CUF Research and Policy

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Year: 2019
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Here you can download and read our new report: ‘More than Just Credit? the experience of credit unions building financial resilience in communities’. (Executive Summary version)

Year: 2019
Type: Policy

The Research and Policy Team at the Church Urban Fund has produced a new easily understandable guide called: ‘Universal Credit: Everything You Need to Know’. The guide quickly explains what the new benefits system is, who it’s for, and how to support someone applying for it.

Year: 2019
Type: Policy
Theme: Financial Inclusion

In January 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched their consultation on CP18/35: ‘Rent-to-own and alternatives to high-cost credit – feedback on CP18/12 and consultation on a price cap’ consulting on a proposal to place a 100% price cap on the rent-to-own market. This paper presents a joint response to the consultation submitted by Just Finance Foundation and the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council.

Year: 2018
Type: Evaluations
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Uncertain incomes, lifelong indebtedness and high housing costs are central to making financial capability a prominent issue for younger generations. Research has shown that children form habits and attitudes to money from as young as the age of seven, conveying the importance of LifeSavers’ work and its potential to improve financial wellbeing for the next generation.

Year: 2018
Type: Policy
Theme: Loneliness

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched a consultation in June 2018 to inform their approach to developing a Loneliness Strategy. This paper presents our written response to the consultation.

Year: 2018
Type: Evaluations
Theme: Financial Inclusion


Uncertain incomes, lifelong indebtedness and high housing costs are central to making financial capability a prominent issue for younger generations. Research has shown that children form habits and attitudes to money from as young as the age of seven, conveying the importance of LifeSavers’ work and its potential to improve financial wellbeing for the next generation.

Year: 2018
Type: Evaluations
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Cash Smart Credit Savvy (CSCS) is a short, informal introduction to budgeting skills and saving. Designed as an early intervention, the programme aims to improve the financial wellbeing of working age adults by increasing confidence and skill in making informed choices about money. This report presents the evaluation findings, which indicate that the programme has succeeded in improving participants’ confidence, skills, and intentions around budgeting and saving.

Year: 2018
Type: Evaluations
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Cash Smart Credit Savvy (CSCS) is a short, informal introduction to budgeting skills and saving. Designed as an early intervention, the programme aims to improve the financial wellbeing of working age adults by increasing confidence and skill in making informed choices about money. This report summarises the evaluation findings, which indicate that the programme has succeeded in improving participants’ confidence, skills, and intentions around budgeting and saving.

Year: 2018
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This national survey of clergy in England highlights and celebrates the contribution that churches are making to their local community. It follows on from previous surveys in 2015 and 2013.

Year: 2018
Type: Impact Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

Our Impact Report tells the story of the difference Church Urban Fund is making in the lives of people and communities all over England. It shows how the Together Network, Near Neighbours, and Just Finance Foundation are working collaboratively to catalyse social action and deliver positive social change.

Year: 2017
Type: Evaluations
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Uncertain incomes, lifelong indebtedness and high housing costs are central to making financial capability a prominent issue for younger generations. Research has shown that children form habits and attitudes to money from as young as the age of seven, conveying the importance of LifeSavers’ work and its potential to improve financial wellbeing for the next generation.


Year: 2017
Type: Policy

The Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society was launched in April 2017 with the aim of investigating how to maximise the positive effects of civic action and provide a guide to how to release its potential to drive positive change. This paper presents Church Urban Fund’s responses to questions posed by the Inquiry about the purpose of civil society, how it is changing, and how it can contribute to human flourishing.

Year: 2017
Type: Policy

In December 2017, the Government’s Department for Education launched a consultation as part of their strategy to update existing guidance on the teaching of sex and relationship education, and personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). This paper presents Just Finance Foundation’s joint response to the consultation, with Young Money and the Church of England.

Year: 2017
Type: Impact Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

During 2016 CUF’s work grew in scope and scale, tackling a wide range of social, economic and community issues in collaboration with local and national partners.

Year: 2017
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Food Poverty

Food poverty is affecting an increasing proportion of the UK population. Food is important to our physical survival, to our sense of dignity and identity, and as a part of family and community relationships and participation. Read this report to understand more about food poverty in the UK and our approach to it.

Year: 2017
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This report is the product of a research project exploring how Christians connect their discipleship to their engagement in communities and neighbourhoods. It was produced in partnership with the Saltley Trust and is based on research from the Dioceses of Birmingham and Lichfield. Read the report to learn about the findings.

Year: 2016
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This paper is an overview of this data from our updated Lookup Tool, highlighting inequality and deprivation across England.

Year: 2016
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Homelessness and Housing

Homelessness is a serious and growing issue in England and the number of people sleeping rough in London has doubled in the last five years. This paper looks at different types of homelessness and shows what churches can do to help.

Year: 2015
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Homelessness and Housing

This paper is a summary of an event that Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland hosted discussing how people could work together to more effectively transform the lives of the homeless. This paper is a brief summary of the talks and discussions that took place throughout the day.

