Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has just launched a new initiative to address the current housing crisis.
Academics, housing experts and theologians are to meet over an 18-month period to examine how the Church of England can build on its own work in housing and contribute to the national debate on policy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will explore a Christian perspective on housing policy with a particular focus on providing good homes – a foundation of equality and justice – and promoting thriving communities. Charlie Arbuthnot, an expert in the financing of social housing, and Chair of the Commission, said at Tuesday’s launch that the Church could make a unique contribution to the debate on housing, offering a distinctive narrative, with a presence in every community, and possessing key assets: “What if through this we could re-empower and reimagine Church?” he asked. The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed his hope that the outcomes of the work would be “imaginative, thoughtful, and radical.”
“As the Church,” he said, “we have one primary motivation: in the words of St Paul, the love of Christ compels us. The example of Jesus draws us on and leads us not just to speak of God’s love, but to demonstrate it by reaching out in compassion to those who are in greatest need.”