#FaithAtHome aims to make prayer a household habit

The Church of England has recently launched #FaithAtHome, a new programme which it is hoped will “make prayer a household habit once again.”

#FaithAtHome will feature weekly video content to help families to talk about faith and pray together. The videos will be led by children, young people, staff and school leaders from across the country.

The #FaithAtHome programme will run for an initial 11 weeks, until the end of July, and can be accessed at churchofengland.org/faithathome.  It will explore themes including courage, patience, generosity, resilience, love and hope.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “The aim of these resources is to offer simple ways for families and households to approach complex and difficult topics, such as illness, fear and bereavement.  The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to confront difficult and painful questions that none of us can explore on our own.

“My hope and prayer is that #FaithAtHome will not only equip children and young people to engage with difficult questions, but also inspire them.”

The Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Nigel Genders said: “Home is the new normal, and faith at home is a habit we need to rediscover. #FaithAtHome will offer people of all ages and faith backgrounds a chance to pause, think and reflect, and to rebuild lost habits of prayer and faithful reflection in the home.”

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) concerned at rising level of household debt

“The coronavirus crisis will push thousands of households to the brink.”  So warns a spokesman for CAP, the charity which helps people in debt.

So, while CAP approves the Government’s recent £20 per week boost for those on Universal Credit and those receiving Tax Credits, “what many won’t realise is that a staggering 2.83 million people will still fall through a gap in this vital provision.

“These people are those who are still receiving ‘old style’ benefits that Universal Credit is designed to replace – things like Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). 

“Around one in five of our clients will therefore miss out on the Government’s support package, which is worth more than £1,000 over the next twelve months.”

In all, CAP has listed three further changes it would like to see the Government make: 

Increase Job Seeker’s Allowance and Employment Support Allowance by £20 per week.

Increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the median market rents. 

Suspend the benefit cap during the pandemic.

In the meantime, CAP has launched a coronavirus emergency appeal to provide everything from emergency food packages to fuel vouchers, to crucial mobile phone credit to help those who are isolated stay connected during this time.  It points out that one in five adults in the UK has less than £100 in savings, and that 38% of their clients’ debt is priority debts like rent, Council Tax and utility bills.

If you can help, go to www.capuk.org

Coronavirus cases in Africa increasing sharply

Christian Aid has warned that time is running out to prevent coronavirus overwhelming health systems across Africa.

As coronavirus infections rise sharply across the continent, and with African countries lacking the specialist equipment or staff to cope with a pandemic, the international development agency is calling for the cancellation of debt repayments from African countries this year, so that money can be freed up and spent instead on saving lives.

As the poorest continent in the world, Africa is least equipped to provide the specialist care necessary to treat people infected with coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation there are less than 2,000 ventilators and 5,000 intensive care unit beds across the entire Africa region.

 Patrick Watt, Christian Aid’s Director of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns, said: “Debt repayments falling due this year should be cancelled in full if we want African countries to have a fighting chance of limiting the spread of coronavirus, and surviving the hit to their economies.

“It is completely perverse that dozens of the world’s poorest countries are expected to pay debts to wealthy creditors in the midst of the biggest global health challenge in a generation, and the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. At this moment, cancelling the debt is a matter of life and death.”

Source for all news items : Parish Pump