Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

The patron of Acts 435, the Archbishop of York, spoke yesterday at the Church Urban Fund's annual conference about the role churches have in tackling poverty, nationally, regionally and locally. He specifically referred to the excellent work of the Romero Centre in Barnsley which we are pleased to announce has also, today signed up to Acts 435!

The Archbishop surprised the conference delegates with the statistic that 93% of churches think that tackling poverty is important but that only 44% are actually doing it!

Concluding his address, the Archbishop outlined the transformative work of local projects such as the Romero Project in Athersley, Barnsley that provide debt counselling, training and apprenticeship schemes, mentoring support and employment opportunities. He said: "It is at the local level that churches can have the best and the most long-term effect on tackling poverty. It is because we have a wealth of experience and skill in serving local communities. This has often been built up over decades of Christian witness and active support to people in the local community, particularly the lonely and the vulnerable. Often the churches have been the only organisations to have done this and so have built up a unique insight into the needs of their particular area."

It is a privilege to be a small part of tackling poverty and hopefully contacts made yesterday with those on the frontline in Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester will bear fruit for Acts 435 and more importantly for those churches and projects which could so benefit from the resource Acts 435 provides to provide some practical support for the people they are ministering to.