'They've never had it so good'? The reality of child poverty
Nick Harding is children’s ministry adviser for the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, and author of several books on children's work. In his reflection, The quiet scandal of child poverty, he looks at the assumptions we make about poverty, based on our own childhoods.
We might think that today’s children have never had it so good, but the reality is that more than three million children in this country are living in poverty. And this has real consequences. Children living in poverty may find themselves socially excluded, or less able to concentrate in the classroom simply because they haven’t had a square meal. This means it’s harder for them to achieve their full potential both now and in later life.
It’s a theme that comes out repeatedly in our new essays on theology and children living in poverty, The Heart of the Kingdom. We need to understand and respond to child poverty, both practically and prayerfully, so that all children can flourish.
Our resources to help you and your church to think and act on child poverty
- Use our prayers of the week to bring the children in your church and local area before God, or sign up to our regular prayer email
- Reflect on The quiet scandal of child poverty individually or in groups, or use it in your church magazine
- Have a look at our past reflections, including Mixed blessings, which addresses the language we use about poverty
- Encourage your church to join our Fair and Square campaign to ensure all children living in poverty get free school meals
- Read The Heart of the Kingdom
Our work on child poverty
Like Nick, we want to work to make child poverty a thing of the past. As well as campaigning for all children living in poverty to get a free school meal, our policy team lobbies to make sure disadvantaged families have the support they need to give their children the best start in life. We influence decision makers to support vulnerable families and give them access to the services they need.
Learn more about our lobbying work on child poverty.