Introduction

Welfare is an important part of the work of the ACBM but unfortunately well meaning welfare activities by fieldworkers have, on occasions, resulted in long-term problems including:

  • Local ecclesial friction, internal jealousies and resentment;
  • Allegations of favouritism by fieldworkers towards certain local brethren;
  • Disillusionment among honourable local brethren sometimes leading to their loss of faith and departure from the meeting;
  • Artificial inflation of numbers, as people in difficult circumstances seek help via Christadelphian welfare; and
  • Accusations of “Chequebook” conversions.

Fundamental issues to be understood

In regard to welfare, the following points should be understood before considering financial assistance in the field:

  1. Fieldworkers should remember that most contacts and local brethren see them as wage-earning employees of the ACBM, even when they have been told the true situation. Both meanness and extravagance reflect badly on ACBM and on the ecclesia.
  2. Regard anything you give as given by an ACBM representative. Almsgiving by fieldworkers should be consistent with the local culture, with what a local person on a middling wage could and would do. Contacts or members of the ecclesia would not normally be recipients!
  3. ACBM practice for contacts and members of the ecclesia varies as to whether recommendations for assistance should be based solely on need, or also on the recipient’s loyalty to the ecclesia or potential usefulness to the ACBM. Please co-operate fully with your Regional Committee in this respect. It is understood that a brother or sister may have special needs as a result of ecclesial involvement in his/her life.
  4. Emotional involvement on the part of fieldworkers is to be expected, but ACBM procedures, including those you may disagree with, should be followed notwithstanding your emotional involvement. Fieldworkers should understand that the committees back home, while lacking immediate local knowledge, usually see things from a wider and longer-term perspective.

Financial assistance in the field

No money will be provided to any brother or sister or contact other than:

  • The local brethren and sisters have been advised of the circumstances and permitted to make a decision without interference. Your advice or recommendation should only be given if it is sought by the local brethren and sisters. It should be noted that in a number of locations a Welfare Committee is established with local brethren and, if so, all dealings should be with them.
  • The local brethren and sisters recommend assistance be given.
  • They are unable to cover costs from their own funds. In such cases funds shall be provided to the local ecclesia for them to distribute to the individual/s. The Regional Committee must be advised.
 

Page Last Updated: June, 2017