Chris­tians urged to be­come ‘Or­di­nary He­roes’

The Church of England - - NEWS -

CHRIS­TIANS have been en­cour­aged to be­come more ac­tive in ag­i­tat­ing for change as the Bishop of Lon­don launched Tear­fund’s Or­di­nary He­roes cam­paign.

The new ini­tia­tive en­cour­ages peo­ple to make small but sig­nif­i­cant changes in their life­styles. As well as call­ing for pol­icy change, the cam­paign seeks to en­cour­age a grass­roots move­ment of peo­ple to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for bring­ing about change.

The Bishop, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, said that pol­i­tics needs big ideas and less short-term think­ing.

He said: “We live in a cen­tury of min­gled prom­ise and peril. The de­ci­sions we take now and the way we live now will have an im­pact on our chil­dren and on gen­er­a­tions to come – for good or ill. The scars vis­i­ble on the earth are the ac­cu­mu­lat­ing signs of a world in cri­sis – con­flict, cor­rup­tion, cli­mate change. Yet with th­ese crises, we have made the mis­take of con­cen­trat­ing only on short term is­sues.”

The Bishop wrote the fore­word to the char­ity’s ‘Restora­tive Econ­omy’ dis­cus­sion pa­per, which sug­gests that the devel­op­ment suc­cess of the past 50 years will be jeop­ar­dised by in­creas­ing lev­els of con­sump­tion.

Paul Cook, Tear­fund’s Ad­vo­cacy Direc­tor, said: “We’ve come a long way. Glob­ally, lev­els of poverty have halved in the last 25 years alone. Life ex­pectancy, health and ed­u­ca­tion in­di­ca­tors are bet­ter than ever be­fore, and tech­nol­ogy has helped save mil­lions of lives and im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity, es­pe­cially for small­holder farm­ers in poor coun­tries.

“But if we don’t fun­da­men­tally change the ways we pro­duce wealth and cre­ate pros­per­ity, we will undo all this progress and push mil­lions of peo­ple back into poverty.”

The re­port ar­gues that high lev­els of con­sump­tion and car­bon emis­sions have stretched the earth’s sys­tems to break­ing point, and that the im­pact — al­ready be­ing felt among some of the world’s poor­est com­mu­ni­ties — is most likely to af­fect peo­ple in the UK who are cur­rently chil­dren, as well as gen­er­a­tions to come.

“Or­di­nary he­roes are peo­ple who do sim­ple but bold things to change their own econ­omy,” says Paul Cook. “Some peo­ple will fly less or con­sume only fairly traded prod­ucts, oth­ers choose to use re­new­able en­ergy in their homes or in­vest their sav­ings in ways that avoid ex­ploit­ing oth­ers.

“Us­ing our power as vot­ers, cam­paign­ers and con­sumers is ex­tremely im­por­tant, and part of our call­ing to pray and work for the King­dom of God on earth - a world of peace, jus­tice and hope.”

More in­for­ma­tion about the Or­di­nary He­roes cam­paign is at: www.tear­fund.org/he­roes

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