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?
- 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!