Commenting on an initiative against poverty in London, backed by the Church Urban Fund and others, Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, said:
"The scandal of poverty in a rich society, not least in its financial and political capital, is rightly seen as a major challenge by people of good faith, whether they regard themselves as religious or not.
"The action of community groups on the ground, together with backing from organisations such as the Church Urban Fund, is making a real difference to people's lives. This needs to be matched by clear political and policy initiatives to address poverty, exclusion and inequality in society.
"In the run-up to the general election, the political parties are likely to become preoccupied with bashing each other and trying to hoover up support based on self-interest. But politics isn't primarily about parties, it's about participation in making power accountable and changing society for good. The call to shared action against poverty in London is a signal as to what the real agenda is."