Every Church’s ‘Family GP’

quinquennial inspection reports, church surveys

Back in October, Chawton Hill took a stand for the first time at the CRE show, Europe’s leading exhibition of Church Resources

It was an eye opening few days for many reasons, not least of which was the directness of many of the visitors. No requests for a follow up email or tentative promise that they would be in touch. Instead we had people visit our stand and ask directly when could we carry out a Quinquennial Inspection Report or were we available to come & see a Church and discuss its extension plans.

It was a very successful exhibition for the business in terms of direct opportunities & we immediately re-booked a stand for this year. A few months on and we are very much in reviewing and planning mode. It was during this process I came across a Twitter follower I hadn’t before noticed, @Church_Poor

Given the CRE show experience, I took a look at the book they have published ‘A Church for the Poor’ and in particular a definition of ‘relative poverty’. This term and it’s often quoted stablemate, ‘absolute poverty’ have come up quite a few times as our MP’s debate Brexit, so I was interested to see how ‘relative’ was defined. This is what they said;

In 2012, landmark research was conducted, sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council, with the results published the next year in the Poverty and Social Exclusion report. This was the most comprehensive survey of poverty and social exclusion ever undertaken in the UK and followed three earlier studies in 1983, 1990 and 1999. Through interviews with a representative sample of the British public, the researchers were able to draft the following list of items that are considered necessities as the basis for the assessment:

  • heating to keep home adequately warm;
  • damp-free home;
  • two meals a day;
  • ability to visit friends or family in hospital or other institutions;
  • ability to replace or repair broken electrical goods;
  • fresh fruit and vegetables every day;
  • celebrations on special occasions;
  • all recommended dental treatment;
  • warm, waterproof coat;
  • ability to attend weddings, funerals and the like;
  • meat, fish or vegetarian equivalent every other day;
  • curtains or window blinds;
  • household contents insurance;
  • enough money to keep your home in a decent state of decoration;
  • hobby/leisure activity;
  • appropriate clothes for job interviews;
  • table and chairs at which all the family can eat;
  • taking part in sport/exercise activities or classes;
  • two pairs of all-weather shoes;
  • regular savings of at least £20 per month for future financial challenges;
  • regular payments to a pension.

It’s a sobering list as we head into the next few months!

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