As part of The United Reformed Church she has lived and worked mainly in the UK in Wales and Northern England. Her heart, faith and discipleship has been stretched by people in Taiwan (PCT), Oceania (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) and Southern Africa (UCCSA).
She has shared most of her adult journey amongst The Dandelion Community, a cluster of Dandelion disciples, with people in a large and beautiful Garden City called Wythenshawe (named after Willow trees) with people often showing creativity, shame, resilience, and burdens of living with poverty. Being alongside people in Wythenshawe encouraged me to learn more about how Christians more widely in the UK are responding to poverty.
She is a member of Christian Climate Action and a Christian in Extinction Rebellion and my discipleship has led me to civil resistance, arrest and to reflect on climate justice and poverty.
Kate Gray, “Liberating anti-poverty practices: resisting capitalism and re-imagining an end to poverty as an experiment of churches and Christians in UK contexts”
During the Covid-19 pandemic many Christians, amongst others, responded with care and swiftness to the challenges of aspects of poverty magnified by the crisis. However, levels of poverty and inequity in the UK were already rising due to the violence of austerity policies and practices of government since 2008. In this paper I explore ways in which Love needs to shape our understandings of Liberation. Inspired by Bonhoeffer’s ideas of cheap and costly grace and costly discipleship I want to challenge, unlearn and reimagine practices of charity, discipleship, and pastoral care which underpin Christian churches in UK contexts thereby resisting capitalism and non-personhood.
Levels of inequality are increasing, along with food and fossil fuel/energy bills. Christians are rising up to unlearn and embrace embodied practices of hope, courage and theologies of personhood. Inspired by my community of liberatory practice in Manchester, England, I will explore ways in which Christians in the UK are attempting to reimagine, and live as if Love is a key motivating value which leads to different paths of discipleship and more risk-taking liberation theologies in which the church is not the pioneer, author or initiator of liberating anti-poverty practices but an incubator, nest, conduit and community of Love and Grace learning to respond to God in the local context in the face of poverty.