Church Vital in Tackling Poverty and Injustice
The church has a vital role in tackling poverty and injustice, according to Tearfund who announce a new team of President and Vice-Presidents over the course of this year (2010).
A wide range of high-profile church leaders and Christians in the public eye will be working to support Tearfund publicly, and the leading Christian relief and development agency welcomes this support.
'Our vision is to see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty through a worldwide network of 100,000 local churches, and we are excited that such eminent public figures share our passion,' says Clive Mather, Chair of Tearfund's Board.
'We rely on the support, encouragement and prayers of the UK church, and we count it as a blessing that their leaders are standing with us as we serve the needs of people living in poverty. Others will be joining with us during the rest of the year.'
Renowned academic and theologian Dr Elaine Storkey remains President of Tearfund, and the line-up of Vice-Presidents so far is:
Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Roger Forster, founder of the Ichthus fellowship
John Coles, New Wine
Anne Coles, New Wine
Mike Pilavachi, Soul Survivor
Katei Kirby, minister in Wesleyan Holiness Church
Steve Clifford, Evangelical Alliance
Elfed Godding, Evangelical Alliance Wales
Right Revd Harold Miller, Bishop in the Church of Ireland
Celia Apeagyei-Collins, The Rehoboth Foundation
Nicky Gumbel, Alpha
Siew-Huat Ong, Chinese Church
In addition, a number of high-profile Christians in the church, arts and media worlds act as ‘Friends of Tearfund’ and lend their support to campaigns, events and resources, including comedian Tim Vine and worship leaders Tim Hughes and Andy Flannagan.
Clive Mather paid tribute to the contributions of Sir Cliff Richard and Bishop James Jones of Liverpool, both of whom will be stepping down as Vice-Presidents due to other pressures on their time. 'They have made a wonderful contribution over many years and their generosity and compassion for the world's poorest people have been remarkable. I'm pleased that Sir Cliff will be remaining as a ‘Friend of Tearfund.'
Sir Cliff Richard said: 'My work with Tearfund has been a foundational part of my life and my faith, bringing me into contact with some of the most inspiring people I have met.
'The children, families and churches I have visited in the poorest parts of the world have truly touched my heart and I continue to be humbled by them and by those who work with them. I am glad to remain a ‘Friend of Tearfund’, and hope and pray that together we will continue to be part of a vision that is bigger than ourselves - to release people from material and spiritual poverty.'
Bishop James Jones of Liverpool said: 'I share Tearfund's passion to tackle poverty and speak up for justice, and am very committed to their work to combat the effects of climate change in the poorest parts of the world. Having taken up the Government's invitation to chair the Hillsborough Independent Panel which is a major undertaking, I have decided to stand down from being a Vice-President. I continue to share Tearfund's vision to see people released from material and spiritual poverty, and pray for their work around the world.'