Like many churches around the country, we at Greasley have just celebrated our Harvest Festival. This is a time when traditionally we give thanks to God for a successful harvest. As a token of our thanks we also collect food to be distributed to the poor and needy in our community. However, around four years ago we were having difficulty in finding people to pass the food onto and so instead decided to send items for babies living in orphanages abroad.
In our Western world and in comparison to poorer countries, we live in an affluent society and, as such, might expect poverty to be a thing of the past. However, this is far from the case. I read a newspaper article which reports that, overall, 21% of the British population are living in poverty and in London the figure rises to 28%. These figures are quite alarming and no doubt will increase even further when the next round of price increases takes effect. I have no intention of trying to explain the cause of this degree of poverty; I’m sure that it is far too complex to try and give an easy explanation. The simple fact is that more people are living in need now than has been the case for a long time.
I know of some churches who have a nightly soup kitchen, more and more food banks are being set up to try to help those in need but quickly run out of stock. I’m often reminded of how during the Second World War, neighbours would rally round and share what they had to make sure that everyone had a meal. Whilst we haven’t reached poverty of that scale, I do encourage you all to “do your bit” and help those in our midst who are living in poverty.
The Bible tells us: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him”. (1 John 3:17).