Recent years have witnessed dramatic growth in churches across Britain finding ways to care for the poorest in their communities. Motivated by genuine concern, dedicated volunteers responded to the call to action and millions of pounds have been invested to support those most in need. However, the culture of many churches fails to attract those they are helping to the very faith that motivates this compassion. Even when people from poorer or working class backgrounds start on a journey of faith, many churches struggle to create an inclusive environment where they can feel welcomed and at home.
With biblical insight and practical examples A Church for the Poor, by Martin Charlesworth and Natalie Williams, presents a vision of the church as a place where people from all sections of society can find a home and play a part. It is a call to rethink our traditions and transform the church to reach the poor in Britain today.
Martin Charlesworth lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Jane and has three grown-up daughters. He holds degrees in history and theology, and worked as a teacher and in business before becoming a church leader. Martin led Barnabas Community Church Shrewsbury from 1994 to 2014 and helped develop its strong emphasis on social action and community engagement.
Martin now leads Jubilee+ whose vision is to see the Church in the UK be a champion of the poor and a means to healthy communities across the nation.
In his spare time, Martin enjoys cycling, squash and mountaineering. He is an enthusiastic traveller, having previously lived in Pakistan and South Africa.
Natalie Williams grew up in a working class family in Hastings, one of the most deprived areas of Britain. She was the first person in her family to go to university. After graduating, she worked as a journalist in London and Beijing. She has an MA in Political Communications.
Natalie now works for King’s Church Hastings, where she oversees communications and social action, and for Jubilee+ as communications coordinator. She is passionate about Christians and churches being a force for good in their communities and actively demonstrating the mercy of God to those in need.
‘I gladly commend this book to you because it has something urgent and important to say to the UK church which we desperately need to hear. More than theory alone, this comes from their heart, is biblical and offers meaningful ways forward. They are practitioners of what they preach. Be prepared to be deeply challenged!’
Roy Godwin, author of The Grace Outpouring and The Way of Blessing.