Why the Church should care about Housing – Work of the Housing, Church and Community Commission

18th February 2021

The goal of the CofE Housing, Church and Community Commission, launched by Archbishop Justin in April 2019, has been to re-imagine housing in our nation, and to ask, first, what the church can do to alleviate the crisis and then to ask what others might do. Being confined to our homes during lockdown, and awareness of the particular challenges for those who do not have a safe or comfortable home, has also underlined further our nation’s housing crisis.

Government and other stakeholders will be invited to join the conversation. Poor housing affects all of our parishes and communities to some extent, and the Commission has created a range of resources to help parishes respond to the housing crisis in your communities. They can be found here (includes resources, bible studies, case studies and guides for churches). In particular you may like to explore something more of a theology of housing and why this is an important area of the church’s mission. The recently published Grove booklet - “Why the church should care about housing”, and the newly published book “Coming Home”, written and edited by members of the Commission, offer rich resources.  
We are keen that these other resources flow to those who need them and I would therefore like to invite you to:
  • Watch and Share - Animated Video This excellent 3 min video sets out five core values for "good" housing as sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying. It would be great if you could share on your social channels and via emails. 
  • Head to the Website Practical resources, tips and guides to inspire you and your church to respond effectively to your local housing where you are. 
  • Note the date of 21 February- Full Report release including recommendations to Government
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Bishop David and myself to let us know that the Housing, Church and Community Commission’s full report is due to be released on 21 February. This will include recommendations to Government. Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani has also been appointed recently as the Bishop for Housing. She will be initially working with the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker.
As well as possibilities at local level, it would be good to join-up our thinking and action across the CofE Birmingham. I will be seeking to draw together this larger strategic-level conversation, and would be very glad to hear from anyone with a particular interest, knowledge or experience, who would like to feed-in to this. I would also be pleased to hear any stories or ideas that emerge from your local conversations.
Please pray for the work of the Commission as they lead on this at national level, and let’s prayerfully consider what impact in this vital area we might make here in Birmingham and region.
The Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst – Bishop of Aston