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Some recent beneficiaries of the Trust

Stonewall – ‘Christians and LGBT Equality’

Our recent grant from The MB Reckitt Trust will allow Stonewall to research, write and produce a ‘Christians and LGBT Equality’ guide.  The guide will showcase Christian support worldwide for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

In Britain and around the world brave LGBT people and their allies can be excluded from churches, and arguments that homosexuality is anti-Christian often help to fuel homophobia and create hostile environments for LGBT people. This guide will raise the voices of those who support LGBT equality by profiling a diverse group of Christian leaders, from a range of continents and denominations, each telling their personal story of how they reconciled their faith with their support for LGBT equality.  The guide will be distributed in Britain and worldwide to help create a greater acceptance of LGBT people in Christian communities around the world. The guide is available, entitled "Christian Role Models"

TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD - Common Good Conversations: a pilot event on ‘Home’

Together for the Common Good encourages Christians of different denominations to work together, along with other faith traditions and secular allies to become agents of change for the Common Good.

Funding has been provided by MB Reckitt Trust to develop a new ‘Common Good Conversation’ model. It will equip participants to challenge the polarisation in public discourse and replace it with a ‘language of hope’. We believe that ‘Common Good’ thinking will help and we want to provide opportunities for ordinary people to See, hear and practise a language of hope, in order to equip them to apply it in their own contexts.  The pilot will focus on the very human topic of 'Home' (housing, property and homelessness).  The event will see people of different circumstances and estranged positions come together to encounter one another’s perspectives. The conversations will be firmly guided by professional facilitators using the principles of Catholic social thought. Participants will practise this language of hope together in a structured, safe environment, and identify solutions to answer the question: ‘how can we move forward together to get from where we are now to where we want to be, where all can flourish?’ 

It is our aim that the model will be replicated by participants in their own contexts, on topics that are of importance to them, in order to challenge apathy, stimulate action and build up positive responsibility in civil society.  

For further information please see: [website]

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Church Action on Poverty - Partners to Close the Gap

When local churches engage with UK poverty they often set up projects which do great work, but which ultimately treat people in poverty as passive victims and do nothing to address the root causes of poverty.

Partners to Close the Gap will be piloted with four 'clusters' of churches in each of four geographical areas across the UK and aims to equip them to really engage with their communities by providing training, mentoring and support to enable them to explore the links between faith, spirituality and social justice, to apply their learning to tackling the structural causes of poverty in the UK and to take effective local action with their wider communities. The project aims to help churches to enable people to be agents of change and transformation, tackling the structural barriers trapping them in poverty themselves. Should this project be successful, it is hoped that the model can be rolled out to the wider Christian Community across the country.[website]

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility

The Ethical Money Churches (EMC) project will build a community of people in UK churches who are seeking to fulfil their Christian stewardship and ownership responsibilities with regard to the money, savings and assets that are used either by them as individuals and/or on their behalf as members of church denominations. The project will harbour and generate grassroots involvement through training and development of materials and support networks to help faith communities understand the issues and develop appropriate responses and practical action as a vital part of their discipleship and mission.

A supportive and interactive relationship with the pilot communities will be developed to help them chart their own pathway to becoming an Ethical Money Church (EMC). This will also ensure that sometimes difficult and complex issues can be fully explored and appropriate responses developed as well as the learning and action to be effectively captured and lead beyond the initial project period to a much wider roll-out across the churches. [website]

St Thomas' Clapton Common - Releasing the Talents

Releasing the Talents aims, both practically and theologically, to answer the question: Debt Advice and Credit Unions: What can Churches do next? Through ‘action learning’ the project will trial a variety of approaches to help individuals-in-community manage their personal finances in a more effective manner that is financially realistic, community focused and expressive of the theological and liturgical resources of the Church. Part of this is recognizing mutuality, reciprocity and abundance within our networks of civic society. Releasing the Talents will be aiming for replication and scaleability, that is, the project will aim to be sustainable and the lessons learnt shared with interested stakeholders so that a successful model can be replicated. [website

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St Thomas' Clapton Common - Food for Thought

Food for Thought at its simplest level is a project to help people cook healthy and nutritious meals on a small budget. Diet is a major contributor to poor health and processed food is often more costly than food prepared and cooked at home. "Food for Thought" will trial an effective working model and then share the successful practices with other churches and institutions that may be interested in running such a programme.

"Food for Thought" also aims to bring people together around shared food in order to celebrate a common life and to empower individuals and communities to recognise the structural problems that maintain poverty and ill-health. The theological impetus behind "Food for Thought" is Eucharistic and, in this sense, it is both a celebration of the resources we already enjoy as well as a re-imagination of what may be possible. [website]

The report of the project can be found on this link

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English PEN

Faith in Free Speech is a research and educational project which aims to bridge the divide between the religious and secular and highlight how free expression and freedom of religion are sister rights. The project is managed by English PEN, the free speech and literature organisation, and delivered by a team of researchers of different faiths. It engages young people from a range of religious backgrounds in the free speech debate, which resulted in the creation an original and innovative learning module that can be found by following this link:

The Centre for Theology & Community - Call to Change

Call to Change is an initiative of the Centre to equip congregations to engage with their communities in responding to the ongoing financial crisis - and to bring Christian teaching on economic justice to bear at local and national levels. With funding from the MB Reckitt Trust, the Centre is employing a worker to help churches run 'Community Conversations' in which local residents discuss the impact of the financial crisis, and ways they might work with the church to respond to it. It is also working with churches in Citizens UK to develop the alliance's campaign against exploitative lending (this was launched in the early days of the financial crisis, and is inspired by the Biblical and Qu'ranic prohibitions on usury.) [website]

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The Feast

The Feast is an innovative youth work charity based in Birmingham, helping young people of different faiths to come together to explore faith, create friendships and change lives. This funding is enabling them to respond to invitations to assist other communities around the UK to undertake similar work with their young people, who tend to live parallel lives with little interaction. Their hope is to nurture a generation of young people who have the skills and confidence to live well with people who are different to them, and make strides to build stronger and happier communities.

Sheffield District of the Methodist Church

Who Is Your Neighbour? is a new project established to learn through experience how we can enable ourselves and our communities in South Yorkshire to better engage with, understand and value our different cultures, ethnic groups and faiths, and become more resilient to racist and divisive ideologies.

The project is funded through the Sheffield Methodist District and managed by a multi-faith management committee. The project works with communities which are vulnerable to racist and divisive ideologies in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Church Action on Poverty - Close the Gap Campaign

Funding for a resource pack and series of training workshops, designed to build a network of speakers who are equipped to mobilise churches in their communities to take action on issues of poverty and inequality.[website]

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The Parish of East Greenwich

The Revd Malcolm Torry is directing research into the work of faith communities in new housing developments in the Greenwich Peninsula and two nearby localities.