We've seen food banks become increasingly high profile. It is little known, but the Trussell Trust, by far the largest organiser of UK food banks, is a Christian Charity. Churches across the country have been key to helping organise many food banks for years, in Coventry since at least 2007.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, made a high-profile attack on Wonga (exploitative payday lender) threatening to "compete them out of business" and raising the issue repeatedly in parliament. Churches up and down the country have begun promoting credit unions as an ethical alternative. Since then Wonga has been forced to write off £220 million of debt and overhaul its business model, halving its profits in a year.
This December the Church of England, along with others founded their own nationwide credit union, which in a few years will hopefully be open to all churchgoers, providing an ethical, compassionate alternative to current banks and lenders for churches, charities and millions of people.
In Coventry itself Anglican churches have organised their own homeless night shelter over winter for the 2nd year. It is housed in different church buildings and staffed by volunteers, to make sure that there is definitely a warm, safe bed available for every potential rough sleeper in Coventry this winter.
It's really good to see the Church making a difference on important issues. Here's to even more in 2015. ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36