Seeing the UK from the point of view of those oppressed by bad law

8 October 2016

Social theologies of Conservatives and Labour

There is a tendency in the Church of England, of which I am a member, to think about the Christian faith from the point of view of the powerful, i.e. from the top down. I felt an article in the Church Times by Canon Angela Tilby, of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford did that.

So I wrote the following reply to the Church Times which attempts to see the UK from the point of view of those oppressed by bad law. The letter was published on Friday 7th October.

From the Revd Paul Nicolson

Sir, — May I suggest a social theology to Canon Angela Tilby which is neither “afloat” nor starts with the two main political parties (Comment, 30 September)?

It is rooted in awareness of the experiences of the poorest UK citizens. It is aware that people whose incomes are stopped by a benefit sanction are sometimes overcome by feelings of humiliation or shame, fear or distrust, insecurity or loneliness; or by a sense of being trapped and powerless under the abuses of power by the State.

It leads to prayer in solidarity with the millions of UK citizens who are suffering under unmanageable debts, owing to high rents, the council tax, and the caps and cuts in social security imposed by Parliament, made worse by sanctions.

And prayer, too, for all those in power, and seeking power, that they may find the courage to work for and implement social and economic justice, the will to build a well-being state on the ashes of the welfare state, in which rich and poor and Parliament are in solidarity with each other.

Its policies would ensure that no UK citizen would have to choose between heating or eating, the rent or the streets, life or death, owing to the unjust enforcement of debts against inadequate incomes, or no incomes at all.

Taxpayers Against Poverty
93 Campbell Road
London N17 0BF