"God cares about crime" says local church

At Christians in Politics we love hearing stories about indivuals engaging in politics. We also love to hear about churches engaging with their local community through politics. Here, Christians in Politics director Claire Mathys writes about one such story where a church engaged with the issue of crime.

Crime is an issue which affects everyone. It affects the victims, the offenders, and the local community. It is something God cares about – and so should the church. This is why churches in Streatham took the initiative and held a panel discussion about crime in their local borough, asking the questions: What is God doing about crime in Lambeth? How could you make a difference?

Like many London boroughs, crime is a problem in Lambeth. Both crime and the perception of crime can contribute to fear and anxiety among residents. But many organisations are working hard to fight crime and its causes by working with offenders, ex-offenders and those who are vulnerable to becoming drawn into a life of crime. Some of these organisations have been set up by Christians seeking to make a difference in their communities.

The Nehemiah Project is one of these – it helps men who have left prison reintegrate into society so that they are less likely to commit further offences. They reduce re-offending rates among those they help from a national average of 57% to only 5%. Street Pastors, School Pastors, Way4ward and the police initiative Redeeming our Communities are also inspiring organisations which are reducing crime and changing people’s lives.

The panel evening was an opportunity to hear about how God is using people in Lambeth to reduce crime and to inspire others to join volunteering teams. It discussed questions such as, ‘How can we listen more to young people?’, ‘What can we do about funding cuts?’, and ‘How can we empower disengaged people in our community?’ This was a great example of the church being politically engaged in a positive and hope-filled way.

This event was organised by Love Streathamand The Nehemiah Project.