Year: 2015
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Loneliness

A Silent Epidemic was the second event of a series with CUF and Edinburgh University’s Divinity school, this paper has been written in order to share the learning from the day and encourage further discussion about loneliness.

Year: 2015
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Money Talks was the third event of a series with CUF and Edinburgh University’s Divinity School, this summary paper has been written in order to share the learning and to encourage similar discussions about financial exclusion around the country.

Year: 2015
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

Using case studies from around the country, theological reflection and questions for discussion, in this report we invite Christians seeking to impact their communities to reflect on how we might do this in ways that build community and result in life in all its fullness, shared together.

Year: 2015
Type: Impact Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This report details what we have achieved in all aspects of our work, partnerships we share, evaluation and finances for 2015.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

The report makes recommendations about the steps that need to be taken to significantly increase membership of credit unions amongst churchgoers. These recommendations will help to encourage churchgoers to become more active supporters of credit unions, by deepening their knowledge and understanding of the sector and its value.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

CUF conducted a survey to deepen our understanding of current engagement with the credit union sector; to identify barriers to engagement that will need to be overcome if credit unions are to grow. This presentation shares the main results of that survey.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This Web of Poverty paper sets out CUF’s understanding of poverty. It also explains our approach to tackling poverty and how, through our Together Network, we seek to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in England.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

In this new piece of research, CUF and Theos set out to understand the impact of local churches in deprived communities in England. We sought to explore what churches do to support people in their communities, and also how and why they do it.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This report tells the story of one church that undertook a listening exercise to inform and shape their work in the community. We hope that it will be a useful and practical resource for other churches seeking to listen to, connect with and support people in their communities.

Year: 2014
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion can be built in our society in three ways: ensuring people have a secure, minimum income; increasing access to financial services; and providing financial advice and education. This paper explores these three themes and shares case studies of the innovative work churches are doing around the country.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This paper introduces the concept of asset-based community development (ABCD) – an approach to development that uses the skills and capacities of local people to build stronger, more sustainable communities.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This paper by Rev Al Barrett, a church leader working in Birmingham, explores how methods of asset-based community development resonate deeply with Christian theology and practice.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

In Middlesbrough unemployment is twice the national average and child poverty is the third highest in the country. This report summarises the findings of a survey that quantifies the scale and range of social action undertaken by Christian organisations in the area.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

The aim of this paper is to quantify the scale of Anglican church-led social action in England, to explore the types of activities that parishes run and to identify the social needs they help to address in the current financial climate.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action Homelessness and Housing Food Poverty Financial Inclusion Poverty

When they came to power in 2010, the Coalition Government undertook radical reform of our welfare system – this paper explores the most significant changes made between the start of the Coalition and April 2013.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

By telling the story of two hypothetical households, this paper explores the cumulative impact of welfare reforms undertaken by the Coalition Government on household finances.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Financial Inclusion

This study looks beyond the financial impact of welfare reforms to the broader impact that they are having on people’s everyday lives, and considers how churches can best support those affected, using key findings from interviews with 10 organisations.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This short paper is a summary of the key findings from CUF’s updated Poverty Lookup Tool.

Year: 2013
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This reference paper aggregates Church of England parish data to provide national and diocesan-level poverty statistics based on 2013 data, using summary charts and tables to make data usable to people conducting their own research.

Year: 2012
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action Poverty

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 addressaround how Christians can respond to poverty.

Year: 2012
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

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

The conference report summarises some of the core themes that emerged during the day.

Year: 2012
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

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.

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.

Year: 2012
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

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.

Year: 2012
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

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.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

Case studies of ‘Church in Action’ presented in this report evidence the breadth of activity undertaken by churches and church-based organisations in addressing deprivation and disadvantage in the local communities that they serve.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This report summarises the results of a special survey carried out by CUF and Church Action on Poverty to monitor the impact of the public spending cuts on voluntary groups in the most deprived areas of England.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action Poverty

CUF, Church Action on Poverty and the Diocese of London ran a workshop to explore issues around the Living Wage and the way that the wider Church should respond, both as a spiritual body with a public voice and as an employer. Four Living Wage proponents, shared their experiences and perspectives during the workshop; their views, along with a selection of case studies, are presented here.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Poverty

This report highlights the inequalities between the most deprived areas in England – where most of CUF’s support is targeted – and wealthier areas, showing how almost every aspect of human existence is impacted by poverty.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

Life expectancy varies by up to 11 years across the five-mile wide Wirral peninsula - a pattern that is mirrored in many other parts of the country. This report outlines some of the key findings from a report set up by the Bishop of Birkenhead and Diocese of Chester with funding from CUF.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action Homelessness and Housing

This new report summarises the results of a study carried out by CUF and Housing Justice to understand how churches are responding to housing-related issues in their communities and how more might be done to make a bigger impact.

Year: 2011 And Before
Type: Research Reports
Theme: Church-Based Social Action

This study aims to identify the benefits of successful partnership working between third sector local infrastructure organisations (LIOs) and local faith communities. It also offers some points for good practice which can be considered and adapted in the light of local circumstances. It provides material which will be of particular use to local infrastructure organisations, as well as faith organisations and networks.