Stories to Inspire

Sharing Stories

By sharing the stories of those who seek to bring about positive change, we hope to inspire Christians and churches to be change-makers in their communities. 

We will be adding to these stories regularly. Please get in touch to share stories of those you know, who are making a difference where they are. 

#1: Francis Freedom

Our first story is that of Francis Freedom, a fisherman from the Niger Delta. Francis met Father Kevin O’Hara, an Irish St Patricks Missionary Society priest based in Nigeria in 2012. Together they took on Shell seeking justice for an oil spill that had occurred some years earlier, polluting the lake in which Francis and his community fished. With a bit of help from ECCR, they convinced Shell Nigeria to clean up the lake and Francis proved that even one person with limited resources can make a difference. Watch the short video to find out more or click here to read his story

To read more about ECCR’s work campaigning for justice in the Niger Delta, visit our Reports and Newsletters page

#2: Stourbridge Quaker Meeting

Stourbridge Meeting’s Treasurer reflects on how they connect their financial decisions with their values:

“Roughly half our annual income is spent on the expenses of the Meeting and the other half is passed to various Quaker and other beneficiaries that we are committed to supporting. We have chosen to bank with an ethical bank, and we invest in the CCLA COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund. We have a reserves policy, and we give away in charitable gifts all money that is surplus to our reserves target. We involve the whole Meeting in the setting of annual budgets, including the gifts that we make.”

What connections do you make between your faith and your financial decisions? Help your church explore this further through the Money Makes Change Pledge. You can read their full story here

#3: St John's & the Switch Day

Members of St John’s Hoxton are passionate about tackling climate change. They also know that people in their community are struggling to pay for their gas and electricity. Supported by Hackney Citizens, they set up a Switch Day to help people switch to cheaper and greener energy suppliers. On the day, seven households switched to a renewable energy supplier. Everyone cut their bills significantly – one family reduced their yearly energy bill by a whopping £600! Such was the success of the Switch Day that they’ve developed a resource pack to help others run one too. To get hold of the resource contact fairenergy@citizensuk.org

Think through your church’s spending and the impact it has on the world, and discover more actions you could take through the Money Makes Change Pledge. You can read their full story here.

#4: Trinity Church, Lewes

Trinity Church has developed an Ethical Purchasing Policy, inspired by the church’s engagement with Eco Church. The policy explains that:

“we are stewards of the money given to us by our church family and we are accountable to God for the way we use it.”

It gives guidance on what the church will and will not purchase, to ensure the ethical treatment of people, animals and the wider world. The church recognises that this policy will affect the cost of some of the things they do, but the PCC agreed that they would accept this extra cost as a fair price to avoid exploitation. You can read their full story here.

Does your church have an Ethical Purchasing Policy? Explore this and more through the Money Makes Change Pledge

#5: Knaphill Community Fridge

In the UK, we throw away almost 15 million tonnes of food and drink every year! The Knaphill Community Fridge was launched by Holy Trinity Church with St Saviours in Knaphill & Brookwood, Surrey, as a response to this.

Residents are encouraged to leave their surplus food in the fridge for others to take.The fridge volunteers also collect surplus food from local supermarkets to help stock the fridge. In the year since opening, they have saved 22.4 tonnes of food from landfill! The fridge is also meeting real need in the community. As the Covid-19 crisis struck, the fridge project responded by delivering food parcels to the vulnerable. The Knaphill Community Fridge is one of over 100 community fridges in the country and part of a larger network, overseen by charity, Hubbub. You can read their full story here

Could you work with a local business to meet the needs of your community and tackle food waste? Explore this and more through the Money Makes Change Pledge.