The Church Leaders have appointed Steven Saxby to be their Executive Officer with effect from 1 March.
Steven was born and has spent most of his life in East London. He was ordained into the Church of England in 1998 and has served since then in the Diocese of Chelmsford. In addition to his Cambridge (Westcott House/Fitzwilliam) degree in theology, he has MAs from Heythrop College (Inter-Religious Dialogue) and University College, London (Cultural Heritage). He has a strong record of social action, ecumenical and multi faith engagement, including:
Steven has in the past represented the Diocese of Chelmsford in the London Churches Group for Social Action. Steven also founded the London Boroughs Faiths Network in 2002 and he will take Elizabeth Simon's place on the Faiths Forum for London. He will continue to work part-time as Priest-in-Charge of St Barnabas, Walthamstow.
London Churches Group for Social Action is an ecumenical Christian body established in 1983 to work on behalf of the Church leadership in London on civic and social policy issues. Membership comprises senior social responsibility and justice and peace officers from the churches and related organisations. The LCGSA is the standing social concerns group for the London Church Leaders, representing the Baptist Union, Black-majority, Catholic, Church of England, Evangelical Alliance, Methodist, Orthodox, Salvation Army and United Reformed Churches.
The London Churches Group reports to the London Church Leaders meeting and it co-ordinates the Ecumenical Borough Deans which meet in each of the 33 London Local Authorities.
It also supports as Affiliated Members other ecumenical organisations working on a London-wide basis in an area related to the social responsibility agenda, which are willing to offer information and expertise to the Group. At present these include Housing Justice, JustShare, London Churches Refugee Network, London Churches Environmental Network and London Ecumenical AIDS Trust (LEAT).
This report of the conference organised in October 2012 by London Church Leaders Group for Social Action and Housing Justice identifies the issues which the Churches will be working on together
In July 2011 the London Churches Group for Social Action and Housing Justice launched a short guide, a Blueprint for Action, to enable clergy (vicars, pastors and priests) and other church pastoral workers to offer practical help to people who find that their benefit payments no longer cover their rent, leaving them unable to make ends meet. The launch included: background briefing about Housing Benefit (from Alison Gelder, Director of Housing Justice); other changes linked with the Welfare Reform Bill currently before Parliament (from Rev Paul Nicolson of Zacchaeus 2000); theological support for this kind of church response (from Rev Angus Ritchie of the Contextual Theology Centre) as well as opportunities to hear from people affected and agencies who are helping them.
We would be most grateful if London churches could feed back any experience they have of the impact of these caps. In particular,
· Have you had any pastoral contact with people affected by the Housing Benefit caps? Please let us know numbers, a brief description of individual circumstances and any action you have been able to take to support those affected.
We look forward to hearing from you so that we can assess what further response might be needed. Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with Housing Benefit Caps in the subject field.
The five year Faith to Engage project is now drawing to a close. Its aim was to strengthen the voice of churches and faith groups in policy-making across the nine English regions. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, it has been delivered nationally by a leading Christian social action movement Faithworks in collaboration with nine regional partners. London Churches Group for Social Action has been the London regional partner.
Better off without them? Report of a pilot study into the proportion of voluntary sector welfare projects organised by churches and other faiths
The London Region made this study, originally called the Serving Londoners survey, its main contribution to the Faith to Engage project. The survey was intended to highlight the role of welfare providers in the voluntary sector and test the perception that the contribution of the faith sector to the welfare element of voluntary sector activity is underestimated. The research was conducted in 2010-11 and the Report will be launched on 9 May 2013 at Westminster Central Hall.
The London Churches Group for Social Action has published a Report following an enquiry commissioned by the Church Leaders. It is intended to contribute information about the role churches in London play in their communities, and specifically how they responded to the public disturbances in August 2011. It describes the experience and perceptions of the riots and what underlay them from people directly involved on the ground, and considers the implications for future action.
The findings show that clergy and laity from across the Churches in London took an active role in offering support to those caught up in the disturbances and their aftermath. ‘You were here when no one else was there’ was one comment.
The London Church Leaders Group was a founder member of this charity which was established on behalf of the Christian community to enable the UK churches to engage with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by
Since 1990 the London Church Leaders have worked with the Metropolitan Police and other agencies to produce a Plan to enable the churches to provide an effective response to any major incident in London. A copy of the current Plan, dated April 2011, can be read here. It excludes the Appendices containing contact details.