Social Action: Reading and Guidance

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

[Note to Readers: If you are looking for CSAN publications, please see this page.]


Faith and Social Action

Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching – from the 60+ charities in the livesimply project.

Caritas in Action – produced by Caritas Salford (CSAN member). This is an educational and formation programme for schools on Catholic Social Teaching.

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

Calling People of Goodwill – pocket-sized booklet exploring the common good in the Bible. ‘A real treasure… A great resource’ – Cardinal Nichols.  Produced by Together for the Common Good.  Buy from Bible Society

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

Faith and Action  – Caritas Europa’s contribution to the Theology of Charity and Catholic Social Thought.


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

Catholic Mental Health Project – offers support, practice resources and small grants to local Catholic communities.  An initiative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Welcome Me As I Am – training and toolkit for parishes by a member organisation of Caritas Social Action Network.

Tips for a more welcoming and supportive faith community – produced by 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).


Older People

Growing Old Gracefully – A guide for parishes on learning from and caring for older people, which originated from the Catholic Diocese of Leeds.

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.


Work and Faith

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.