Top-Level Discussion on Development Takes Place in Baptist Church
G l a s g o w – An unusual top-level discussion on issues of development recently took place in Newton Mearns Baptist Church near Glasgow. The church’s pastor, Brian More, told European Baptist Press Service (EBPS) that Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, had contacted him some weeks previously and inquired whether a conference could take place in their church building. Goal of the meeting would be to engage in a dialogue with community and church groups on development issues.
More agreed, and consequently leading representatives of numerous relief and development agencies gathered at the Baptist church. In attendance along with Alexander were the Scottish Secretary of State Jim Murphy and the Scottish parliamentarian Ken McIntosh. The international aid organisations World Vision, Tear Fund, Operation Mobilisation and Trade Craft were represented along with local initiatives. Two senior pupils from a high school, who will be working for a project on location in Malawi during the coming year, also came. More noted that the opportunity for them to discuss their plans with Development Secretary Alexander “proved to be a big boost to their enthusiasm”. Alexander also visited a number of the exhibition stands which the aid organisations had set up in the church centre. He left thereby the impression, that he as a Labour politician is truly concerned about improving the lives of those suffering elsewhere in the world.
Brian More reported positively on the outcome of the event: Not often does one have the opportunity to discuss with two cabinet ministers about the political measures needed to combat poverty. The conference ended with a prayer for the politicians. In closing, the two ministers were each given a “Peace and Justice Bible”.