Quarterly Letter - June 2017

Dear Friends,
The Charity Christian Aid has just marked 60 years of their well known nationwide door-to-door collections. Christian Aid began in the aftermath of the Second World War to help refugees who had nothing. Sadly today there are many in this position still. I'm not aware of anyone leading a team of collectors in our locality - which is perhaps sad - maybe someone reading this would like to take up the challenge. Details can be found at www.christianaid.org.uk

International development is a pressing issue - an unequal globe where poverty, conflict, war, famine, ecological disaster and mass movement of peoples are all inextricably linked, will touch us all in the long term. This week the Church Times asked the leaders of the three main political parties for their opinion on international development. Obviously they knew theywere writing for a Christian paper, yet they each nonetheless sounded quite convincing on the moral origins of sharing our own relatively rich resources. In fact it was hard for them to get away from the explicitly Christian ethic upon which decisions about international aid rest.

'We must treat our global neighbours as we would expect to be treated ourselves, if the roles were reversed', said the Leader of the Opposition, quoting Jesus. 'UK aid is a badge of hope for so many around the world,bringing light where there is darkness and hope where there is despair', said the Prime Minister, alluding to St Francis of Assisi. 'Investing money in reducing and eradication of poverty should never just be seen as an International obligation or a security measure. It is, and always will be, a moral issue', said the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, ending that we were 'called to love our neighbour, wherever they may be'.
(So fulsome and theologically sound were the responses from our esteemed politicians, that I'm considering delegating some of my sermons to them in the foreseeable future).
Joking aside, Christian Aid, apart from being a politically astute AND robust Christian voice for the poor, shows how faith issues are alive and well in the public and political arena. Christians and all people of good will have a chance to respond morally to issues they hold dear when we go to the polls in June. Whatever the outcome, do pray for those in authority, and for yourself, because 'from those who have received much, much will be required.'

Blessings, Claire

Revd. Claire Alcock