All are welcome? Poverty
I can’t afford the church collection
I wonder what feeling genuinely welcome means to you. In this column I am speaking to a range of people from around the United Reformed Church about their experiences of church and what welcome might feel like for them. In churches, we hope to be able to say ‘All are welcome!’, but sometimes it is hard to know where to start. In talking about equality and diversity, I regularly meet people who have felt less than welcome in churches. That needs to change. In the UK, the 2010 Equality Act protects people from discrimination on the grounds of certain protected characteristics. These do not include poverty, although poverty is often a related factor.
This month, I have been hearing from a URC member, who has asked to remain anonymous due to the stigma they face, about their experiences as someone who feels excluded due to, in their words, usually being strapped for cash. They feel strongly that poverty should be a protected characteristic. Their testimony challenges us to rethink how we speak, think, act and react around money in churches. They highlight the importance of three valuable tips:…
This column is curated by Alex Clare-Young, a leisure sector pioneer special category minister for the URC in Cambridge. This month’s contributor is anonymous
This is an extract from an article published in the December 2022 / January 2023 edition of Reform