Poverty and the Passion

Director Niall Cooper shares an Easter message from all of us at Church Action on Poverty.

Looking at the world this Holy Week, it feels that there is a real need for the new life and rebirth of Easter. And it’s not just hoping that the winter and snow will finally end.

Poverty and hunger still have a grip on too many people in the UK, sweeping them to the edges of our society and denying them a say in decisions that affect them. Just during Lent, we have yet again heard politicians denying that poverty exists here, or claiming not to understand how unjust policies leave people homeless or hungry.

Those attitudes trap people in poverty and divide communities with stigma and shame, rather than helping to build the just and compassionate society which most of us want to live in.

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That is in stark contrast to the Gospel stories we hear today, Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper inspires Christians with a vision of togetherness, sharing food and hospitality. And by washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus shows how the kingdom of heaven turns all of our assumptions upside-down. The powerful should be servants of the vulnerable, rather than stigmatising, punishing and excluding them.

Those stories will be in our minds at Church Action on Poverty as we continue our work after Easter, and we invite Christians everywhere to join us. If you can, please…

  • Give – make a donation today. Your gift could enable people who’ve been swept to the margins to make their voices heard and speak out for change.
  • Act – be part of the movement for change. By taking part in our email campaigns, you can call for action that loosens the grip of poverty and hunger. Acting together, our campaigners have achieved real change on issues like high-cost lending, holiday hunger, and low pay.
  • Pray for a just society. Use our worship materials and prayers in your church, and invite the whole congregation to reflect on poverty and injustice.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbour, “Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.
Proverbs 3:27-28

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