Fuel Poverty : A Call to Action for London’s Churches

As part of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, Christian Ecology Link has joined the “Energy We Can All Afford” campaign, which aims to enshrine residential domestic energy efficiency into the UK Government’s Energy Bill – for warmer homes, lower bills, a cooler planet – and growth for the green economy.

This Wednesday, 23rd January 2013, marks the launch of the SHINE seasonal health referrals scheme in the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney, and London’s Churches are being called to action.

The Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE) aims to deliver a package of 20 services for vulnerable households suffering from the poor winter weather, including help to improve home warmth, arrange health checks, and organising benefits checks to make sure all those who need them receive winter fuel payments. It provides a single point of referral to assist service providers in providing a comprehensive service to clients and patients.

CEL is encouraging local churches in Islington and Hackney to support and take part in this project to help increase affordable home comfort, and reduce fuel poverty and deaths due to cold. There is a launch on Wednesday 23 January 2013 from 12.30 (for lunch) until about 4.00pm at St Luke’s Centre, 90 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ.

Churches that generate referrals to this programme receive a small payment, which will help them fund their own initiatives to help those on the edge of society.

Christian Ecology Link fully supports this scheme, and those in neighbouring London Boroughs, such as HEET, providing home draughtproofing and insulation in Waltham Forest.

Green Christians all over the country are urged to contact their Local Authority to find out about local energy efficiency provision, and to research what new Green Deal and ECO measures may be available to assist the financing of home energy renovations.

SHINE say, “Since December 2010 SHINE has helped over 3,000 vulnerable households but we need the help of smaller voluntary and faith sector organisations to reach many more. With assistance from National Energy Action we are launching a trial referral incentives programme and we’d like you to take part. Each valid referral received will result in a payment to your organisation of £2.50. Please attend our information and registration event to sign up.”

James chapter 2 verses 14 to 17 (NIV) says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds ? Can such faith save them ? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it ? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”


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