Supporting people in work and out of work

 Board members PAUL SIMMONDS Drop in centre at Salem Malcolm Ward Church in Alcester




We help churches to be more supportive of their member’s working lives.

Here are some ideas to help you become a more ‘WorkAware’ church.

  • Include work places and work issues in the intercessions

  • ‘Tomorrow at ten’, interview monthly

  • Support people during work crises, for example after redundancy

  • Take your minister to work day

  • Pray for local businesses.

  • Appoint a Chaplain with Workcare for workplaces in the area round your church

A food bank in the countryside?

You bet! It costs more to live in rural areas than in the towns and there are suprising number of people on low incomes or who suddenly find themselves on no income at all!  Here is 'You can't eat the view'


You can’t eat the view

Ten facts about rural poverty

1          Housing quality

        58% of private rented properties in villages fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard compared with 38% in towns – and 72% for hamlets and isolated dwellings. 1

2          Energy efficiency

        37% of private rented properties in villages have the lowest energy efficiency rating compared with 7% in towns – and 56% for hamlets and isolated dwellings. 1        

3          Household fuel poverty

        28% of households in villages and hamlets without mains gas are in fuel poverty compared with 18% in towns. 2

4          Weekly travel costs

          Average weekly travel costs for low earners in villages and hamlets are £58; 

for town dwellers, the equivalent figure is £28. 2

5          Access to services

          49% of rural dwellers are not within 4 miles of a bank or building society; 38% for a supermarket; 52% for a secondary school.  For urban dwellers, the figures are under 2%. 2

6          Rural inflation

             In 2011 UK inflation was 4.7%; rural inflation (weighted to reflect rural living costs) was 7.7% 3

7          Cost of essential goods

             The average annual spend on essential goods (vehicle and domestic fuel, food and home maintenance) is £3986 for the UK, but £5992 in the countryside. 3

8          Minimum reasonable hourly wage

             To achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living, an urban parent with one child needs to earn £6.37 an hour.  If living in a village, they would need to earn £10.13 an hour. 4

9          Minimum reasonable annual earnings

             To achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living, an urban couple with two children need an annual income of £29,727.  A village couple would need an income of £40,073 4

10        Sufficiency of benefits

For rural out-of-work households with children, benefits only provide between 50% and 60% of the income needed to achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living.  For a single adult with no children, the contribution of benefits is only about 35% of that required. 4

1 “Rural housing at a time of economic change”: report by Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research for DEFRA Commission for Rural Communities, May 2012 

2  “State of the Countryside” : report by DEFRA Commission for Rural Communities, 2010

3  “Countryside Living Index”, NFU Mutual, June 2012

4  “A minimum income standard for rural areas”, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, November 2010

Help with coping with the Credit Crunch

We ran a morning to help churches respond appropriately. Leave us your details here and we will send you information about the next one. 


Help with projects that benefit the community

We can help you run a 'First Resort' drop in and other community projects which support people not in work. more

If opening a Village shop or keeping one open with volunteers would benefit your community we can point you in the right direction.  more


Help with becoming a more 'WorkAware' church

Just as a Fairtrade church adheres to certain principles about trade, so a Workaware church makes a special effort to support people in the workplace, through it's worship, small groups, pastoral care and public face.


How can WORKCARE help your church?

We can provide a speaker/preacher or you can select a speaker from our staff team, chaplains and some board members. Look at Who's Who.

We can come and meet with the Church Leader or your Leadership Team


Looking for courses for small groups in churches?

Part of becoming and remaining workaware is to include work concerns in home and housegroups, cell groups, prayer triplets or whatever you call them - look on this page for some ideas. There is also a small group course for Lent or post Easter, or even Advent, called 'Pressure Points 2010'. 

Here is a course for any time of the year!  It's free and you can download and print as many copies as you need. Click here to see what it looks like! 


Pressure Points Course 


What else can we do?

    • Supporting your congregation in their workplace:

    • Courses in workplaces organised by Christians   on work

    • Courses in workplaces for interestes colleagues, such as Alpha

    • Christmas events/Carol services organised by Christians

Please pray for those churches with a high number of people struggling because of the recession - some overworking, some not working.

The Rugby Christians Against Poverty (CAP) centre was started in 2010 email us for more information.


• How can I support WORKCARE

We need the financial and prayer support of Christian communities to do our work. If you would like prayer information please sign up for the briefing. Would you consider asking your PCC to include us in your annual allocation of giving? This can be for a specific project or for our ongoing work. more

  • Why not ADOPT A CHAPLAIN. more


A basket of resources about Faith and Work

WORKCARE maintains a list of the best resources available with comments and recommendations.

Here are two very useful sites to get you started.

TransformworkUK  This link will take you to a new window with their Resources page.

About our Father's Business - A Faith and Work Resources Toolkit

This listing has most of the resources recommended on this site and more! It is an excellent resource.

About Our Father’s Business – a Faith and Work Resources Toolkit has been produced by St. Peter’s Saltley Trust & the Churches’ Industrial Group, Birmingham (CIGB). It is a 42-page resource and workbook, and can be downloaded here:

Don't forget to credit the Trust if you use their work.


  An interesting web site about the future of Work, called Dynamic Work is here.


•  Politics and Public debate - get stuck in with information from these articles and sites.

Issues of Faith and Work in public debate

The latest booklet in the Just So series has ideas and insights on public theology and the economy from Revd Dr John Reader and Revd Phillip Jones. A copy can be downloaded from here.


What about Rural areas

Here is a course that might be helpful in tackling issues that face rural churches.


 ME is a serious problem for a number of people. If you are a sufferer or someone in your workplace has the condition, find out more on this leaflet,
or go to this web site:

 Are Credit Unions one answer to high interest loan companies

There is a proposed Credit Union for clergy which could exemplify the value of this kind of third sector organisation. Find out more here.

 How to keep open you Village shop!

The future of village shops is often tied up with all kinds of pastoral issues and keeping them open is an important way of maintaining the community. more


Managing volunteers is a constant challenge. This paper might give you some useful tips.