Britain is the THIRD worst European country for families to live in

It seems as though the ‘Happy Family’ culture that Britain once had is quickly coming to an end. A recent study into families in the UK by Relationships Foundation has shown that Britain is the third worst place for families to be in Europe.

This new has quickly been picked up by Christianity Today and The Daily Mail.

The study has looked at the social, political and economic dynamics of European countries, and evaluated how healthy they are for normal family life.

Britain came out as one of the countries whereby an average adult works on average 43 hours a week; some of the longest working hours in Europe.

More than 340,000 British families live in ‘severe housing deprivation’ in overcrowded houses without a bath, shower or inside toilet.

Britain has also ranked one of the worst European countries for maternity leave, debt, and morgage repayments.

Unfortunately, this only seems to be worsening, despite an urgent call by campaign groups and the Christian world to make reforms to increase value in family life, and to provide the means necessary to improve quality of family life.

I would suggest that in our pluralist, consumerist, post modern, happy go lucky society, we are spiraling into an endless cesspit of unhappiness. As most of the factors which determine quality of family life are monetary, it’s blindingly obvious that people are too concerned about economy and materialism than their own families and personal health. Saying this, I do understand and acknowledge that many people cannot help conditions and situations that they find themselves in. Some people struggle with money as well as various other work related struggles.

But the Government aren’t doing anything to change this. The Government just seems too preoccupied with Economic recovery and growth. This is all at the expense of crucial family development. If the Government aren’t putting measures in place, then how is the family as a unit supposed to change work ethic and lifestyle priorities?

Neglect of moral family values which have been installed by Christianity (and other faiths might I add) by the common grace of God have been kicked out of society in favour of material gain, profit and business growth.

This truly reflects the natural desire of a human’s heart that’s losing it’s feeling for moral code. The problem at it’s root isn’t money. It’s greed. And when greed gets the better of someone, nothing can stand in the way.

We all need to wake up and reevaluate our situations. Moreover, I’m all supportive for a reform to make sure that parents get ample maternity/paternity leave, that working hours are reduced, that help centres are set up to encourage family life.

And might I suggest in my humble opinion that as a starting point we go back to shutting shop on Sunday to encourage family time. One of the most rewarding things that I have received growing up from a moody teenager into a young man was spending family time on a Sunday in church, having a meal together (sometimes the only meal we would spend as a whole family) and doing fun things together.

It’s time we get back to these ideals. And they’re achievable if people just stop, and the Government back the idea of the family home. It’s by love, community, relationship and mutual respect that will cause growth in the community, not driving people into early graves, destroying the institution of the traditional family ideal and forgetting human nature to love and relate to others.

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @

  • chris peacock

    You are unbelievably ignorant in your views and you apparently show the other side of the story but your views are delusional. You have absolutely zero knowledge of economic problems, and why should the government have the greatest influence on family life? Faith is becoming extinct with figures showing it most significantly falling in Wales.

    • Well, this is a very irrational and illogical comment to a reasoned argument from a faith perspective.

      1. I didn’t mention the word ‘influence’ in my article. I merely stated that the Government should provide means to support the family.
      2. Where is the ignorance in my article? I have read about a report and commented on it; and the results of the report correlate with my views.
      3. It’s a rather risky statement to say that I have zero knowledge on economic problems.
      4. Faith is not becoming extinct; in fact the Christian faith is growing. The report that you refer to (though you’re not referring to it are you?) is based on mathematics, and is one man’s prediction of the future. Nothing more. It fails to take into account the growth of the church (with great significance to Wales might I add 😉 ) and the increase particularly in Charismatic Evangelical circles.

  • chris peacock

    OK fair enough, can you just clarify something for me?
    Just wondering, as a Christian, how do you account for things such as natural disasters? Why does God inflict events like this on innocent people if he loves each and every one of us?

    • Who said God inflicts natural disasters on the world?

      A lot of suffering comes from human beings. A lot of natural disasters, unfortunately, can be accounted for due to human activity which harms the planet and suchlike.

      Apart from that, stuff just happens. And if you ask Christians who are struck by natural disaster, I can pretty much guarantee that they aren’t blaming God for it.

      And to add to that, many people become Christians through bad things, such as natural disasters.

      And lastly, who said anyone was ‘innocent’? There isn’t one innocent person on this planet. But that doesn’t mean that God brings natural disasters (just to clarify).

  • chris peacock

    But a natural disaster is an event caused by natural forces of nature which has a signficant effect on human populations, i.e. not created by man.

    If God created the world, it follows logically that he created events such as natural disasters which result from the Earth’s atmospheric, climatic and geological features – they’re part and parcel of the planet. How could it be possible for humans to cause earthquakes, tsunami’s and tornado’s, when they were around before humans even appeared on the planet?
    Also, could you explain why nobody on this planet innocent, as I don’t really understand what you mean by that?

    • Yes, natural disasters are part of the earth. However, it is things like climate change that are affecting the earth and contributing to the cause of them.

      No one in the world is innocent because of the Christian doctrine of ‘sin’. Each and every one of the human race has either thought, said, or done something wrong in his or her life. Therefore, no one is innocent before God. This is the doctrine of original sin, which is basically inherited from the first humans (Adam and Eve sinning).

