Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The Church's response to the current financial crisis was the theme of a very practical discussion after a Circuit Service in Leeds East.
I was pleased to be there at the invitation of the Rev. Fran Rhys. I was able to hear of the Credit Union being run by one of the local Catholic Churches and also of Meeting Point, a cafe project run by the Circuit which had been recently refurbished after a fire. People are concerned about increasing job losses in the area and for young people with mortgage commitments.
I had tea with the Circuit staff and they shared openly about the challenges faced by the community and the churches - but by the end of our meeting both they and I felt heartened by the stories of what was being done by individuals and groups of christians to support those in need in what are difficult circumstances for many just now.
Earlier that week there had been an ecumenical conference at Methodist Church House in London on the same subject - our response to the economic crisis. Some very helpful talks can be downloaded from the website for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland - www.ctbi.org.uk