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Bishops fast before G8 summit

07 June 2013

PA

Spelling it out: "Enough Food for Everyone IF" campaigners dressed as George Osborne protest at Westminster, in March

Spelling it out: "Enough Food for Everyone IF" campaigners dressed as George Osborne protest at Westminster, in March

NINE bishops were expected to join thousands of other people yesterday in a fast intended to draw attention to world hunger, in advance of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on 17 and 18 June.

The Big IF Fast, organised by the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign ( News, 25 January), "aims to encourage world leaders to tackle hunger and save millions of lives," a statement from Church House said.

The bishops to join the fast included the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard; the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam; and the Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Stephen Croft.

Bishop Pritchard said on Monday: "It's just outrageous that the world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food to eat. As a Christian, I want to stand up for those who are suffering and dying as a result of hunger and don't have a voice. I hope that my small act of going hungry for a single day will help bring the plight of the starving to the attention of our world's leaders."

A rally organised by the IF campaign will take place tomorrow in Hyde Park. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams will speak, as well as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and others. Before the rally, an ecumenical service will take place at Westminster Central Hall, where a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, will be played.

On Tuesday, Church of Ireland leaders extended a welcome to the world leaders, who will meet for the G8 Summit at Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland. Their statement noted that the General Synod of the Church of Ireland had "expressed a very wholehearted support for the IF campaign" at its meeting last month (News, 17 May). "It is an unequivocal good that fewer people should have to go to bed each night hungry. We would urge the leaders of the G8 to make this fundamental goal into a reality."

The chief executive of Tearfund, Matthew Frost, commended the UK Government last month for joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and called for a global standard for the industries. The G8 Summit provided "an ideal opportunity for Canada, Japan, and Russia to commit to their own transparency legislation. . . Only by working together will we see this result in life-changing differences for the poorest communities."

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