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Be heroes, Tearfund urges

01 May 2015

TEARFUND/CLIVE MEAR

Sacrifices needed: Matthew Frost, CEO of Tearfund, at the launch of the campaign "Ordinary Heroes" earlier this month

Sacrifices needed: Matthew Frost, CEO of Tearfund, at the launch of the campaign "Ordinary Heroes" earlier this month

EATING for £1 a day may seem like a drop in the ocean when faced with a warning that "the earth's life-support systems are now being stretched to breaking point", but the new message from Tearfund is that it will be changes made by "ordinary heroes" that will change the world.

A new report from Tearfund, The Restorative Economy: Completing our unfinished millennium jubilee, warns that economic growth is threatening global estability: "Many of us are using far more than our fair share of water, land, energy, and other resources, sometimes pricing poor people out of the market."

It argues that, at present, "too much inertia carries us along our current path." What is needed, the charity says, is a movement of "ordinary heroes", creating a "restorative economy" that will involve sacrifice.

Suggested changes include consuming less, giving more - "giving away all income above the level that we actually need" - and using renewable energy.

The report was launched a fortnight ago by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. "We live in a century of mingled promise and peril," he said. "The decisions we take now, and the way we live now, will have an impact on our children, and on generations to come - for good or ill. The scars visible on the earth are the accumulating signs of a world in crisis - conflict, corruption, climate change. Yet, with these crises, we have made the mistake of concentrating only on short-term issues."

"It's been a good opportunity to do life slightly differently," one mother, Kate Sopwith, said last Friday. Her children, aged five, eight, and 11, have also learned about people around the world through a booklet, 40 Days 40 Bites: A family guide to pray for the world (CF4K, 2014). She feels that this is "opening their horizons. . . making a link between a small sacrifice, and the impact it is having."

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