2014 RH Tawney Memorial Dialogue - a report

Across the UK, the number of children living in poverty is increasing, families needing emergency help from food banks has shot up, and calls to debt crisis helplines are soaring.

In the face of this, church leaders have been speaking out in concern for the most vulnerable in our society. Recently, 27 bishops and other church leaders wrote to the Mirror criticising government changes and calling on them to do more to address the food shortages many families are facing. A few weeks ago Cardinal Nichols publicly criticised the UK’s welfare system for allowing poorer members of society to remain in a destitute situation.

Christians on the Left provided a timely conversation on welfare with last week’s annual RH Tawney Memorial Dialogue which addressed the topic, “Welfare: moral responsibility or sinful waste?”

Dr Anna Rowlands, Lecturer in Theology and Ministry at King’s College London and Rachel Reeves, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions offered thought-provoking contributions as they sought to address the tensions between Christian thought and current policy.

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