On 11th September 2020, over 70 people attended the online Life on the Breadline mid-project conference: Faith-based Activism in Austerity Britain.

The conference addressed questions including: How has austerity impacted people in the UK? What are the implications of this for theology and faith-based social action?

New resources from the conference are now available where you can listen to the presentations from the day:

Click here to visit the conference resources

First, Dr Stephanie Denning and Dr Chris Shannahan spoke about the unequal impact of austerity and challenges for theology.

Our first guest keynote was given by Dr Sarah Marie Hall – ‘Legacies of austerity: rethinking social infrastructures, life-courses and families of the future’.

Professor Rachel Muers gave our second guest keynote – ‘Discerning the body: Christian social action, theology and class in austerity Britain’.

Life on the Breadline’s Professor Peter Scott brought the presentations together by reflecting on a political theology response to the challenges of austerity.

Credit: Beth Waters

The conference concluded with a call to action: each the presenters shared what they would like participants to take away from the morning:

  • Sarah Marie Hall: encouraged us to look at the work of the Women’s Budget Group, particularly their recent report on the impact of Covid-19.
  • Rachel Muers: encouraged us to look at the work of Poverty Truth Commissions – for example in Leeds – and reminded activists to take of themselves in this ongoing period of crises.
  • Peter Scott: reflected on the notable consideration of hope that was brought up in the Q&As.
  • Stephanie Denning: asked researchers to question whether research challenges or feeds into stigma and stereotypes of poverty.
  • Chris Shannahan: encouraged us to support campaigns for a living wage in the UK.