The Religious Lobby 2013, part of the ‘Enough Food for Everyone – IF Campaign’, took place on Wednesday 15th May in Westminster, London. Over 200 Religious, female and male along with some of their Associate members, gathered in Westminster Central Hall to make their views known to Parliament that world hunger must cease!
Sisters of Charity from London, Bristol and Birmingham were there to represent the English/Scottish Province in this vital work of bringing about a change of heart in our country.
Timothy Radcliffe OP gave the reflection at the opening liturgy with the theme ‘We are all one body’. The group moved on to walk to the Houses of Parliament to lobby their MPs to take action on:
- aid to eradicate hunger and malnutrition – a death sentence for 2-3 million and a life sentence for millions more:
- tax dodging by closing loopholes that leave a £20 trillion black hole in the global economy, robbing poor countries of a staggering £100 billion every year – vital resources in the challenge to end hunger
- the need to shine a light on the impact powerful, dominant food companies have on people, communities and on the planet – by helping to rebalance a global food system that is loaded against the poorest and offering farmers, communities, societies and governments the tools needed to hold companies to account.
Over 50 MPs met their various Religious constituents in the Great Hall at Westminster and later Ed Milliband, Labour Party Leader, and Alan Duncan, International Development Minister, added their support urging the Religious to keep up the pressure on all parties by giving them a mandate to act, especially during the G8 talks which will be held in the UK next month. They recognised that many of those present had firsthand experience of the devastating impacts of extreme poverty and the struggle of so many to survive. It was a reminder to all that the Church is present and active wherever there is need.
Gemma Simmonds CJ closed the day by commending the gathered group for their steadfastness and encouraging them to continue to support the IF campaign over the next months and beyond. On 8th June CAFOD, part of a 200 member coalition spearheading the IF campaign, held an ecumenical service in the Westminster Central Hall followed by a rally in Hyde Park.
For photos click HERE.