The Church of England General Synod will be debating the “Big Society” on Tuesday afternoon this week. As background material to this debate the Mission and Public Affairs Division has produced a report: GS1804 “The Big Society” and the Church of England. There is also a summary of this report: GS1804A. The debate will undoubtedly extend to the government’s cuts in public expenditure.
Jonathan Wynne-Jones writes in today’s Telegraph: Bishops warn David Cameron’s Big Society will be undermined by welfare cuts
Today’s Diary of a civil servant column in The Observer is Welcome to the ever-diminishing world of the ‘big society’.
The Common Wealth (Christians for Economic and Social Justice) network has been launched with Christians say cuts-based Big Society is ‘a Big Lie’. The network has issued a statement with this abstract.
In the face of sweeping public spending cuts and a UK government economic strategy which targets the poor to pay for a crisis produced by the wealthy, a group of Christians in public life (activists, ministers and theologians) have issued this statement calling for Christian unity with others in the movement to resist the cuts in public and welfare provision. It urges the churches to be wary about being co-opted into the Big Society initiative – which it calls ‘a big lie’ in economic terms. The document articulates a radical theological critique of government policies and the social and economic order they seek to maintain. It is rooted in an alternative vision based on strong Christian roots and wide solidarities, arguing for a Common Wealth that expresses the central dynamics of the Gospel message. The statement is also a call to form a network of discernment, resistance and creativity in the generation of fresh approaches to the shared life of people and planet.
Savi Hensman has written for Ekklesia about Cuts that divide and devalue
The Church in Wales has issued this press release: Count the human cost of the cuts – Bishop responds to Draft Budget.
And there is this from The Church of Scotland: Kirk challenges Chancellor to meet the poor.
Church Action On Poverty has published Churches challenge Government over poverty and welfare.