REV DAVID FAREY: Something is out of balance with the world’s wealth

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

During Lent our parish has been holding lunches and inviting contributions to the Caring and Sharing charity which supports fourteen projects all around the world in places where poverty and illness is common.

It’s one small thing we can do to help equalise the distribution of wealth around the world, but it’s a fleabite! Of the world’s population 10 per cent own or control 85 per cent of wealth, while 90 per cent own or control just 15 per cent.

I, along with the majority of the people in our society are well fed and live comfortably, but in our world today one in ten do not have clean drinking water, one in three don’t have an adequate toilet and one child dies every 90 seconds due to lack of clean drinking water or adequate sanitation.

And yet currently there are around a dozen companies working on the technology to enable driverless cars and Ford alone have committed $1 billion to the project. Surely there is something out of balance somewhere?

Each of us can do a little bit and many do, but fundamentally there appears to be something wrong with how the world functions.

The Bible teaches a principle of giving away ten percent of our income to others who can benefit, but that is hard for those who are barely bumping along at subsistence level, whereas a multi billionaire could probably lose half and realistically not break a sweat!

Personal acts of charity are precious and can be of enormous help to the recipient, but when you start looking at the bigger picture something is plain wrong.

The Apollo space mission for example took $25.4 billion to achieve. And the Church is not immune either. The Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool was started in 1902 and finished in 1978. It is massive and I dread to think of the cost over those years.

Both achievements are magnificent, but when there are people in the world dying for lack of food or clean water something is wrong.

Perhaps we need a revolution. Ah but, Communism tried that and failed. The human capacity for greed and accumulation is just too strong.

We are stuck with some individuals who have more income than the whole of some nations can generate, and let’s not dwell on what some football players get! But there are many opportunities for each of us to make good choices.

Next month for example Christian Aid holds its week to raise money and this year focusses on refugees.

Even if we can’t change the system we can still choose to do what we can. Even if it makes a difference to at least one person’s life it has got to be worth it.