Lose some, gain some – blogs and poverty

I was sad to see last week that “A Man Breathing” has hung up his blogging fingers, but have some understanding of the pressures that might lead to such a decision. Sometimes I find blogging really helpful, but it can endanger other things. However I’ve got much encouragement and inspiration from A Man Breathing and I’m sad to see him go – God bless on his journey onward.

June 2005 - Rt Revd Paul Butler (then Bishop of Southampton) with Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt (Bishop of Winchester) leading the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY rally to Winchester Cathedral.

However, you may have noticed me picking up on Richard Littledale’s Preachers A-Z of recent weeks – a great encouragement to those with L-plates to be part of an ecumenical community of preachers.

And today the Church Mouse has announced that one of our erstwhile suffragans has started to blog, and I’m looking forward to reading what Bishop Paul Butler has to share. I have fond memories of Bishop Paul supporting MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY and Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Winchester.

It is perhaps timely that I am reminded of Bishop Paul, as today’s headlines include the fact that there is uneven progress on UN Millennium Development Goals. Perhaps I’m almost surprised that the reporting is so positive. Certainly my sense, gained largely through Mothers’ Union links in Africa, is that overall little progress has been made. I’m sure there are pockets of hope, and I know individual NGOs like Mothers’ Union are making progress on things like literacy and maternal and childhood mortality rates through development work.

But, unless governments across the world can really get to grips with reducing corruption, and targeting resources where they are needed, if need be by using the expertise and experience of NGOs, then my gut feeling is that there is not chance of meeting those goals.

I wonder what some of the blogging bishops will be able to say or do to add to the voices calling for change? At times it must feel like working for MDGs feels like voices calling in a wilderness, but the voices aren’t alone. Several Bishops, including Bishop Paul Butler support of the Micah Challenge work to encourage as many people as possible to make their own commitments to support work towards the MDGs. There seems to be lots planned for 10.10.10 but Micah Challenge are also asking everyone “What’s your promise?”


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