Come ye thankful people, come

by Richard on September 25, 2012

Neil of The Oil Lamp laments a decline he’s noticed in the celebration of Harvest Festival. I can’t say I’ve noticed that myself. But I do share his deeper concern about the rise of food banks in Britain. These seem to be springing up everywhere, and are being well-supported by local churches.

Of course, it is a fine thing that Christians are actively helping those in need in this way. But it is a disgrace that in our so-called civilised nation, so many families need private charity to supply their most basic needs.

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09.28.12 at 10:51 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Neil 09.25.12 at 3:50 pm

I’m delighted! perhaps its because you are in a more rural area, or maybe the decline is amongst large trendy evangelical churches like mine?

2

Richard 09.25.12 at 4:34 pm

That could be it…

3

Mark Byron 09.25.12 at 7:00 pm

If I remember the early church, caring for those in need was one of their core functions; the early deacons were the folks who distributed the food. We’ve ceded that job to the government in the last century, which might not be that bad a thing when only about 10% of the folks in the UK are church-goers, if I remember the stats.

I don’t know how the British welfare system works vis-a-vis the US system, but we have a number of categories that can drop you through the cracks of the system; intact families and singles tend to be left out as the system is geared towards single parents. Folks in the spot where they are working but can’t quite make ends meet sometimes don’t fit into the system, either.

Having a secondary safety net in the church is a good thing, unless you’re in the business of maximizing what government does.

4

Neil 09.25.12 at 10:26 pm

You need both government action and charity. There are gaps here (increasingly so) under this government. One big problem here is that wages have fallen in real terms apart for the very wealthy. We have tax credits available for those who are low paid but the practical upshot is that we end subsiding large companies who don’t have to pay workers well.

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