The beginning of something

highres-2.JPGChristians on the Left is a political organisation. And political organisations have their meetings in Westminster, right? Or at least in Holyrood, Stormont or Cardiff. So why did over a hundred people find themselves packed into a room at Vauxhall Foodbank in south London for the Christians on the Left Summit?

Well, the answer was to be found in the kind of people who were there. 

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The future of welfare - a Tawney warm up

The Welfare State is in a state of crisis – at least that is what the British public thinks. According to new research from Theos, nearly nine in ten agree that the welfare state is currently “facing severe problems”. 

The Future of Welfare asks the key question underlying this sense of crisis: what is welfare for? Without thinking through the purpose of welfare, it argues, we are unlikely to reform it in anything more than a piecemeal and pragmatic way.

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Voting, values and Christians on the Left

Voting-and-Values-in-Britain-cover_220.jpgA fascinating report, Voting and Values in Britain: Does religion count?, just published by Theos looks at voting by people of religious faith. It analyses voting and voting intentions by Christian denomination, and also for other religious faiths. 

Voting and Values draws in particular on the British Election Survey and the British Social Attitudes survey.  Amongst its many findings, the report finds that Anglicans have been more likely to vote Conservative than Labour (other than in 1966 and 1997) and in 2010 were twice as likely to vote Conservative than Roman Catholics (all self-identifying).  It also finds that Anglicans have been more likely to vote Conservative if they were attended church services regularly.  Church service attendance was also a better indicator of left-right views than affiliation to a denomination or religion alone. 

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Failing states lead to increased persecution of Christians

Open Doors 2014 World Watch List shows militant Islamic pressure has filled state void

Fragile or failed states where militant Islamic movements flourish are some of the hardest places for Christians to live, shows annual report on Christian religious freedom. 

Pressure on Christians intensified in a number of countries in 2013.  The situation deteriorated most rapidly across northern Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf, in countries where sectarian violence has advanced unchecked by impotent central governments. 

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What the foodbank debate tells us

Stephen_Timms_portrait.jpgBy Stephen Timms MP, Chair of Christians on the Left


The debate about foodbanks exposes the dark secret at the heart of this government: they just don't care.

Asked about the growth of foodbanks, David Cameron always gives the same reply: that demand for foodbanks went up tenfold under Labour. He is implying that things are no worse now than before the election.

The facts, however, tell a different story. One of the reasons the extraordinary Trussell Trust has proved so irksome to government is that it keeps meticulous statistics. And it refuses to suppress them.

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Ed Miliband sends a message of thanks to Christians in the UK

Ed Miliband today sent a message of thanks to Churches and Christian agencies in the UK.

In it, he commends the work being done by faith groups around the nation in foodbanks, with the homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable. He went on to mention climate change, international development and social justice.  You can see the message here:


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Biblical reflection on Christians on the Left

Christians on the Left: Parliamentary Launch Reflection

Tuesday 5th November 2013


COTL_Cross.pngActs 11:19-26
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and 

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A post-liberal political economy for Labour

 A Post-Liberal Political Economy for Labour*

Blue Labour, Catholic Social Thought and the ‘Civil Economy’ Alternative


 ‘Ever since the Thatcher era, British politics has been defined by forms of economic and social liberalism. The right won the argument for the former and the left the argument for the latter, or so it is said. Yet in the post-crash era, this ideological settlement is beginning to fracture. 

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They came expecting fireworks


Christians on the Left, the new name for the Christian Socialist Movement, was formally launched in a packed room at the Houses of Parliament on November 5th.  

It was quite a night to be in that famous old building.  Drawing inspiration from the most famous anti-parliamentary activism of all time, an anarchist demonstration was noisily protesting in Whitehall and Parliament Square at the same time.  Numerous fireworks, aimed in the direction of Parliament, emerged from the sea of Guido Fawkes masks and exploded colourfully in the night sky around Big Ben.   

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No room at the inn - the bedroom tax up close and personal

Andy_Flannagan_Shoot0108.jpgFor the last four years my wife Jen and I have been trying to help build community on our council block in South London. It has been a long road, but a fantastic one. 

As part of our desire to actually DWELL in our block rather than just use it as a base, we knew we would need some rhythms to stop us sliding into box-set selfishness. We were inspired by an incredible bunch of folks we met in Australia called ‘Urban Neighbours of Hope’ ( who have a rhythm whereby every week they eat a meal at some point with some folks in their immediate locality. We thought we probably won’t manage once a week, but we could manage once a fortnight. 

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