and intensive support for the most vulnerable families. ‘Beyond the tea and toast, we are trying to re-knit the fabric of a community that in a lot of ways is quite broken,’ says community worker Anna Hembury. ‘We want to improve people’s economic circumstances, boost their self-esteem, help them overcome their addictions and tackle their problems with education; but that’s only part of a bigger picture.

Thanks to Church Urban Fund, Julie (right) enjoys leading parenting classes with Anna (right).

‘We want people here to have that fullness of life that Jesus talks about. Church Urban Fund recognises that faith aspect of our work and life.’ Church Urban Fund has supported the work of Hull YFC since 1994. We recently helped Julie, a breakfast club mum, access training so she can now lead parenting courses with Anna. To watch our short film showing how lives are changing in Hull, visit

‘Through the support of Church Urban Fund, we are seeing young people who have changed their lives going on and changing other people’s lives.’ Chris, team leader


in your local area Local partnerships Church Urban Fund has worked with hundreds of projects and we know what a wealth of experience and expertise is out there. We also know that by working together and supporting each other, we can share our collective skills, experience, ideas and best practice. Our aim is to bring local churches and faith-based voluntary groups together to tackle poverty.

Working together in local communities At a local level, Church Urban Fund’s support in creating partnerships between churches and projects is already making a difference, says Greg Smith of Preston Christian Action Network: ‘Church Urban Fund enabled us to bring Christians in the community together to create a volunteering service, which focuses mainly on the homeless drop-ins that we run. We’ve got 50 volunteers who support this work. That wouldn’t have happened without the networking, encouragement and time that Church Urban Fund has brought.’

TOGETHEr we’re tackling poverty Working together in wider communities Church Urban Fund is embarking on an exciting new initiative with the Church of England, working in partnership with individual dioceses to resource churchbased projects for a sustainable and long term future. These local joint ventures aim to: l

strengthen the capacity of local churches to respond to poverty in their communities


grow a network of local churches and individuals engaged in tackling poverty together


engage in mission and neighbourliness in poor communities

Partnerships are now established in the South West, Midlands and North East of England, with many more on the way. In future, we aim to develop joint ventures with every diocese in England. Together, we can develop effective and sustainable solutions to poverty.


equipping others

Practical Impact: Annual Conference 2011 Living and working in poor communities can be challenging as well as rewarding. Our Annual Conference aims to resource, refresh and equip delegates for the work ahead. Over 200 project workers, volunteers and church leaders joined together for Practical Impact, Church Urban Fund’s Annual Conference in 2011.

The one-day conference – rated ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ by 85 per cent of delegates – offered a range of workshops including supporting ex-offenders, working with other faiths to tackle poverty, successful grants fundraising and how new churches can be established in deprived communities. Speakers included Lord Nat Wei on Church, Poverty and the Big Society, and David Robinson from Community Links on how projects can respond to spending cuts.

‘I so enjoyed meeting other people and hearing their stories. There’s some brilliant stuff happening... very encouraging.’ John, London

To meet some of this years’ delegates and find out how they are tackling poverty where they are, visit

Sneak preview We’re delighted that Archbishop John Sentamu, and the Revd John Bell from the Iona Community will be the keynote speakers at Church Urban Fund’s next annual conference, to be held in Leeds on 18 April 2012. For more information, please contact


equipping others Working together At Church Urban Fund we want to make our expertise, and that of the hundreds of projects we work with, available to all. Our training opportunities allow churches and faith-based voluntary groups to build skills and make a greater impact on poverty in their communities.

T raining: Our high-quality and affordable e-learning resources offer project workers


‘anytime, anywhere’ training on subjects such as fundraising, governance and first aid l

Informing: Our regular e-newsletters keep projects up to date with training, best practice and fundraising opportunities. It gives them access to the latest resources and informs them about new project ideas and events

R  esourcing: We offer a range of toolkits and


resources including Just Employment, a guide to employing staff in faith-based projects and Going Green, project ideas that combine tackling poverty with caring for the environment l

Sharing: Each community has its own needs, but sometimes it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Ready-To-Go Projects help communities get started by sharing tried and tested ideas from projects tackling issues such as debt, unemployment and homelessness

To find out more about how Church Urban Fund helps train and resource local projects, visit

‘I refer people, especially clergy in churches and projects, to Church Urban Fund’s Just Employment resource all the time. Everything about the process of recruiting and employing staff is included in helpful detail.’ Anna, West Midlands

TOGETHEr‌ telling others

Church Urban Fund is passionate about speaking up for people living in poverty across England. We want to raise awareness of the impact of deprivation and show how Christians working together are improving the lives of the poorest people. We want to inspire churches and individuals to join us by giving time, money, action and prayer to support this transformation. In the last year, we have: Developed a speaker network We recruited and trained a network of volunteer speakers who are able to speak and preach passionately at church services and meetings about Church Urban Fund and the issues of poverty in England, and to lead groups to pray for the projects we support.

