Churches Urged to Campaign on UK Poverty

Church Action on Poverty is challenging churches to campaign for urgent action to tackle the gap between rich and poor in the UK.

The call follows this week's report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warning that the gap between Britain's rich and poor is at its greatest in 40 years.

Niall Cooper, CAP National Coordinator said: "The growing gap between rich and poor is morally indefensible."

He went on to say that the report was "an indictment of an economy which is increasingly being run for the benefit of an obscenely wealthy minority, and at the expense of continuing poverty and hardship for far too many in society".

Rowntree's research highlighted growing geographical separation between rich and poor. It warned that the wealthy are effectively cutting themselves off from the rest of society, and remain oblivious to the fact that the poor struggle to make ends meet.

"Tackling growing inequality is not just a challenge to the new Prime Minister and politicians of all parties - but also to the churches," said Mr Cooper. "In recent years the Churches have been at the forefront of campaigns to tackle global poverty - now it is time to focus our attentions on tackling the gap between rich and poor much closer to home."

While a majority of people consider the gap between high and low incomes too large, they are sceptical that anything can be done to reduce it. Church Action on Poverty is urging churches to take the lead in building a campaign to make UK poverty history.

UK poverty will be highlighted in a major campaign later this year, which will be launched by a range of national charities such as Church Action on Poverty, Church Urban Fund, and Housing Justice.

"Churches across the country have a long history of providing immediate relief to people struggling with poverty, debt and homelessness - this report highlights the need to tackle some of the root causes, and to actively campaign for more just economic policies to narrow the gap between rich and poor as well," concluded Mr Cooper.

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