COVID19: a letter to the government

acet UK, along with 18 other Christian charities, has called upon Boris Johnson to acknowledge the work of countless Christian charities and to make funds available to assist them in their vital efforts to support families and communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coalition of charities, which includes: Christian Aid, World Vision, Transforming Lives for Good, acet UK and others, asks the Prime Minister to consider the unimaginable challenge created by the crisis, which is affecting families, the society and the economy.

The letter to the Prime Minister asks him and the Chancellor to urgently commit to new ways to support the sector in the same way that businesses and others are already seeing help.

Catherine Healey said, “The church is an amazing body of people with many diverse skills, many of whom are already engaged in supporting families and communities, as well as inspiring others to do the same. Ongoing funding is critical to charities like us and the negative financial impact of the Coronavirus is already being felt. We stand with other charities to ask the government to see the amazing value we all offer and to invest in the many different types of support that we are giving the nation.”

The letter

Dear Prime Minister, 

We would like to start by thanking you for all you are doing to lead this nation through this unprecedented situation and for the incredible efforts you have made to keep us in touch with your plans. 

Our world is in the thick of a crisis like no other; our families, our society, our economy are being challenged in previously unimaginable ways.   

Thankfully, this country has a resource which is used to stepping up, supporting and finding solutions. This resource is the Church: a body of people who know all about compassionately supporting people in their communities and inspiring others to do the same.  

Working hard alongside the churches are a myriad of Christian charities who exist to equip and support the Church as they look after those around them. Right now, in the most difficult of times, we are doing what Jesus told us to do: to love our neighbour. 

The Church is an unequalled army of highly motivated and experienced volunteers, on the ground in every city, town and village. Equipped by the charities we represent, we see them:

  • Help people manage their money and deal with personal debt
  • Inform and support those needing government help 
  • Deliver food parcels to vulnerable people 
  • Ensure children in poverty are prioritised 
  • Reach those who are not online and ensure they are cared for 
  • Help people stay healthy and positive, especially those with poor mental health
  • Connect those who want to give and volunteer with those in need 
  • Bring hope and address loneliness at a very local level 
  • Assist in safeguarding some of society's most vulnerable children 
  • Send support to and stand in solidarity with communities living in extreme poverty around the world

We know that a future economic downturn will mean that our care will be needed more than ever. The challenge is seeing our income plummet at the same time as circumstances dictate we step up, which diminishes our ability to support local churches in doing what they do best.  

We appreciate the ways the Chancellor has helped families and businesses in this time of crisis and urgently ask that the same support may be found for the vital work of the charitable sector and the Church, as we continue to do all we can. 

Yours sincerely 

Amanda Bindon and Mike Royal, Cinnamon Network

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Christian Aid

Andy Hawthorne, The Message Trust

Catherine Healey, acet UK

Eustace Constance, Ascension Trust

Heather Keates, Community Money Advice

Henrietta Blyth, Open Doors UK & Ireland

Justin Humphreys, Thirtyone:eight

Kat Osborn, Safe Families

Mark Heasman, Christian Camping International

Mark Sheard, World Vision

Martin Charlesworth, Jubilee+

Patrick Regan, Kintsugi Hope

Paula Stringer, Christians Against Poverty UK

Peter Lynas, Evangelical Alliance

Roger Sutton, Gather Network

Stewart McCulloch, Stewardship

Tim Morfin, Transforming Lives for Good

Tom Jackson, Resurgo