We are all going through the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat. The pandemic and the recent increase in energy prices have highlighted to all of us just how vulnerable we are to factors outside of our control. For those who can usually just stay above water, circumstances like losing a job, a relationship breakup, or a boiler going bust can pull people into poverty.

There are currently 14.5 million people in poverty in the UK according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This is 22 per cent of the UK population, equivalent to 15 people on an average double-decker bus being in a financially vulnerable position. But poverty is not just about numbers; it affects people’s lives. Poverty breaks families apart, isolates people from their communities, shatters confidence, and drives many to think that suicide is the only way out.

At Christians Against Poverty (CAP), we will not sit back as millions of people are locked in the grip of poverty. We provide non-judgmental free support for those trapped in problem debt, but we also see the systemic challenges at play that are pulling people into financially vulnerable positions.

Simply not having enough money to cover the cost of essentials is the most common reason we see people ending up in poverty, with low income’ being the most common primary reason given by CAP clients as to how they ended up in a debt crisis. Low income prevents households from being able to create a savings buffer and it sees many households struggle to afford even basic necessities. Underlying issues then feed into a dire situation when unexpected costs come up.


We meet people every day who are facing the realities of poverty. People like Rodney.

Rodney had his own business and house, living with his wife and three children. However, he got into debt after complications from a failed knee operation meant that he was unable to work. His relationship broke down and he lost the house, becoming a single parent looking after three children. Rodney had to move to a new area to make a fresh start with his children. However, he knew no one in this new location and the pandemic meant he had no connections. Debt followed him and he reached a point where he was struggling to find money for heating and food.

Before I was living the life. I was doing well and we could afford to go out for dinner now and then. But that’s all gone. Where we were sitting pretty, all of a sudden, that rug got pulled. It really did mentally do my head in. I’d had enough. I didn’t know which way to turn. I don’t know where we would have been if we hadn’t got help from CAP.”

"I didn’t know which way to turn. I don’t know where we would have been if we hadn’t got help from CAP."

As you can see, the whole situation looks very grim. The combination of underlying issues, crisis factors and a sense of isolation can take people into very dark places. But as Christians, we know there is always hope.

At CAP we have Debt Centres, community group services, and courses providing money education all around the UK. Each offers free, practical, and non-judgmental advice and support for anyone who needs it. Our services are delivered through over 500 wonderful partnering churches and a team of amazing Christian frontline staff who offer support through in-person visits and phone support. This helping hand can be life-changing for people in poverty.

Through getting in touch with CAP, Rodney, was able to receive help from Heather, the local debt coach. She was able to help him through the process of bankruptcy and also support him with heating oil and food parcels. Now Rodney is debt-free and he feels like life is starting to improve for him and his children, although his income is still low.

It’s unbelievable. I was at the point where I was going to give up. She swung it right round. … Everything has turned around for good, although I’m still skint”

We believe there can be an end to UK poverty. By working together with God as our strength and guide, real change is possible. As it says in Matthew 18:20, If two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Together, we can make an end to UK poverty once and for all!

The Bible is full of examples of the importance of supporting others. Although it may seem easier to turn a blind eye and walk on past, as we are reminded in the parable of the good Samaritan, we have a responsibility as humans to help when we see someone struggling; because whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17). As individuals and as a collective church we can offer hope and light in people’s darkest times.

If you would like to help us in our mission to end UK poverty there are three things that you could do:

  1. Pray. If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We know the value of prayer, so please pray for all those in poverty and for all those working to provide help and support. Find prayer resources here and pray now.
  2. Support. If you know of someone in a financially vulnerable position, let them know that free debt support is available. Every working day our free debt help service (run through local churches) helps people find a practical, lasting solution to debt and poverty. Anyone can contact CAP – simply go to our website capuk​.org/​d​e​b​thelp or call our free debt helpline on 0800 328 0006.
  3. Act. Why not donate to our Easter Appeal or encourage your church to partner with CAP to provide debt advice? Find out more about church partnership at capuk​.org/​g​e​t​-​i​n​v​o​l​v​e​d​/​y​o​u​r​-​c​hurch
"We believe there can be an end to UK poverty. By working together with God as our strength and guide, real change is possible."