BY ANNABELLE WHITESTONE
as "poor" were this week given the opportunity to express their feelings to a group of senior churchmen.
The meeting, held at Church House in Westminster, comes in the wake of increasing Church concern at the level of poverty in parts of the country.
In a special one-day conference organised by pressure group Church Action on Poverty, (CAP) a selected gathering from all over the country were given a national platform from which to address decision makers and people in power. The audience of more than 600 included the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, as well as over 70 MPs from all parties. The morning session was chaired by television presenter Jon Snow.
The speakers, who came from all over England and Scotland, have all been part of a three year programme called Local People National Voice. Many of the speakers are involved in active voluntary work, and were able to recount their experiences throughout the day.
Hilary Russell, the National Chairwoman of Church Action on Poverty, said that there are 14 million people living on incomes which are lower than Income support. That means a quarter of people In Britain are living in poverty including up to a third of children.
Hilary Russell told the Catholic Herald that she had heard "powerful testimonies".
She added that it had been a "powerful and inspiring day which provided us with the human story behind the statistics."