Government minister supports role of faith groups in anti-poverty work

By staff writers
November 7, 2009

Faith is the driving force behind “impressive work” in many local communities fighting poverty, a senior government minister has claimed in relation to a visit to a Glasgow-based anti-poverty organisation.

Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour’s Vice-Chair for Faith Groups, made his remarks in conjunction to his visit this past week to Faith in Community Scotland.

Mr Timms said: “I'm delighted to be visiting and learning more about the work of Faith in Community Scotland. Faith is the motivation behind of a lot of impressive work in our communities and I'm pleased the government is recognising this."

He continued: “Faith not only inspires individuals to help those in need but provides a resource to help communities respond to challenges. I'm grateful for the service of Faith in Community Scotland and congratulate them on the work they are doing”.

Faith in Community Scotland, on Argyle Street in Glasgow, provides training, resources, advice and support to faith groups working to reduce poverty in communities across the country.

Its chief executive, the Rev Dr Martin Johnstone, has called on the minister to listen to the voices of individuals who are really struggling to live their lives because of the poverty they are experiencing in 21st century Scotland.

Dr Johnstone said: “Poverty and inequality ruin people’s lives. At Faith in Community Scotland, people from different faiths and cultures work together to reduce poverty and bring real change to the communities in which they live and work."

He added: “At the heart of our work lies the belief that people who struggle against poverty must be part of the solution, not constantly treated as part of the problem”.

Mr Timms was visiting the organisation on his way to St Andrews and the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers.

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