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From the editor's desk 22 September

The War Cry comments on helping others 

Helping those in need is a major part of the work of the Church

THE Archbishop of Canterbury made headlines last week when he told the TUC conference in Manchester that ‘the gig economy, zero hours contracts, is nothing new – it is simply the reincarnation of an ancient evil’.

If you missed his address, we report on it in this week’s War Cry. Parts of his speech produced many column inches in the dailies and also provoked some strong responses. What was not widely reported, though, was the spiritual content of the archbishop’s speech.

‘Justice is who God is,’ he said. ‘Who God is sets the pattern for who we should be, and what our society should be … The earliest Christian community chose to share what they had with those who had the greatest needs.’

Helping those who are in need is still a major part of the work of the Christian Church. Food banks and credit unions are just a couple of ways in which churches assist people who are struggling financially.

Many Christians are motivated by their faith to help others. For example, Karl and Ruth Gray support members of the emergency services at major incidents. Operating from a Salvation Army response vehicle, for the past 13 years they have provided refreshments to emergency services personnel at all times of the day and night.

But, as they explain in this week’s issue, they do so much more than that.

‘I spend a lot of my time sitting on pavements with people,’ Ruth says as she recalls helping a head teacher whose school was burning down. ‘But I don’t say much. What can you say in devastating situations? It’s more about listening.’

Acts of kindness, as modelled by the earliest Christian communities and still practised by people of faith today, make a huge impact for good in today’s world.

But helping others is not something that only ‘religious people’ can do. Whoever we are, we can all show concern for others and make a positive difference in our communities.

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