Faith in Foodbanks? A new resource.

FaithFoodbankFrom Daphne Beale:

Up and down the country, we are seeing an exponential increase in the number of people visiting foodbanks. The Trussell Trust, which runs 4 in 10 foodbanks in the UK have seen visits increase from just over 340,000 in 2012/13 to over 900,000 in 2013/14. Thousands of volunteers give their time collecting, sorting and giving out donated food. It is a great testimony that so many people give generously of their time and money to meet this need, but it also highlights the great tragedy of so many people find themselves in such a position that they require emergency food from a foodbank. Why is it that we are one of the richest nations in the world, yet an increasing number of people are reliant on foodbanks to provide for their families?
Today, UK foodbanks and churches are bound together. We are called though the Scripture to feed the hungry and provide for those in need. Jesus invited his followers to pray that they might have their daily bread. Foodbanks remind us that the provision and distribution of food lies at the very heart of God’s engagement with creation.
The Joint Public Issues Team (working on behalf of the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches) has recently launched ‘Faith in Foodbanks?’, a series of resources to help churches to explore the connections between our worship, our world and the work of foodbanks. The resources include information about the rise of foodbanks, a series of Bible studies and ideas for worship and reflections. They also offer some ideas which churches can use if they wish to go further in sharing the stories of those they meet through their foodbank ministry and asking the important questions which lie behind the rise of food poverty in this country.
The resources can be downloaded from

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Reducing heating energy demand: external wall insulation, window and boiler upgrades and draught-proofing. Initial research findings and stories


Friday 4th July, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

Kate Simpson, researcher in Energy Demand Reduction of Buildings at Loughborough University, will introduce the discussion by sharing some ideas of how we can all save energy (and money) while still keeping our homes warm.

Her research is part of a broader effort to upgrade the British housing stock. The domestic sector is responsible for 30% of UK carbon emissions and 80% of this is used for space and water heating. Britain has some of the most inefficient houses in Europe, most of which are likely to still stand by 2050, by which time we hope to make an 80% cut in carbon emissions from 1990 levels. Her research is focused on owner-occupied housing. Local authority housing is now performing better on average, following government funded schemes, such as Charnwood council’s energy-efficiency work in Shelthorpe (co-funded by Eon). The government’s Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation schemes offer financial help for homeowners to carry out similar projects. Her work aims to capture the occupants’ perception of the installation process and she has followed householders over the winter before and after to also measure the energy and comfort benefits of the installations.

Kate says that her research hasn’t – yet – worked out ‘magic answers’ to energy reduction, but she has some practical ideas and examples that do make a difference. She is keen present her work to a public audience and hear your feedback on her initial findings.

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Representative Democracy vs Direct Democracy: THE DEBATE

Unlock Democracy Leicestershire (UDL) would like to invite anyone
interested in improving our democracy to our next event on Monday 7th July
at 7:30pm at the Ale Wagon on Charles St, Leicester, LE1 1RE.

Avtar Singh will argue we currently live in an ‘elected dictatorship’ and
that rather than vote for untrustworthy politicians, we should vote
directly on the issues i.e. Direct Democracy.

Geoff Gay will argue that, whatever the socio-economic system, our modern
society is far too complex for direct democracy to be practical.

They will have their say and then you will have yours!

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Theatre! Two shows in Loughborough

Micron theatre Presents:

Till the Cows Come Home

Wed 25th June 7:30

Swan in the Rushes, 21 The Rushes, Loughborough

Harvey Granelli is fed up working for Thistledale Council. He followed his miserable mother into local government, but he has more in common with his Italian father – part-time playboy and one-time ice-cream maker, Romeo.

Inspired by a dream of his long dead dad, Harvey finally finds the courage to follow his heart. But when he whips up a gelato from Papa Granelli’s recipe book it just doesn’t taste the same. Times have changed; the way our food is produced has changed.

Harvey now has a choice. He can make an inferior product, or he can source the very best ingredients and make the finest ice-cream in the world. His quest will take him to the corners of the earth – from Thistledale to Tuscany: from Bridlington to Brazil.

But can Harvey really recreate a taste from the past? Will he return in time to prevent his faithful girlfriend Maud surrendering to the charms of another man? And why is he being followed?

Join Mikron this season for a farm-fresh, full-fat, fair-trade fable about the nation’s favourite food!

Banner Theatre


Saturday July 5th, starting 8.30pm at Emmanuel Church Hall, Forest Road, Loughborough, Leics. LE11 3NW

Combines video footage, songs, music and storytelling to follow the brilliant campaign fought by parents and teachers against the imposition of forced academy status on Downhills Primary School in Haringey, and asks the big questions about what kind of education system we want: one that teaches children and young people to think and question the world they live in, or one that subjugates their needs to the requirements of big business.

The venue is close to Loughborough town centre and there is parking space at the site. Refreshments will be available. Tickets : £5 or £3 concessions from Ray Sutton on 07580 952761 or by email to

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Democratising the EU

EU ballot boxFriday 20th June, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

How democratic is the EU, and how can the so-called “democratic deficit” be resolved?

We will briefly cover the history of democracy of the EU from its foundation as the EEC in 1957 through to the introduction of the EU Parliament, and later the European Citizens’ Initiatives. We will also compare the Parliament, Council, and Commission, and a look at the recent shake-up in how the EU President is agreed upon by MEPs. The floor will then be opened for discussion of new and existing ideas to enhance EU democracy and reduce the sense of disconnectedness that so many citizens feel.

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Lifting The Lid: Ongoing adventures in the world of pseudoscience

This is news of a Skeptics meeting in Leicester. Participants in the recent ‘debate’ on climate change might like to pop along and discover which version is pseudo science.

Michael Marshall

Tuesday, June 17 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

The Exchange Bar
Rutland Street

Michael Marshall

What’s the talk about?

It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.

Michael Marshall is the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work with the MSS has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

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Positive Money – How Banks create money and make the rich richer


Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography /

Friday 6th June, 7:30 pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

Commercial Banks have created 97% of the money in existence today on their own terms and continue to profit from every £ that circulates as a result. As a side effect of this power they control the economy of nations and redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich whilst maintaining that they’re doing a public service.

Until the banks’ ability to create money is reformed, all commerce, debt or financial transaction involving credit will result in the widening of the poverty gap, future generations being born into ever greater debt and the enrichment of the very wealthiest.

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