Capital Mass aims to engage and equip every parish in the Diocese of London in tackling poverty and inequality. Founded in 2014, Capital Mass is a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of London. It is a new initiative in the Church of England’s response to poverty in London and is part of a national Together Network of joint ventures initiated by Church Urban Fund.
1. The Challenge
London is a great world city and a source of wealth for many of its residents and the rest of the UK. However, it’s also a city of great inequality where the majority of London’s residents do not share in that wealth. The poorest 50% own less than 5% of London’s financial or property wealth; the richest 10% own 45% of the property wealth and 65% of the financial wealth.
We know that poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon which is deeply entrenched. There are no simple or quick fixes. Currently, most commentators agree that poverty and inequality in London are increasing. The poverty rate in London is higher than the rest of England and the gap has grown in the last decade, not least due to rising housing costs. In-work poverty is also growing as is the proportion of those in poverty who are in households where at least one adult is working.
Capital Mass focuses on brokering mutually beneficial relationships. Connecting Parishes, Parishioners and Partners together, Making Visible what is Invisible in order to promote Awareness, Learning and Collaboration for the benefit of London.
Connecting not Constructing
2. The Vision
We want to see every parish in the Diocese of London engaged in tackling poverty and inequality. We want to see a percentage lift in awareness and engagement leading to a percentage reduction in poverty and inequality. We want to enable every parish to connect into the rich resources and talent within the Diocese, where through partnership we can see transformation in London.
3. The Strategy
Our primary focus is to inform, encourage and equip the episcopal areas, deaneries and parishes across the Diocese of London to amplify their impact in tackling poverty and inequality.
Our strategic objectives are to:
- Increase the church’s awareness and understanding of poverty and inequality in London.
- Increase the level of engagement and impact of the church community in tackling poverty and inequality.
The work of Capital Mass is an integral part of the Diocese of London’s Capital Vision 2020, where together we seek to be “more compassionate in serving communities with the love of God”.
4. The Capital Mass Way
Through all our activities Capital Mass will seek to embody The Capital Mass Way:
Listening: Through listening, Capital Mass will first seek to understand and then equip parishes, primarily through our partners. Building long-lasting partnerships which can sustain long-lasting change.
Learning: Through learning, Capital Mass recognises that when “iron sharpens iron” parishes and partners confidence and competence grows. Building up and amplifying the rich wisdom in London to ensures the Diocese’s response has deep roots.
Connecting: Through connecting, Capital Mass brokers relationships with and affirms the rich talent already in London to the parishes seeking to address poverty and inequality. Building up the number of connections will amplify the Diocese ability to engage.
Celebrating: Through celebrating, Capital Mass gives recognition to all who seek the wellbeing of the city. Building up and spurring on the faithful church as together we seek to be more compassionate in serving communities with the love of God.