What Poverty Today?

If we strip out the UK government definition of poverty as being those households with an income of lower than 60% of the average UK income, then we are left with the question of what poverty is there in the UK today?

In theory UK welfare and bankruptcy laws should provide for the needs of daily life, such as food and shelter. However, I do recognise that the application of this theory is fraught – I have personally had to spend time helping a friend claim what was due her (after she had suffered injuries that had made her unable to work). It’s as if our society wants to make it as hard as possible to keep one’s head above water in difficult circumstances.

So apart from money troubles due to the lack of help available to get the benefits of bankruptcy or welfare (and these are far from insignificant matters) what poverty do we have today?

My post the other day about the well-being of our children made me think that perhaps a large problem was the amount of time that family members spend with each other.

This is essentially what is behind the ‘Keep Sunday Special’ campaign – the idea that families need to spend more time together. However, because I don’t see any theological reason for Sunday actually being a special day, then I would rather tackle the issue directly rather than attempt to tell people that they shouldn’t work on Sunday. The church needs to wake up to the needs of those that work on a Sunday and change from having what is generally regarded as a key time within the church on a Sunday morning.

So I guess it comes down to providing for people’s poverty. If the poverty is a lack of quality time together then do things that enable people, from diverse backgrounds, to be able to have that time together.

Whilst I’m not sure that I would back a ‘keep dinner special’ campaign or a ‘play boardgames instead of watching TV’ campaign there are surely things we can do.

What are the things that are eating into people’s family time?

  • Sports
  • Watching sports
  • TV viewing
  • Ready meals and easy snacking
  • I’m sure that there are many others…

… but that last one gives me an idea:
Meals for Families

I think that that will need to be my next post!

3 thoughts on “What Poverty Today?

  1. Pingback: SUNDAY PAPERS

  2. We as a family always have breakfast togehter and also ane vening meal, we also have saturday as a family day where we do things togehter, and I don’t do any work. Agree totally that sunday is impractical for some to have as special time, and yes the church should be doing more f other days of the week. Have tried to argue this with my own church leaders, some agree some disagree, but the reality is with sucha diverse society, with so much happening, then other days in the week are far better for some. Have done no research into poverty of tfamilies, but knwo that financially thsi does exist for whatever reason, but would also agree that possibly greatest poverty is breakdown of family, and even community

  3. I’m glad you posed the question, “what poverty today?” I think that the Emerging Church fails to see a significant issue in the Gospels. Maybe that’s a reason why there are only two other replies. Just because people are supposed to have enough money for rent, bills and other items, doesn’t mean that they do. There are thousands upon thousands of people who are desperate due to massive debt – to established lending houses and disreputable loan sharks. There are those who have secondary poverty, where say an abusive partner spends all the income on alcohol or gambling which causes huge family tensions. My question is, “where is the Emerging Church in the poverty of life?” Parents and their partners amass huge debts so the children can have the latest clothes/shoes etc. I don’t see the Emerging Church getting involved in issues like these from a different social class…please tell me I,m wrong and show me where these churches are. I’d like to visit them.

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