Faith and social action
Faith groups play a significant role in our communities, and we are linking up with them to celebrate and build on their contributions to our neighbourhoods and the wider society.
Part our Five-Year Plan is building resilient and self-sustaining communities, and helping communities to do more for themselves. Faith groups and people of many different beliefs already do that in many of our communities and there is a lot of incredibly valuable work going on.
Interfaith Week: 12 - 19 November 2017
To highlight these contributions across Central Bedfordshire, we are taking part in a week-long celebration of faith and belief from 12 - 19 November 2017, linking in with national Interfaith Week.
The national goals are to strengthen inter-faith relationships by increasing awareness of different faiths and beliefs and to increase understanding between different groups. In Central Bedfordshire, we are highlighting the social actions that faith groups carry out in communities, through projects like food banks and credit unions.
Celebrating faith and belief through our credit unions
Whilst social action is at the heart of our local churches’ lives, credit unions play an important part in helping us to support our local communities. They do this through promoting and providing fairer and ethical banking, so that everyone has the opportunity to access responsible savings and credit services - especially those who may not be able to readily use high street banks.
Whether providing space in some of our churches for collection points or volunteers to staff and provide assistance in other locations, many church members save with the credit unions to help support the work. Without the savings of those who may not need to take out loans, we wouldn’t have the funds to assist those who may need help.
In Bedfordshire, we have two credit unions (with about 3,000 members in total across the county):
- Bedford Credit Union covers Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire
- Money Matters covers the LU postcode area
Celebrating faith and belief through food banks
People who are experiencing difficulties feeding themselves or their families can get emergency food provision from local food banks, which are often run by faith groups. They offer several days’ supply to anyone experiencing severe financial hardship. Remember to contact your local Food Bank first to find out their process for applying for a food parcel as most of them operate a referral system.
Below are some of the faith-based food banks in Central Bedfordshire:
- The Dunstable Food Bank – operates out of New Life Church, St Augustine’s Church, Wilkinson Hall (St George’s Church) and The Way (Christ Church)
- Biggleswade Baptist Church
- Potton Vineyard Church
- Leighton Linslade Community Food Bank (Trinity Methodist Church)
- The Need Project – operates out of King’s Baptist Church, Stotfold, Flitwick Baptist Church, Sandy Baptist Church and Shefford Baptist Church
Please contact us for more information.