Big Questions

In the context of the ‘Big Questions’ that we’re examining, one of the biggest questions related to resources is to do with their just allocation. The question is relevant at both macro (international) and micro (national/local) levels particularly when resources are scarce, such as Covid vaccines during the pandemic.

The question raises all kinds of ethical and moral problems to which – hopefully – our shared Christian faith may offer some response: to whom should limited and dwindling resources be allocated? Why? Who should decide? On what basis?

As part of our series TODAY’S BIG QUESTIONS: TOWARDS A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE, we were delighted to welcome  Christine Allen, whose previous experience and current role as Executive Director of CAFOD, mean she was well placed to help us explore this question.  A recording of Christine’s talk can be found below.


Christine Allen has been Executive Director of CAFOD, the development arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, since Spring 2019, guiding the organisation through the implementation of its Strategic Vision; ‘Our Common Home.’ She is inspired by Catholic Social Teaching and the church acting for peace and justice. Christine, CAFOD, and its thousands of supporters, therefore stand as powerful witnesses of love in a world of greed and selfishness, and seek to end the injustices of poverty, inequality and environmental exploitation, whilst also committing to being an Anti-Racist organisation. Christine is also currently the co-Chair of the Environment and Development CEOs network.

Prior to her position at CAFOD, Christine previously held leadership positions at two faith-based international development organisations spanning 17 years. From 2012, Christine was the Director of Policy and Public Affairs for Christian Aid. As a senior leader and high-profile representative for the organisation, she lobbied and influenced political and private sector leaders on significant policy changes on tax justice and climate justice, led senior-level external relations for CEO and other departments, held leadership roles on global and UK bodies, as well as supporting Trusts, Foundations and Major Donors initiatives. She was also responsible for theological reports underpinning Christian Aid’s policy work.

From 2001- 2012, Christine was Progressio’s Executive Director for 11 years. There, she helped the organisation to grow in its work supporting local communities to overcome poverty and marginalisation, and strengthened the organisations roots in faith and Catholic Social Teaching. Before joining Progressio, she worked for ten years in the area of housing, poverty and social exclusion in the UK as Head of Public Affairs at the National Housing Federation and Education Department Coordinator at CHAS. Her career began as a field worker with the Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1987 and as CAFOD’s campaigns coordinator in 1989.