Today, October 16th, is Blog Action Day and this year’s theme is #Raiseyourvoice.
Kate, parish assistant, raises her voice with this blog entry:
We recently took harvest gifts from church and our local church schools to Cornerstone, a centre for homeless and vulnerable people. We heard from staff about the effects of worsening austerity on service users often leaving people literally destitute.
During the week of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, at fringe events, speakers such Owen Jones(journalist), Natalie Bennett (Green Party) and Jeremy Corbyn (leader of the opposition) challenged the notion that austerity was necessary and a price worth paying to balance the deficit. At the ‘Faith and Communities United Against Austerity’ vigil in the Cathedral, members of different faith communities also highlighted the impact of austerity, drawing attention to particular issues within their own faith community.
Jeremy Corbyn described austerity as a ‘choice’, not the only option; a choice to sacrifice people who are already vulnerable, plunging them even further into poverty for the ‘greater good’. A Muslim speaker asked the question “What do we mean to each other?” How do we view each other when it becomes acceptable to sacrifice and scapegoat an entire section of our population?
At a recent baptism at Church, the priest described the incredible uniqueness of the baby being baptised; no one else’s fingerprints, lip prints, hair was the same as the child being baptised. We were reminded how special and unique this beautiful little baby is and how unique and special each one of us is. It is easy to believe that a baby is special and unique because they are small, vulnerable and unspoilt, but that sentiment applies to each person affected by austerity, each person sleeping rough in Manchester, each person sanctioned and destitute, every refugee and asylum seeker.
Each one of us is special and unique. If each one of us held that thought at the forefront of our minds as we go about the business of living and making decisions that affect the lives of others how transformative would that be? How different could our world be if we considered each other as precious?