Short changed — children hit hard by limits to key support

Press release from the coalition End Child Poverty:

Over two million children are in families that are cutting back on food or heating their homes as a result of the decision not to raise children’s benefits in line with the cost of living, new research from the coalition End Child Poverty reveals.

According to the coalition’s new analysis, ‘Short Changed: The true cost of cuts to children’s benefits’, failure to increase Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit in line with the cost of living over the past three years, has caused one in five families across the country to struggle to provide their children with the basics. The majority of these children are in low-income working families.

The coalition is calling for urgent action to make sure that families – working and non-working – who are struggling to make ends meet can give their children the basics and help put the Government’s commitment to end child poverty by 2020 back on track. 

By guaranteeing that children’s benefits and tax credits are given the same ‘triple lock’ protection that is provided for the basic state pension, so they at least rise in line with inflation, the new Government could significantly reduce child poverty. 

Under a ‘triple lock’ – which would make sure that these key benefits either rise in line with prices, earnings, or by 2.5%, or whichever is the highest – 310,000 fewer children will be living in absolute poverty by 2020 than under the Government’s current policy.

End Child Poverty is calling on the Government to phase in this protection during the course of this Parliament.  As a first step, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit should rise in line with inflation for at least the next two years. They should then rise in line with average earnings or inflation, whichever is higher. And, by 2020, children’s benefits should then also be guaranteed a minimum yearly increase of 2.5% in the same way as the state pension. 

David Holmes CBE, Chair of End Child Poverty said: “It is deeply worrying that parents are having to cut back on food, heating and other essentials that their children need in order to develop and thrive. The new Government needs to seize the opportunity in the Queen’s Speech to stop the rise in child poverty. During the election campaign David Cameron promised not to cut Child Benefit, now is the time for him to keep that pledge.

“We think it is vital that child benefits keep pace with the cost of living and that the Government gives them the same protection as the state pension. This is an opportunity to be bold and to invest in our children’s future.”


Media enquiries

For more information, please call Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, 07775 812 357, (out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508) or email Or contact the National Children’s Bureau media office on 020 7843 6441 or email

Notes to editors

· ‘Short Changed: The true cost of cuts to children’s benefits’ (full paper and summary available via links)

· 3.7 million children in the UK are living in poverty today:

· Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families:

· By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies:

· The Campaign to End Child Poverty ( is made up of more than 150 organisations from civic society including children’s charities, child welfare organisations, social justice groups, faith groups, trade unions and others, united in our vision of a UK free of child poverty. These include Child Poverty Action Group, The Children’s Society, Family Action and the National Children’s Bureau. Its call for a ‘triple lock’ is also being supported by Children England, the leading membership organisation and collective voice for the children, young people and families voluntary sector. End Child Poverty campaigns to achieve our vision by: Ensuring the voices of families facing economic disadvantage are heard; Increasing understanding of the causes and impacts of child poverty and mobilising public support and action; Promoting to politicians and government the case for ending child poverty by 2020, the actions that will achieve it and holding them to account on the requirements of the Child Poverty Act.

Visit our website at

Cantus Infirmus in action

David Thomson:

The offiicial Ordered Universe blog report on our visit to Lincoln Cathedral with a specially composed collect for Robert Grosseteste on his feast day and a performance of music contemporary to him.

Originally posted on The Ordered Universe Project:

IMG_4068One of the more unexpected highlights of the workshop at Lincoln was the first public performance of some Perotin by the enthusiastic amongst the research group. After Richard’s lecture we made our way to the Grosseteste chapel, and with a short collect from David Thomson (Grosseteste expert and, by day, Bishop of Huntingdon), we made our musical offering. We have a digital record of the event to share, for those who would like. John Coleman kindly (!) made a recording of the whole thing. 

We also have a short clip from youtube, made by David Thomson. 

It was, in fact, a very moving experience. Especially in light of the treatises we had been studying, on the healing power of music, and its essential role in the architecture of the medieval universe. Most of our harmonies were intact.

Almighty God, whose servant Robert was given such great gifts by you that…

View original 69 more words

The God of Small Things

Nanostar,, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Click here for the latest post on Ruth Bancewicz’s Science and Belief blog, reporting a talk by Russell Cowburn, Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University, when he spoke on The God of Small Things: Nanotechnology, Creation and God at the Faraday Institute earlier this month.

Image: Nanostar,, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Credit and Saving News

Archbishop’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings

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MAY 2015

News from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings


In this latest update we introduce a new workshop resource for church staff and volunteers to raise awareness of free debt advice and to signpost people to local and national servicesAs well as new stories and content from TOYOURCREDIT.



New resource!
Many people struggling with problem debt do not know about the free advice and support available to them: from face-to-face advice through to online self-help. By signposting to advice services, church staff and volunteers can be a vital link between someone in debt and the help they need.
‘Guiding people to free debt advice: a debt awareness and signposting workshop’ is a 2 hour video-based workshop developed in partnership with the Money Advice Trust. This resource is designed for staff and volunteers from churches and church-linked groups, including clergy, pastoral assistants, children and family workers, food bank volunteers, and others involved in community projects.

The workshop looks at:
● The causes of debt problems
● Identifying when someone needs debt advice
● Responding appropriately when someone tells you they’re in debt
● The types of advice available and how these can be accessed
● How to help someone prepare for debt advice


For more information and to order/download ‘Guiding people to free debt advice: a debt awareness and signposting workshop’:

‘Debt is a national disease: the Church can stand up and be counted’ read Bruce Connell’s blog on the impact of debt advice.



Church Credit Champions Network First Anniversary

The Church Credit Champions Network has just celebrated its first birthday, making it a good time to assess the progress it has made so far in London and Merseyside. 

In terms of headline figures, the Network is well on track to meet its main targets after a year. Over 200 churches have been engaged, with 119 clergy and lay leaders trained as ‘Credit Champions’ and over 600 people joining their local credit union as a result of the Network’s activity. It’s likely that all of these numbers will continue to rise as the Network progresses, particularly in Merseyside where the local Co-ordinator has only been in place for a few months.

Read more about the stories behind the statistics


The Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul Bayes joined his local credit union at the launch of the Church Credit Champions Network in Liverpool and Merseyside:
Bishop Paul spoke at the event: “We need churches to champion a fresh moral vision in the practice of credit. Liverpool is leading the way in being an alternative, supporting credit unions and most importantly helping those in need.”


There’s more new content on the TOYOURCREDIT website including:
A blog post from Christian’s Against Poverty about their unique debt advice service partnering with local churches and making a difference in people’s lives:
“Debt problems seem huge but experience tells us they can be overcome through Christians Against Poverty’s financial expertise partnered with the care of the local church.” 

The story of how the oldest church in the City of London is promoting the work and benefits of credit unions in the nation’s financial centre.