Facing up to poverty: The transformational power of relationships

Here we explore the impact of church-led community work on the relationships between three groups: churchgoers, community workers and people in poverty (understood broadly as material/resource poverty). We seek to identify the barriers that exist between these three groups and the bridges that bring them together.

This research is based on 40 face-to-face, in-depth interviews with people involved with church-led community centres. This paper summarises the key findings from those interviews and looks at what can be done to break down barriers between these three groups.

Click here to download the Executive Summary.

Click here to read the full report.



Survival Strategies: A survey of the impact of the current economic climate on community organisations in the most deprived areas of England

This report examines the impact of the current economic climate on community organisations in the most deprived areas of England. Returning a year later to the same organisations that we visited for publications in 2011, we wanted to examine the ongoing effects of the economic climate. We found that the current economic climate is resulting in a rising demand for services and difficulty in securing funding.

Click here to download the Executive Summary.

Click here to read the full report.


The Volunteering Gap: Regional variations in volunteering in England

Many community groups and local projects struggle to attract volunteers to support their work, particularly where this involves helping people in need. We wanted to find out the extent to which people give their time as volunteers, and what they volunteer for. We commissioned Ipsos MORI to survey a representative cohort of adults across England.

If you use this data set in support of other research, please cite 'The Volunteering Gap - CUF and Ipsos MORI'.


Poverty In Numbers 2012: Online lookup tool for parishes in England

The Poverty in Numbers report presents some of the most striking findings and information on how to access our new online tool. This tool provides easy access to information on a range of poverty-related indicators for parishes in England. The aim the lookup tool is to help churches engage with these issues by finding out more about the extent of poverty in their communities and how this compares with other parishes locally and nationally. 



I am one in a million

Youth unemployment is at a record high, affecting over one million young people in the UK. It is a particular problem in the most deprived areas of England, where the unemployment rate among 16-24 years is over 30%. This study was undertaken by CUF and Frontier Youth Trust on behalf of Churches Together for England. Young people from across the country were encouraged to talk about their experiences of unemployment and identify changes that would help people like them.

Click here to download the Executive Summary.

Click here to read the full report.


Growing church through social action: A national survey of church-based action to tackle poverty

There is a hypothesis that when a church looks outward - actively loving and serving its neighbours, especially the 'least of these' - then the church will be healthier and will grow.

Commissioned by CUF and conducted by Christian Research Consultancy, the aim of this research is to explore the impact that social growth has on churches, as well as on the communities they serve. This project combined face-to-face, in-depth interviews with a selection of clergy from churches that were known to be active in tackling poverty in their communities with an online survey of around 900 Church of England clergy. 

Click here to download the Executive Summary of the quantitative element of the project.

Click here to read the full quantitative report.


Poverty and Fresh Expressions: A study of emerging forms of church in deprived communities

Working in deprived areas, many Christians have often tried to set up initiatives and projects that support people materially and also seek to connect people to God and the wider church.

CUF commissioned a study by the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT) into how this was being worked out. This report summarises the key issues facing emerging forms of church in deprived communities.

Click here to read the Executive Summary of this report.

Click here to read the full report


Bias to the poor? A study of Christian attitudes to poverty in this country

Christian theology provides a distinctive perspective on poverty, including an in-built ‘bias to the poor’ and a strong emphasis on a personal and collective responsibility to help those in poverty as an expression of God’s love for, and identification with, the ‘least of these’. This research looks at how this theology is reflected in the attitudes of clergy and churchgoers and, in particular, whether they think differently to the rest of the population about issues of poverty and inequality.




Submerging Church? Supporting faith-based community work in deprived areas

At CUF, we are committed to supporting those who serve deprived communities, as they live and work alongside some of the poorest and most marginalised people in England.

As part of this work, we held series of overnight consultations for clergy and community workers from deprived parishes to reflect on the key challenges they face and to begin to develop a shared vision for tackling poverty in their diocese. This note summarises the discussions from the first six consultation events in 2011 and 2012.



Tackling Poverty 2012: A report on CUF’s annual conference

CUF’s annual Tackling Poverty conference brought together nearly 300 church leaders and Christian workers from England’s most deprived communities as part of a growing movement of Christians tackling poverty in this country.

Our keynote speakers highlighted the prophetic role of the Church and explored the distinctive and challenging nature of urban ministry. The conference report summarises some of the core themes that emerged during the day.



Power, Poverty and the Church

How can we build a movement of Christians committed to tackling poverty in this country? And how can we help churches to engage more effectively with those in power?

Organised jointly by CUF, Church Action on Poverty and St John’s Waterloo, this workshop brought together church leaders, activists and anti-poverty charities from across denominations to begin to address these questions.

To stimulate debate, we asked three prominent Christian social thinkers to share their views and experiences and the event was chaired by The Revd Helen Dawes, Deputy Secretary for Public Affairs at Lambeth Palace.