Gordon Brown at cost of living crisis summit as people facing ‘Dickensian times’

The Church of Scotland in Fife is hosting an emergency summit to discuss the cost of living crisis because too many people are being "catapulted into Dickensian times and conditions.”
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Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, will be the keynote speakers at the event.

The Poverty Hearing Day takes place at Wellesley Parish Church Centre in Methil on September 10.

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Open to all, it will feature powerful testimonies from people worst affected by a catastrophic increase in basic living costs.

Gordon Brown and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, will address the summit in FifeGordon Brown and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, will address the summit in Fife
Gordon Brown and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, will address the summit in Fife

The summit is being spearheaded by Fife Presbytery's Poverty Task Force which is convened by Rev Jane Barron.

She said: "Many congregations and organisations in Fife have been working to help people trapped in poverty since the financial crash in 2008.

"We thought times were tough then but the recent and seemingly unending price hikes and soaring costs of the most basic items for survival are catapulting too many into Dickensian times and conditions.

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"Getting hold of affordable food to feed children and families is the hardest hitting problem in the county - even in households where two people have full-time jobs."

The event will be attended by representatives of other faith groups and a range of organisations that support people living in poverty will have stands so people can learn more about their work.

Mr Brown, the national Church of Scotland and other campaigners are calling on the UK Government to take urgent action to bridge the cost of living gap because the support being offered falls far short of making up for recent changes to living costs and benefits faced by a couple with two children.

The summit is being spearheaded by Fife Presbytery's Poverty Task Force which is convened by Rev Jane Barron.

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She said: "Many congregations and organisations in Fife have been working to help people trapped in poverty since the financial crash in 2008.

"We thought times were tough then but the recent and seemingly unending price hikes and soaring costs of the most basic items for survival are catapulting too many into Dickensian times and conditions.

"Getting hold of affordable food to feed children and families is the hardest hitting problem in the county - even in households where two people have full-time jobs."

The event will be attended by representatives of other faith groups and a range of organisations that support people living in poverty will have stands.

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Dr Greenshields said: "If ever there was an opportunity for the Church to say something to Scotland it is in this crisis, as so many churches did during Covid.

"Not to desert the poor and hope that someone else will do something, but to take personal responsibility for those whose need is greatest.

"We need to use our muscle to speak to power - to nag MPs, MSPs, councillors and others and be proactive and not reactive in this time of desperate need."

The Wellesley Centre has seating capacity for 120 people. To attend, RSVP by September 5 by emailing [email protected] or online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fife-poverty-hearing-tickets-405225258657