CUF CEO welcomes Starmer’s pledge to work with faith groups and charities

Date Posted: Feb 01, 2024.

The CEO of Church Urban Fund, Bishop Rob Wickham, has welcomed an invitation from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to civil society actors to help shape Labour policy and practice.

Sir Keir told an audience of faith, charity and community leaders in London on Tuesday: “If we’re privileged to be elected to serve this year, we will work with you on our missions, for a decade of national renewal.”

Bishop Rob1 Medium

The Labour leader spoke of wanting “a partnership between government and civil society” in which anyone is welcome to “shape the future with us”.

Writing in the Church Times after the summit, Bishop Rob urged clergy and lay leaders “to meet their prospective parliamentary candidates to share the work of building God’s kingdom”.

He wrote: “Sir Keir talked of the importance of civil society, and made reference to the importance of churches and faith communities. There is, as yet, little evidence of this sense of joint mission might work out in practice.”

However, he described what he has discovered during a six-month listening exercise he has undertaken around the country since becoming CEO last July, summing it up in one word: “brilliance”.

“Clergy and church leaders are carrying out unglamorous ministry that involves messiness, vulnerability, and disappointment…Our most deprived communities are brimming with creativity and passion. The Church is made poorer by not telling these stories [and] collecting their data,” he wrote.

Read Bishop Rob’s full article here.

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