Director of Church Action for Tax Justice, Dr Justin Thacker, talks about the upcoming series of online events – Restoring Hope – that have been organised by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility
The Covid-19 crisis has created a deficit of hope as people worry about their health, jobs and finance. It has exacerbated existing inequalities and highlighted new ones. We do not know how long this crisis will last, but recent analysis by the IMF has shown that while the health effects of an epidemic / pandemic last as long as the outbreak, the economic impact on those who are poor can extend for at least five years beyond the life of the disease. The same economic shock is not experienced by everyone.
In light of all this, we believe that our Christian faith has something unique to offer. It is not so much that the pages of Scripture contain a detailed economic policy that could, for instance, be cut and paste into budget pronouncements. But we do believe that our faith can provide a moral framework through which we can assess the range of policy options that are on offer.
For that reason, as part of Good Money Week (24 to 30 October), we are organising a series of online events - to explore the way in which our faith, finance and the wider economy interact. In the process, we want to offer a vision of hope that can help us in these difficult times.
Our flagship event is an evening conversation with Dr Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury) and Dr Ruth Valerio (Global Advocacy and Influencing Director, Tearfund). In addition, we have sessions which include a bible study exploring income and wealth, an exploration of ethical pensions and a discussion of how we in churches can use our money more effectively for the common good.
Bishop Michael Doe (Vice-chair of ECCR) comments “Amidst the fear and frustration which COVID has brought, we often hear that the choice is between keeping People safe and keeping Business afloat. But what if there was another choice: to build back the Economy where the primary concern is not Profit but People? ‘Restoring Hope’ is a timely and urgent programme to explore what this might mean for us today.”
The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility is a Body in Association of Churches Together in England.