Welcome to the latest edition of our supporter magazine, Catalyst!
These last few months have without doubt been the most challenging many of us have faced in a very long time, whether this is because of the isolation we have faced during lockdown, the challenge of keeping families and communities safe from the coronavirus or as we in Church Army have been finding, an increasing demand for our help, support and assistance.
More than 14 million people are now estimated to live in relative poverty and people are losing their jobs with companies uncertain about the future. Over the past few weeks, almost two million adults have applied for Universal Credit, nearly 10 times the average level. Many of these have been in the low pay sector. The virus has also hit hardest in these poorer areas where the mortality rate was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 in deprived areas, compared to 25.3 deaths in the most affluent areas (according to the Office for National Statistics).
In this edition you will find stories of how the teams are responding to the practical needs of those around through food banks, assistance in shopping for the elderly and shielding, making contact with those in isolation and running online activities. Our teams in the hostels have been working hard to keep the residents safe and virus free. Not only have we seen a need for the practical help but people are searching for hope and we have seen people join in our online services who had not attended anything before, and in one centre people with no previous engagement are putting forward prayer requests and joining in praying for their communities.
With lockdown it would have been impossible to do our normal Catalyst and Prayer Diary but I hope you enjoy what we have produced, and saved money along the way! As always, thank you for your prayerful and financial support. During this time particularly, your support is so valuable to the work that we do.
You can read the full issue online below.
You can also download the entire magazine as a PDF file.
Or why not sign up to receive future editions of Catalyst in the post.