Monday, 10 June 2013

Speaking out for the Hungry - CAFOD IF G8 Event

Some of CAFOD supporters from Ewell in Hyde Park
On Saturday, just gone,8th June, 10 members of St.Clement's, Ewell CAFOD group traveled out from their parish to London to show their refusal to stand by and let millions of people go hungry every day. Hunger is the biggest scandal of our generation and we are all here to tell the G8 they must put an end to it.

Together we will make that difference. We joined with 3,500 people at Westminster Central Hall for an uplifting ecumenical service led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and with a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury. I sat next to and chatted with a wonderful Dominican Sister Sheila from Bushey Hertfordshire who had previously come to the religious rally in parliament on 16th May. On that occasion Ed Miliband had told her, "I want to pay tribute to CAFOD and the incredible work CAFOD does - they're not only a fantastic organisation, but an organisation that is literally changing and saving lives around the world. I warmly endorse the IF campaign. It's a very easy campaign to remember: it's about aid, it's about tax and it's about transparency. All of these things make an enormous difference to people in the world.

In a very moving and tearful interview Ruth, Valerio, Spring Harvest spoke with Aimee Manimani, World Vision DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) about her experience of hunger and other issues.

We walked spirit-filled on a circuitous route to the main rally at Hyde Park where 45,000 Enough Food for Everyone IF supporters gathered in blazing sunshine. The excitement and passion from the crowd was evident as inspiring words were spoken from the main stage by Bill Gates, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, CAFOD ambassador David Harewood, film director Danny Boyle, BBC DJ Lauren Laverne and singer Angelique Kidjo. David Beckham sent a special video message and told supporters to tell Prime Minister David Cameron "the time for the G8 to act is now".

At 5pm Rowan Williams led the crowd in a minute's silence as an act of respect for the millions who have died of hunger.

The Big IF event was an amazing day with so many young people joining in. It was just the start of the build-up to the G8 meeting.

The opening prayer at the service said it all:
Father of all, we come before you today,
United in the belief that all good things come from you.
Open our hearts to your word and
Help us to listen and respond as one family 
So that through your grace and our actions
We may glimpse your kingdom here on earth - A kingdom of welcome and plenty for all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord
Amen

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