We want to raise awareness of the impact of deprivation Hosted a fringe lunch at General Synod Phillip Blond, founder and director of the think-tank ResPublica, spoke about the vital role of the church in the Big Society during a special General Synod fringe event in February. Organised Retreats on the Street As part of Lent, we ran Retreats on the Street nationally – an opportunity to spend time observing the people and patterns of the city, to pray and listen to God, released from the routines and tasks of daily life. To book a talk at your church or community group, or to discover how you can use your skills in public speaking and your passion for the poor to help us, visit

‘It is a real privilege to share with congregations the inspiring work of projects who are putting God’s love into action by tackling poverty in their communities.’ Kerry, London


Joining the movement Where our money comes from In 2010, Church Urban Fund received a staggering £1.9 million – 76% of our total annual income – from church and individual donations. These generous donations give us the freedom to work in the areas of greatest need, not just where there is government or other funding available. They make us a unique and independent organisation. l

The youth group at St Peter’s church, Caversham gave £1000, saying they were inspired by the way Church Urban Fund ‘resources those in poverty to help one another’.


St Edmund’s church, West Kingsdown, gave from their Christmas collection and, after hosting a speaker at one of their Sunday services, held a special charity lunch to raise additional funds for our work.

Church Urban Fund and the projects we support are so grateful to the hundreds of churches across England who gave generously to tackle poverty together this year, and to the increasing number of individuals who have supported us faithfully with gifts large and small. To everyone who has shared what they have this year, thank you.

‘The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”’ 2 Corinthians 8:13-14

Where the money goes Church Urban Fund works in partnership with the Church to resource and fund local Christians and churches working in the poorest communities in England. For every £5 we raise, £4.04 goes directly towards this work. In 2010 we spent more than £1.35 million supporting community projects through the Mustard Seed programme. We also invested funds in equipping and enabling others, through conferences, workshops, toolkits and resources. could provide five hot meals for a homeless person c ould fund a money and debt management session for someone who has lost their job c ould pay for the use of a community hall for two lunch clubs for isolated and elderly people i s enough to provide pillows and bedding for 25 beds at a winter shelter


Joining the movement

Join with Church Urban Fund to help projects like Streetlytes (pictured here) deliver unique, sustainable responses to poverty in their local community.

Get involved Our vision is to give every church in every community the opportunity to help lift people out of poverty. Whether you remember us in your prayers, collections or mission giving, we are always grateful for your support. You and your church can also take a more active role in raising funds and awareness, with our year-round selection of fundraising activities, opposite. Whilst money is fundamental to our work, equally important is the contribution of those who pray faithfully for us and those who volunteer for us at events, as fundraisers and as voluntary speakers. To all who have supported us this year, thank you. Together, we can tackle poverty.

TOGETHEr we’re tackling poverty ‘I was a heroin user for 22 years. But my prayers were answered when I met Streetlytes. Without them, I’d be still on the streets now.’ Kevin, 37, ex-drug user and Streetlytes volunteer

fundraising with church urban fund Winter NEW – This Christmas, why not use our new carol singing resources to spread some festive cheer in your community and raise valuable funds for Church Urban Fund? Spring Lent can be a fitting time to start up a collection box network in your church. Our Lenten resources can help your congregation’s small change make a big difference. Summer A Poverty Sunday service is an easy and engaging way for your church to explore and respond to poverty in England. Our popular resources include sermon ideas, prayers and a short DVD. NEW – This year, we’re offering you the opportunity to build a real and lasting relationship with a project of your choice, by sponsoring a Church Urban Fund project worker from one of England’s most deprived communities. Autumn We would be grateful if you and your church were to remember us at harvest time, in your prayers, collections and forward planning. Perhaps one of our speakers could visit your church to talk about how we can tackle poverty together?

Christians tackling poverty together in England We are the Church of England’s response to poverty, working in partnership with churches and Christians who want to put their faith into action. We work in the most deprived communities in England to improve the lives of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised. Join with Church Urban Fund so that we can tackle poverty – together. Give – Make a special gift towards Church Urban Fund’s work or encourage your church to support us Act – Explore and respond to the issues of poverty in England by joining our Speaker network, holding a Poverty Sunday service at your church or taking part in one of our fundraising appeals Pray – Request our prayer resources and commit to praying for those who live and minister in England’s most deprived communities Thank you. Together, we can tackle poverty in England.

Church Urban Fund, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ T 020 7898 1667 F 020 7898 1601 E W Registered Charity number 297483.

CUF Year In Focus  

CUF Year In Focus

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