Standing in solidarity with those suffering from an economic crisis not of their making
On Monday morning, 30 September, members of the Faith Network for Manchester and Church Action on Poverty will be bearing witness at the Conservative Christian Fellowship prayer breakfast, being held on the theme of Psalm 146:7: He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry
Thousands of people across Manchester – and hundreds of thousands nationally – are now living on or below the breadline, as a result of recession, rising prices and austerity. Spending cuts have disproportionately impacted on the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society. More than 500,000 people were forced to turn to foodbanks to feed themselves last year. The numbers have risen again since April, as the impact of benefit cuts start to bite.
“These have been bleak times. Since April, my income cut in two, I now rely on approximately £50 per week – that’s to buy food, pay three utility bills, TV license and other essentials. I also try to buy my daughter, who is in Foster Care, little bits every week. I couldn’t go on a visit without taking her some small gifts. I feel worthless most of the time, nothing but shame, walking about in shoes that have seen better days and clothes on my back that I can’t recall when I bought.” Anonymous, Greater Manchester
“My depression has worsened considerably, and the reduced amount I have to spend on food is affecting my diabetes and blood pressure. I also have more frequent panic attacks when thinking about our finances.” CAB client, Greater Manchester
“I have to cut down on basic living expenses as it is. I stay in bed to keep warm, especially in winter as I can’t afford to put the heating on. The bleakness of this week to week is having an impact on my mental and physical health. I’m trying to find somewhere else to live, but so far have not been able to find anywhere affordable in this area. I have had to get occasional food parcels from the food and support drop-in service.” CAB client, Greater Manchester
We will gather as members of faith communities in Manchester, not in protest, but to bear witness to the human cost being borne by people who bear no responsibility for our current economic crisis.
Whatever your faith or political affiliation, we ask that you acknowledge this reality, and do whatever is in your power to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable are not forced to bear an intolerable burden.