We are pleased to list below some short and insightful introductions to topical issues around faith-based social action in England and Wales (and further afield), published by other organisations. These are in the public domain – copyright and the views expressed belong to the authors.
We welcome suggestions of other similar resources – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Note to Readers: If you are looking for CSAN publications, please see this page.]
‘The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.’
In his message for Lent, Pope Francis, reflecting on a story told by Jesus about a rich man and a poor man (Lazarus), invites us to deepen our encounters with neighbours, and to ‘open our doors to the weak and poor’.
The Apostleship of the Sea (CSAN member) is releasing weekly podcasts for Lent, with production support from the Bishops’ Conference.
Lent Action Calendar
The Sisters of the Presentation, in Dubuque (USA), have produced a Lenten calendar for individual use (download, pdf, 0.6mb). Each of the actions proposed relates to the Sustainable Development Goals that many governments have committed to achieve by 2030. The Dubuque convent, along with CSAN member the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, belongs to the International Presentation Association.
‘Returning Home: Christian Faith in Encounter with Other Faiths‘ – Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Faith and Social Action
Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching – from the 60+ charities in the livesimply project.
Love in Action – produced by Caritas Westminster (CSAN member). This programme is designed to introduce parish groups to Catholic Social Teaching, and give them the tools to start their own social outreach projects.
Keeping the Faith: A Short Guide for Faith-Based Organisations (pdf, 5.7mb) – Theos and Centre for Theology and Community. Practical guidance on sharing faith in the context of serving communities.
Faithful Citizens: A Practical Guide to Catholic Social Teaching and Community Organising, Austen Ivereigh, 2010. Book to buy – Foyles
Women and Poverty toolkit (pdf, 2mb) – National Board of Catholic Women (CSAN member) produced this toolkit to empower women to challenge the system and structures that fail to address poverty, get involved and make a difference.
Engaging with your Local Authority and Other Partners (pdf, 5mb) – produced by Commission
Housing and Homelessness
‘Homelessness: Are We Really Helping?’ – Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland, July 2015 (pdf, 0.3mb) – an excellent interpretation of the tensions between voluntary and professional support to people who are homeless, re-framed in terms of grace and truth. Produced with support from Church Urban Fund.
‘Churches can help provide affordable housing’ – Joint Public Issues Team (Baptists, Church of Scotland, Methodists, URC), 2014. A useful practical guide for churches on converting their buildings and land into truly affordable housing. Provides pointers to further contacts.
Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
Victims of Human Trafficking – 8-minute film (not suitable for younger viewers) in which people talk about their experience. Through the Santa Marta Group, the Catholic Church is working with international law enforcement agencies on how to help victims.
Connecting Communities: The Impact of Loneliness and Opportunities for Churches to Respond (pdf, 0.4mb), Church Urban Fund, July 2016. Churches are uniquely placed to support the lonely people in our communities. Their local presence and existing community life make churches a welcoming place for people of all ages and stages of life. This paper provides guidance for church activities based on the latest research; it details how we should understand loneliness and how to work most effectively alongside those who feel lonely.
Mental Health and Dementia
Welcome me as I am – training and toolkit for parishes
Tips for a more welcoming and supportive faith community – Faith Action
Migrants and Refugees
Clergy Hosting – London-based scheme to offer ‘spare rooms’ (not only in clergy houses) to people whose asylum/immigration cases are being considered by the Home Office. Organised by the Anglican Diocese of London, Capital Mass and Housing Justice (CSAN member).
The Link Visiting Scheme supports churches to set up schemes for befriending older people, including some initial grant funding.
The Leveson Centre for the study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy offers many practical publications at low cost on how churches can improve quality of life for older people.
Safeguarding guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church, produced by Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Services (CSAS), a member of CSAN.
Faith and Work
Work Matters – Being ‘whole-life disciples’. The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity has published many resources for individuals and group work, including a ‘Transforming Work‘ programme to support self-organising church/parish groups of up to 12 people. They also offer a programme for mid-senior level executives. ‘The primary action of the Church in the world is the action of its members in their daily work.’ (Lesslie Newbigin).
The Art of Dying Well – website produced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.