As I suspect you will have seen a significant campaign against hunger has been launched today. The IF campaign has the support of over 100 organisations, including the C of E, Tearfund and Christian Aid. There is a launch event this evening which I’d hoped to go to, but sadly this is deadline week so I must go back to the drawing table.
I’ve posted a video above (which I haven’t actually seen yet owing to not being in a place with sound) and the aims of the campaign below. You can find out more via the IF site ( or a more simple version if, like me, your computer doesn’t cope with flashy sites), Tearfund or Christian Aid, both of whom have resources for churches, etc.
Anyway, please do sign up. Seems to me to be quite an important thing to get behind.
Enough Food For Everyone IF we give enough aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.
Enough Food For Everyone IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries.
Enough Food For Everyone IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land and grow crops to feed people, not fuel cars.
Enough Food For Everyone IF governments and big companies are honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has cut up his dog collar on the Andrew Marr show and says he will not replace it until Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is out of office. Here is what he said:
You know … you see as an Anglican, this is what I wear to identify myself that I’m a clergyman. Do you know what Mugabe has done? He’s taken people’s identity and literally if you don’t mind, cut it to pieces. This is what he’s actually done, to a lot of – and in the end there’s nothing. So as far as I’m concerned from now on I’m not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe’s gone.
Links to the full interview and video below.
I for one applaud the Archbishop. May his example inspire us all to stand up to injustice in our various ways.
Thousands of people have taken part in marches around the world to highlight the issue of climate change. This is my report, though iit must be emphasised that I am really a very poor example of a climate change marcher for reasons that will become apparent.
Above: Me on the climate change march. I look very serious in the photograph as one looks stupid enough taking a photograph of oneself standing in the street as it is without grinning inanely.
Mine was not a particularly effective contribution, seeing as I:
Started the march half way through
Started the march several hours after everyone else
Had no banner or anything else to signify that I was conducting my own one-man demonstation
I did eventually catch up with the marchers in Grosvenor Square. It didn’t seem as big as some of the Make Poverty History marches, but it is difficult to judge figures. The news reports are saying 10000. It must be borne in mind that it rained very heavily for much of the day which must have affected attendance.
Above: There were all sorts of weird and wonderful protesters. There were lots of ordinary people there too, but they don’t make such interesting photographs.
Above:It was good to see some Christians there – I would of course have seen many more if I’d attended the service held beforehand (or indeed the march itself). This is the banner from the Christian Group ‘Operation Noah’. That actually is Noah in the foreground.
Above: Whilst various speeches happened at one end of Grosvenor Square a group of protesters did some drumming at the US embassy end whilst the police watched from the other side of a barrier. As the message was delivered through the medium of drumming I can’t tell you exactly what it said, but it was along the lines of ‘Something must be done about climate change’.
Above: Photograph of the speaker George Monbiot taken with a camera that was plainly not up to the task with the low light levels. His was the one speech I listened to from a reasonably close vantage point, having meandered through the crowd to take the above photo. I found what he said thought provoking, though I’m not sure to what extent I agreed with all his conclusions about, for instance, the taking of ‘direct action’. I need to do some more reading. I don’t know whether there is a transcript of the speech online, but this recent blog post contains some of the same themes. This blog has some quotes from yesterday’s speech.
Some photos of the march. As you can see it really was very wet for most of it.
Important reminder: UK residents have until 12 noon on Monday to vote for Sustrans Connect 2 (more cycle and walking paths where they will make a real difference) on the £50million Lottery Whathaveyou. You can vote once by internet, once by phone and once from your mobile. The landline phone voting only costs 10p.
Last week was Christian Aid week. I suspect some readers will, like me, have had the joy of delivering their Christian Aid envelopes and then collecting them a few days later. The above not-really-humourous-I’m-afraid diagram illustrates the various responses one gets at the doors.
Now, one thing must be said. I am not a particularly heroic Christian Aid collector. Last year I volunteered for one road, and discovered it had six houses. This year I chose two roads which turned out to have a total of 19 houses. I approach the collecting with great trepidation, but I do actually quite enjoy doing it when it actually comes to it, so next year I will do three roads or perhaps even four.
As you can see ‘no reply’ is the most common occurrence when one returns for the envelopes. This is often because people’s door bells do not work or because they do not hear you knocking. I estimate (using figures I have just made up) that non-working and ineffectual doorbells cost Christian Aid about 3 or 4 million pounds a year. Quite a few feign ignorance, but this year I only had one entirely negative response.
I was quite pleased by the whole experience this year. Two houses already had their coppers bundled up in the envelopes waiting, and a further two found something to stuff into the envelopes. That is a better response than I have been used to in the past.
