This week we had the privilege of being at No. 10 Downing St for the Centre for Social Justice's 20 year celebration! We were invited as previous winners of the CSJ's annual awards; one of 111 winners from 2258 applications since the awards began.

The Centre for Social Justice is a policy and research thinktank, aiming to influence the policies the Government creates and the laws it makes, such that it does all it can to address the root causes of poverty. Housing and homelessness are one of its 'Five Pathways' recognised as a priority area, and the CSJ foundation works with 400 organisations across the UK to support grassroots work.

Mark Oldaker, our Head of Finance and Operations, shares his reflections on the event.

As we queued in the rain to get though security, several camera crews overtook us to film the big black door in light of the election announcement. Amidst all the political chat, I spoke with several of the small charity winners. Many were founded by faith-filled Christians doing amazing work, and many had no faith element. One thing that really struck me was the respect for faith-based action and recognition that a care for the marginalised is often inspired by something “beyond ourselves”. Some charities had been founded by Christians but no longer talk about spiritual things. “I wonder why that is?” one lady asked. 

My sense is that “faith talk” has become taboo in the workplace in recent years. But what if there is a new openness to what drives charities where Jesus is no taboo, but where he is part of the daily conversation? Another lady who works in a context of urban poverty, observed the impact of the loss of faith for many in the white community. She was not a Christian, but said that when generations of families abandon a community of faith, “It must be replaced by something positive…or don’t throw it out! There is such a poverty of identity!” 

I am proud to work for a charity that works exclusively through the church; the broken, jumbled, inspirational and powerful church. The Hope into Action model is not just about a great home and positive relationships, it’s about identity. We don’t impose or judge, but when asked, we will share our faith in Jesus because this is where our identity lies. As I was reminded in our daily prayer meeting by a colleague yesterday; “You are a child of God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are His beloved child.”

Want to think more about how your faith impacts the upcoming general election? Explore 'Voting Like Jesus', a new resource produced by Jubilee+ in partnership with Hope into Action and others.