Church Leaders' Campaign Plea
posted on 19 January 2005
Church leaders have united in the 2005 campaign against poverty and injustice.
The call has come from the four Presidents of Churches Together in England (The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Revd David Coffey, Moderator of the Free Churches, and Revd Esme Beswick of the Joint Anglo-Caribbean Council of Churches). In a joint statement published on Wednesday they gave their joint backing to the Make Poverty History campaign. They want the European Union to take the lead in a crucial year of trade negotiations: “it can be a beacon of hope for the poorest countries and challenge others to follow its example.”
The church leaders have been hearted by the response to the tsunami, and hope that the compassion may now extend to addressing the long-term challenge of the daily 30,000 preventable deaths from poverty, hunger and disease.
With Britain assuming the presidency of the EU and chairing the G8 in 2005, the church leaders say the country has a unique opportunity to challenge the way the world lives and works. “We hope and pray it will be grasped with energy and commitment.” They call also for the EU to continue to take practical steps to alleviate climate change
The Churches Together in England Presidents make their statement during the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity anticipating a reception for 150 representatives of denominations and development agencies at Lambeth Palace.
The Churches’ launch of Make Poverty History is on Saturday 29 January at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
Make Poverty History brings together a wide cross section of nearly 100 charities, campaigns, trade unions, faith groups and celebrities who are united by a common belief that 2005 offers a unprecedented opportunity for global change.