Monday 26th November 2012A major new initiative to help the poorest people in Middlesbrough is being launched by the Archbishop of York on Sunday 2nd December. Together Middlesbrough is a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of York, to help churches tackle poverty together.
A service to launch Together Middlesbrough will be held at St Barnabas Church, Linthorpe, at 2pm on Sunday 2nd December.
One of the people helping organise the service is the Revd Dominic Black, the Rural Dean of Middlesbrough and vicar of Holy Trinity Church North Ormesby. He said, “Together Middlesbrough will help churches across Middlesbrough, from all different traditions, work together to tackle poverty. It’s a great idea to combine the skills and experience of the Church Urban Fund and the local knowledge of the Diocese of York in this project.
"The scale and spread of deprivation in Middlesbrough is amongst the worst in the country. 47% of the town is ranked in the bottom 10% poorest places to live, and in these communities up to 59% of children are living in poverty. These statistics can seem overwhelming, but Christ calls us to respond to the needs of our neighbours, to feed the hungry, to clothe the poor, to befriend the lonely, to care for the sick. Together Middlesbrough is a practical Christian response to local need. By coming together, we can support, resource and encourage one another to make a significant difference in our communities.”
Paul Hackwood, Chair of Trustees of the Church Urban Fund said, "I am delighted that we are working in partnership with the Diocese, in Middlesbrough to tackle poverty. We are firm believers in the power of churches working together, to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised, through the quality of relationship and solidarity that we build with them."
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, “I’m delighted that the Diocese of York and the Church Urban Fund are working jointly for Together Middlesbrough. It’s a great example of changes happening at grass roots level, and from within Middlesbrough itself.
“We have a very unequal society. Overall income inequality is higher than at any time in the last 30 years - and whilst the poorest see their incomes slashed, incomes at the top have been rising rapidly. But everyone deserves a decent quality of life and if we show real determination, and a courage for justice, I believe that we can make that dream a reality. Together we can see God’s Kingdom of love and justice coming across Middlesbrough.”
About Church Urban Fund:
Church Urban Fund is about Christians tackling poverty together to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in England. It was established in 1987.
Church Urban Fund works with over 300 community projects in partnership with local diocese. These projects offer debt counselling, family support, children’s after-school and breakfast clubs, parenting advice, addiction advice and residential treatment, mental health support, food banks, help with re-housing, advocacy, befriending and mentoring with young people, job clubs and skills training, community development and support for elderly or disabled people.