16 October 2023
Let’s End Poverty was launched on Saturday 14 October 2023
The launch occurred simultaneously across several cities in person, as well as online. Around 270 people came together for the day, to advocate for the end of poverty and to fight those established systems that perpetuate it.
Recent events such as the war in Ukraine have increased the cost of living, this has led to a rise in the number of people experiencing poverty and the deepening of its impact. As of March 2023, The Trussel Trust announced that during the previous 12 months they had given out a record number of food parcels, with almost 3 million (2,986,203) given to needy families and individuals.
“Not doing anything is a moral failing,” says Hannah Fremont-Brown, the Anti-Poverty Movement Methodist Coordinator.
“In between the increasingly desperate financial situation for many and the looming general election, now is the time to get organised and tackle the poverty issue, given the seeming ambivalence of our politicians.”
Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference, said, “Currently poverty is impacting on far too many lives across our nation, and engaging with the Let’s End Poverty movement now is one way that the Methodist people can play their part in the transformation of the world. “
Hosted online by Hannah Fremont-Brown and Ali McMillian, a Deacon at Central Hall Westminster, the launch of the Let’s End Poverty Movement was a chance to brainstorm and consolidate ideas.
About twenty people joined the London gathering at Wesley’s Chapel. They all have experience of poverty, either personally or through others, and are joined together by their desire, in Hannah’s words, “to make ending poverty a political priority by showing that ending poverty matters for our communities.”
The launch featured recordings that presented the Let’s End Poverty project and offered moments for the attendees to reflect, give their opinions and share their ideas about the way ahead. “We have the technology, the infrastructure and the funds to end poverty, what we lack is political will,” asserted one of those who was interviewed. One of those attending the launch in London added, “We are committed to ending poverty because we cannot trust our political leaders to do it.”
The aim is to bring together a collective representing a wide range of people with varied backgrounds, skills and experiences. The Let’s End Poverty Movement is ecumenical and always keen for those who want to fight against poverty to join. There is power in numbers and, with the Methodist Church in Britain having already signed up, other churches and institutions are invited to join too.
Kerry Scarlett, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, concluded. “We know the lasting, negative impact that poverty has on our lives. But we also know that poverty is not inevitable. As a justice-seeking church, we believe that God consistently shows a bias of care and concern for people experiencing poverty and economic marginalisation and that we, as Methodists, are called to stand in solidarity with one another, seeking justice and transformation. I urge all Methodists to engage with the Let’s End Poverty movement, to call upon those in power to make the changes that will enable others to flourish.”
The next online session will be on 7 November and the next Action Call on 23 November.