A place to call home?
A new publication by the Joint Public Issues Team, a group of four churches -- the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church
'A place to call home?‘ is a set of six bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around housing.
Britain is facing a housing crisis – a claim which few people dispute. This has many symptoms that stretch across the whole of society. For some it means no home at all. Since 2010 there has been a steady increase in the number of families accepted as homeless and in the numbers living in temporary accommodation. More recently the number of people sleeping on the street has also begun to increase. More and more families (especially families with children) are forced to live in overcrowded housing.
‘A place to call home?’ offers a biblical and theological framework to help us respond, as followers of Jesus, to the emerging issues that we might confront. It is written in the hope that through it, many local Christians, both as individuals and congregations, will be stimulated to consider their responsibilities as a gospel people, in the face of the housing issues that are becoming an increasing reality in the life of our nations. For some this might be through the combined endeavours of the faith community, for others by seeking to reflect the priorities of God’s kingdom through their day-to-day working lives.
"Now more than ever it is important that the practical actions on homelessness undertaken by congregations are underpinned by our theological understanding of home, of inclusion, of justice. This resource provides an excellent opportunity to ask these deep seated questions, providing and reflect on how our faith might inform how each of us responds to this crisis.” Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, Moderator Church of Scotland.
Report author, Rev Phil Jump says, “This is more than a crisis of bricks and mortar, it affects and blights the lives of many people. Being forced to live in sub-standard housing or struggling with unmanageable housing costs affects the lives of families across the United Kingdom. These conditions stifle the development of children, and pass disadvantage to the next generation. These are all realities that Christian citizens will find themselves confronted with”.
The booklet doesn't present us with solutions, but instead offers inspiration from the Bible to help us decide what our own response should be.
Topics for discussion include:
houses as a home and the building blocks of communities with Christian values at their centre
how good should housing be and the impact of substandard housing
the shortage of affordable housing
the changing nature of home where one part of society sees it as an unachievable basic of life while others view it as property and a financial opportunity.
Download this free material here.
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Joint Public Issues Team, 03/04/2017