Six Christian campaign groups led by Church Action on Poverty held their first roadshow event in Manchester on Saturday. The main speaker at 'Act for Change' was clergyman Jim Wallis, the convenor of 'Call to renewal - People of Faith Overcoming Poverty' in the USA. The Manchester event was co-sponsored by Church Action on Poverty, Salvation Army, Speak, the Vincentian Millennium Partnership and the Zacchaeus 2000. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Cardinal Cormac- Murphy O'Connor Archbishop sent the following message to the conference: "Christ calls us to stand alongside individuals, families and pensioners in Britain for whom poverty is a daily stressful experience. He redefined the meaning of neighbourliness to include all who suffer injustice and oppression, and led the way Himself by seeking the company of the poor, the sick and the marginalized. As Christians we are called to follow His example. "Your poverty roadshows' are designed to help all of us recognise the sometimes hidden reality of poverty in all our parishes, both rural and urban, and to point to the practical things that can be done at local level to relieve the stress of unavoidable debt. "We welcome this opportunity to encourage all Christians in Britain to work with you and to assure you of our personal encouragement, support and blessing." Further Act for a Change events are planned to take place in Edinburgh (11 September), Newcastle (25 September), Glasgow (2 October), Gloucester (9 October), Birmingham (30 October) and Sheffield (20 November). Each Act for a Change event will include one or more keynote speakers, personal stories, testimonies and workshops.
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