I think one of the reasons for my trepidation is that I really don’t like people coming to the door when I have no means of checking who they are, so I can understand when people are suspicious. If I did not know the person who collects Christian Aid envelopes in our road I might well not give them very much, preferring to send it directly to Christian Aid or something like that. It is asking quite a bit of people to give generously and provide their information to reclaim the tax when you look a bit shifty (and I do) and have only a hand written badge for identification. That said I know that Christian Aid would not be able to do much of what they do without the door to door collections, so I think it is important that we keep on supporting them.
Joe has been collecting too – he shares some reflections here. Surefish has some Chrstian Aid collectors tales.
This is a very good thing that I saw a while ago but hadn’t remembered to write about until I saw it on Kristen’s bus stop blog.
In summary, Kiva is a site that enables you to loan money to people who are running small businesses in developing countries. What a good idea. As Kristen points out, you can do a search and find people working in your area of interest. And you get your money back so that you can loan it again and again. Fantastic.
I think I’m going to give it a go, but not tonight as I’m on one of my late night ‘should-have-done-it-earlier’ deadline dashes. Truly I am an idiot.
This is a contribution by the UK blogging community to red nose day. Mike at Troubled Diva and several assistants have worked very hard in only a few days to put a book of humourous blog posts together together and it is now available to purchase from Lulu at the following link:
…and a heck of a lot I have not heard of. Oh, and one of my posts, though I did choose it literally one minute before the Tuesday 6pm deadline, so it might not be my best piece of work ever. A full list of the bloggers included and other sundry information is here on Mike’s site.
All money raised by sales of the book is being donated to Comic Relief. The cover price is £8.96, of which £3.63 will go to Comic Relief once external manufacturing costs have been deducted.
Please note that the book may contain strong language and/or content unsuitable for all ages etc etc.
This is the name of the walk that the Archbishops are doing in London on March the 24th to mark 200 years since the end of the slave trade. There is a website: makingourmark.org.uk. Today they have put a video on YouTube that is here. Frustratingly we have a long standing engagement in another part of the country on that day so will not be attending.
There are of course a lot of other things going on that relate to this anniversary. Here are some:
The energy of the crowd crackled as if currents of electricity were flowing through the room. Bishop Curry of North Carolina preached a sermon that had us all shouting, clapping and leaping to our feet.
The American Anglicans have been gathering together this week. If you rummage around the internet you’ll find plenty of hot air about it. But it hasn’t been entirely dull – read this post by Father Jake to find out what all the fuss was at the ‘U2charist’, which I understand (via other sources) was a U2-themed service:
While we’re on the subject of Anglicans doing good speeches, how about this from the Bishop of Cork:
I also ask myself what it is that I find and have always found attractive, if also frustrating and challenging, about the Church of Ireland. It is exactly those things I mentioned last year in describing the Anglican way: our breadth; our smudgy-edged inclusiveness. What is inspiring is the fact that people who think so hugely differently about the things of God, can nonetheless belong together within the same church; journey side by side; worship, pray, work and announce the good news together; and discover across their differences a friendship in faith that they wouldn’t probably otherwise have. Because of the present row which purports to be about human sexuality, Anglicanism runs the risk of becoming something wholly unattractive and unrecognisable to those who are drawn strongly to its sometimes exasperating breadth, untidiness and inclusiveness.
Important Update: It looks like I am saying that all commenters on the General Convention are spouting hot air. That is not what I am saying. I love all Anglican bloggers dearly and would invite you all round for tea if it were not for the fact that I am perpetually midway through my filing.
There are so many issues to campaign about these days. How do you decide which ones to concentrate on? I am a half hearted campaigner on lots of issues. Perhaps it would be better to concentrate on one and do it properly.
Esuubi means ‘hope’ in Luganda and the Esuubi Trust aims to do just that, to give Ugandan children hope of a future.
The Esuubi Trust is a charity set up by Kate who was in the youth group I used to run when I was a youth worker in Eastbourne. Note to youth workers reading: this is proof that the young people you work with can go on to do great things despite their youth workers.
The Esuubi Trust works on a child sponsorship basis. I know some people reading might point out that there are pros and cons of child sponsorship, but the great thing about a small charity is that the people running it have a direct connection with the people they are helping and there isn’t the sense that your money is just disappearing into a large organisation. If anyone reading would like to support them then I can certainly vouch that they are good and trustworthy people. I think this is a fantastic project and I wish Kate and all those who are helping her all the best in this venture.
Pants to Poverty has been set up by last year’s students’ group of Make Poverty History and exists to help the white band to evolve and make trade work for everyone and the environment; especially those who need it most: the workers of the developing world.
Pants to Poverty will challenge injustice by creating ethical alternatives. We believe that another world is possible and that together we not only can but must create it. All of the money we generate will be invested in making our supply chains as perfect as possible and getting the message for fair trade heard louder than ever before.
Warning: the website contains pictures of a large group of people not wearing terribly much.
Thanks to Tearfund’s Matt C for the link. The pants image at the top of this post is unrelated and shown only for illustrative purposes.