Thousands to stand up for world's poor

Thousands of worshippers at churches throughout the North-East will Stand Up Against Poverty tomorrow in a world record attempt.

Thousands of worshippers at churches throughout the North-East will Stand Up Against Poverty tomorrow in a world record attempt.

Congregations in the region will be joining forces with millions from around the world for the event from 11am.

The aim is to break the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people ever to stand up together over 24 hours to remind governments of the billions living in extreme poverty around the world.

The event, which will see worshippers from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches throughout the North-East coming together, was launched by the United Nations Millennium Campaign.

Newcastle University honorary chaplain Dr David Golding, who is a member of Dunston Community Church, is one of those taking part. He said: "I was deeply moved to read the text of the Stand Up Pledge.

"It reminded me once more why we have to stand up to the oppression of the world's poor that results from inherited debt, unjust trade rules and the cynical disregard for oft-repeated promises on aid.

"We must always remember the teaching of Jesus about removing the log from our own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else's eye.

"However, the Stand Up pledge also provides encouragement for people in poor countries to speak up.

"We will be standing up for the countless millions of people whose lives are blighted by abject poverty."

The Rev Graham Carter, chair of the Darlington District Methodist Church, also supports the Stand Up event.

He said: "The Make Poverty History campaign had a great effect on government policies, but there is a great deal more to do.

"It is vital that we do not allow our zeal for the world's poorest people to flag just because one small step has been achieved.

"I urge all Christians to stand up and be counted on this issue."

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