Church Urban Fund
last updated on: 2nd Dec 2010
Celebrating 20 Years
of action in England's poorest communities
Please address CUF enquiries to the Director of Social Responsibility
T: 0116 248 7424
Answer the Call
Church Urban Fund is calling on individuals and churches to join together on June 13th – Church Urban Fund Poverty Sunday – in praying for the people and communities most affected by poverty in this country.
In an interview with Church Urban Fund in July 2009, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, explained his belief that individuals are empowered to change their lives when they feel valued as individuals, and that the Church has an important role to play: “When people suffer from material poverty and deprivation, they don’t just suffer the lack of a few things, they suffer a lack of confidence, a lack of a sense of having a stake in the society around them. They feel that they’ve fallen of the edge and that they are dispensable … The Church is most effective, of course, when the story that it tells is also the action that it shows.”
One example of the level of need in this country, quoted recently in the London Evening Standard’s series on ‘The Dispossessed’, is that GPs in some of the most deprived communities are seeing malnourished children with bloated stomachs, in scenes more like those from an African famine than a G8 country. At the same time there are increasing numbers of obese children, some as young as four, in these same communities. It all comes down to families and carers who lack the means and know-how to provide their children with a healthy, balanced diet.
The results are shocking: Vitamin D deficiency is now common, as children live indoor, sedentary lives. Many experience muscle aches and lack of sleep, inability to concentrate at school, and poor dental health, all symptoms of poor nutrition and a lack of outdoor exercise. This is the reality for many children in England’s most deprived communities. It’s a reality Church Urban Fund is committed to changing.
In our Diocese CUF has supported projects as diverse as community work in Braunstone, FareShare food redistribution, Youth work at the Cathedral, and support for Futures Unlocked, giving fresh vision, hope and life to communities in need.
All over the country, CUF-supported projects are helping to plant seeds of hope in the lives of people living in England’s most deprived areas, building the capacity of these communities to bring about lasting change.
“Almost invariably, where the Church Urban Fund has got it spectacularly right is in this business of giving capacity to local communities, which does not mean throwing money at people,” Dr. Rowan Williams said recently. “It [means] sensibly using resources to build up the capacity to increase your resource, and increase people’s confidence in what they can do and the changes they can make.”
Christian writer David Rhodes sums up the essence of Church Urban Fund’s call to tackle poverty: “Jesus commands us to do something definite. Something demanding. Something dynamic. He commands us to love our neighbour … This means to value and respect them, and to actively oppose any injustice which condemns marginalised and vulnerable individuals to suffering and humiliation; to tackle the cause as well as the symptom.”
Our response at Church Urban Fund is to restore relationships between individuals and within communities and society at large; it is when we become disconnected from one another that poverty and inequality are allowed to spread unchecked. We support the work of truly remarkable churches that are putting the heart back into this country’s poorest communities; churches who put their faith into action to improve the lives of the people around them.
Your response is to pray, act and give. Church Urban Fund has produced a number of resources for churches and individuals to assist them in their focus on poverty, including reflections, readings, prayers and worship materials. All of the resources are available as downloads from our webpage: http://www.cuf.org.uk/poverty-sunday.aspx
You can also go to www.cuf.org.uk and make a donation to support our work directly. Through your continued prayer and financial support, we can help to transform the passion of local churches into the reality of serving vulnerable people and those living in disadvantaged communities.
THE CHURCH URBAN FUND
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We exist to support the church in tackling the causes and results of deprivation across England.
The role of the CUF officer in the Diocese of Leicester is to assess new applications for grants and to support existing projects with advice about management and funding.
GRANT APPLICATION CRITERIA
Applications will only be accepted from projects located in areas within the 10% most deprived communities in England. This information is based on the 2004 government indices of deprivation which can be searched, by postcode, at http://www.nationalstatistics.gov.uk/
In particular, the Church Urban Fund will support projects that:
tackle major problems in their area, such as poverty, unemployment, disaffected youth, lack of community facilities, loneliness and isolation,
or housing and homelessness;
- equip communities to address local needs and issues and encourage people to take control of their lives;
empower the Church to take an active role in wider community development,
particularly through inter-faith and ecumenical developments;
- are innovative, will make a practical impact and can develop partnerships with other agencies.
Church Urban Fund funding is limited and the maximum award is £30,000 for capital or revenue, in general awards are between £15,000 and £25,000. The amount awarded will normally be less than 50% of the project’s total cost and evidence of match funding will be required.
For more information please contact
Link up with other community projects and get great information on good practice for projects at CUFX -http://www.cufx.org.uk/
Urban policy, theology and reflection at http://urblog.typepad.com/