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IF campaign: Archbishop Nichols on Christian vision of solidarity with poor

By editor - 09 June, 2013

Millionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and a host of other well-known names are leading tens of thousands of people in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday in a campaign to help end global hunger.

The ‘Enough food for everyone IF..’ campaign is calling on leaders of the world’s wealthiest G8 nations to take concrete steps to stamp out hunger and child malnutrition. Over 200 charities and organisations are taking part in the event, which hopes to be the largest mobilization against inequality since the ‘Make Poverty History’ march in Edinburgh in 2005.

Ahead of the rally, thousands of Christian campaigners are taking part in an ecumenical prayer service in Westminster Central Hall, where Archbishop Vincent Nichols is preaching on the specific vision that the Gospel of Christ brings to the fight against poverty and injustice.

When we acknowledge our own poverty before God…then we begin to see the materially poor as our brothers and sisters and not simply as distant people who might be deserving of my charity..”

In his homily Archbishop Nichols stresses there is no shortage of food for the hungry – IF we are all willing to make changes and pay the costs for a fairer distribution of goods and resources. Earlier in the day, I spoke to Archbishop Nichols and asked him about the importance of the Christian presence at this high profile event….

It’s important for two reasons: firstly because this is a campaign that brings together all different voices concerned about hunger in the world and secondly, because the Christian voice makes its own distinctive contribution, not just about the depth of motivation, but also through the vision, summed up in Pope Francis’ phrase that ‘in the poor we touch the flesh of Christ’…

The goals (of the campaign) can be used to bring support to British government which has already laid out its strategy for this G8 summit and some of that does stand in the same street as the goals of the campaign: for example……much greater transparency in actions of governments and corporations especially those extracting natural resources from countries…

Almost half of the food produced in the UK, in the USA or in Europe is wasted at some point in the food chain – even half of that waste would feed the hungry of the world…. It does mean that action to alleviate hunger in the world should start in our own homes…”

(Vatican Radio)

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