      Because sin entered the world, in the Christian context, sin also had a detrimental effect on nature; hence the reason why we die, partly why natural disasters occur, and why there is disease and sickness.

      And as a by-comment to this… why SHOULD God stop natural disasters and various other things when people always reject him and deliberately go against him? OK, he is a God who loves unconditionally, and this comment is NOT an explanation as to why God doesn’t stop natural disasters, but still.

      Anyways, I think we should get back onto the subject in hand!

  • chris peacock

    I’m just interested in hearing the Christian point of view on these things haha, and since this is about faith it is related to the topic?

    And that still doesn’t really answer the point of how those disasters were around before the appearance of humans, and therefore cannot be caused directly by us?
    And also, if God is all-powerful, and controls Earth and everything in it then there would be no sinners; surely he would ensure that everybody is innocent in his eyes. He would never have made beings that could sin in the first place.
    I don’t think your point follows because young children, babies, those who have never had chance to say, do or think anything wrong, and therefore are innocent by the Christian definition, also die in natural disasters.
    I cannot understand your use of the phrase ‘he is a God who loves unconditionally’ – this would imply his existence is fact? There is no solid evidence that he does.

    • Well that’s where it all becomes relative. I treat God as a fact because I have faith that he is. I have my personal experience and the experience of others to ‘prove’ that to me, plus the Bible, miracles that I’ve seen etc etc.

      Young children, babies etc do have sin, because like I said, sin has been passed on from generation to generation. There are many different views on whether these sort of people go to heaven or not when they die. Personally, I believe there is an age of understanding whereby a child can accept Jesus as saviour. I believe in a God who is gracious and merciful, and therefore will do the right and just thing with them.

      Plus, I don’t believe that natural disasters were around before human creation… or even before humans first sinned. So therefore I’d disagree with your conclusion on the matter.

      And as for God being all powerful. Yes he is. Except he gives free will. He wants us to choose to love him and not be forced to love him. He let Adam and Eve get on with it in the garden, and they chose to have a relationship with the world than with God, and God said ‘fine’ basically. He’s not a pushy God. He lets us get on with our own choices.

      The potential to sin was in the world in the first place in order to give humans that free choice. God gave them his perfect advice, but they chose to disobey and he left them to it.

      If you’re wanting to explore Christian theology and doctrine, you MUST leave your views/opinions at the door, because otherwise you’ll find that nothing matches up. If you have an open mind, then you’ll find it easier to understand Christian views on things. I don’t mean to say that you should just get rid of your views and become a Christian (though I’d love that), what I mean is that you have to be willing to make yourself hypothetically open to the idea of the Christian faith in order to work out what we believe and why we believe it. That, of course, means that you have to start with a definite case for God, and then work from there! 🙂

  • chris peacock

    OK I understand what you’re saying. I didn’t mean to come across as though I was judgemental – merely curious about your explanations as I am a scientist and obviously see things differently. And I think that it is a good thing you are so faithful to your belief. However I think that if I ever went to Church and worshipped God, I would be lying to myself and to God if He does exist and so therefore I think we will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

    • You’ll never know unless you search and try and find out 🙂

      Completely understand that you’re curious. Your comments are appreciated by the way. Keep them coming 🙂

  • chris peacock

    Dw i jyst wedi gweld eich bod chi’n Gymro. Wel. Sut gallwn i anghytuno efo chi nawr!? Bydda i’n parchu eich barn ac agor fy meddwl. Rydych yn cyflwyno ddadl ardderchog am eich cred. Mae’n gret i glywed i eich barn. Rydych wedi neud iawn i argyhoeddi fi i wrando – rwy’n gwyddonydd styfnig! Dymuniadau gorau.

    • Haha! Diolch mate. Dymuniada gorau i chdi hefyd. Cadwch bostio dy barnau 🙂 Peidiwch â phoeni am fod yn wyddonydd ystyfnig – rydym ni i gyd styfnig weithiau! Cymer ofal 🙂

  • AJ

    Good post Dean, people do need to just chill out and spend some more family time but we’re driven by greed and pride to be the best and have the most which is why family life has been put to one side.
    There were no natural disasters before man, life came into existance instantly. Fossils confirm the immediate existnace of fully formed life as opposed to a gradual evolution of life. Biology confirms the inability for a species to evolve into another species. Biology can only confirm variation within species but nothing new.
    Ofcourse God wouldn’t create us without an ability to sin against him, if he did we would not have relationship with him because we wouldn’t have a choice. It would be false, robotic. The only way real true relationship works is because we choose to be together. So because man how chosen to push God out and to do his own thing there is an absence of God in their lives. Much like dakrness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat.. sin, pain and suffering is the absence of love (God), because that’s what was chosen when we decide not to be in relationship with God.
    Don’t be conned into thinking if you’re a scientist you can’t believe in God, there are so many christian scientists out there who base their science on the Bible which has always remained true.
    There is nothing an atheist can bring to the table to disprove the existance of God, absolutely nothing however there are countless amounts that a theist could bring to prove the existance of God.

    • You speak true words AJ. There’s a lot of sense here, and a very good way of explaining what can be a theological difficulty.