Responding to the Cost of Living crisis

Earlier this year a member of our congregation at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone spent a week sleeping in her car in a car-park because her landlord had tripled her rent.

Last year more than 800,000 patients were admitted to hospital in the UK with malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, according to NHS figures. 

Something is very, very, wrong with Britain

Cornerstone, along with many other churches and other groups in the city took part in MK CAN last year, the amazing record-breaking line of tinned food in Campbell Park, in order to help the fantastic work of the Milton Keynes Foodbank.

But we shouldn’t need a record-breaking charity appeal to feed the people of Milton Keynes. 

We shouldn’t have people to sleeping in their cars. 

We shouldn’t, for goodness sake, have mass malnutrition in what is still one of the richest countries in the world!

Churches across the city are doing what they can in the face of the inexorably rising consequences of the so-called ‘Cost of Living Crisis’, supporting their own members and the wider community.

But we need to realise that this is not an isolated, short term crisis. 

There was a conference at the Open University last year that brought together charities from across the UK to discuss their experience of the Cost of Living Crisis, and a key take-away was that while there were events that had precipitated particularly acute problems, it was part of long-term trend which was the consequence of government policy over many years.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu famously said the there comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.

Helping people through charity such as the Food Bank and the amazing UnityMK is vital and it is very important that their work is supported by Churches and individual Christians, but at some point we need to talk about and tackle injustice. This was the thinking behind the workshop on Social Justice in Milton Keynes held at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone on Saturday 20 February 2024.

We want Milton Keynes not just to be a city, but to be a Just City 

David Chapman

Project Lead, Poverty Mission Priority