ABSTRACT

The Church of the Nazarene is committed to identifying with the poor and socially marginalized. This article investigates how far the Nazarene priority for the poor intersects with the everyday geographies of its local presence in England. Cross-sectional data on the distribution of churches, clergy, and lay office holders are evaluated against neighbourhood variations in socio-economic deprivation. The extent to which they are based in deprived areas is considered to reflect opportunities for identifying with people in poverty and exercising a ministry of presence. The findings are broadly consistent with the church's self-proclaimed responsibility to the poor. Questions arise about the sustainability of that commitment at the local or community level and the church's ability to respond pastorally, and act prophetically and politically on behalf of the poor.

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