I was chatting with a little girl about what she had been doing and I asked her what she had for tea last night. She laughed and said, “Don’t be silly Pastor Mick, we don’t eat at home!” My heart sank, she only eats at school. I asked her, “What does that feel like?” She smiled, “Sometimes, when I go to bed, my tummy makes funny noises like it’s trying to sing a song.”
Did you know that 1 in 4 children in the UK are living in poverty (1). Furthermore 1 in 3 children are living in poverty in Burnley and the surrounding area (2). That’s the highest level of child poverty in the UK, this cannot be swept under the carpet anymore. Here at COTS we do what Jesus called us to do and stand in the gaps of injustice. Well here is a massive gap, and we’re planning on standing in it. Jesus calls the children to him with open arms, so we will too.
COTS Sunday School kids have been praying for other children in the Burnley area and the kids have written a prayer that they say together each week. What is more beautiful than kids praying for kids? When Jesus fed the five thousand, he used the food a child brought, so we are asking COTS kids for their ideas of how to tackle child poverty in Burnley and the surrounding area to help us know how to stand in the gap.
COTS is planning to create safe, family spaces within our existing locations with the aim of building a children and family centre, purely focussed on tackling child poverty through faith, education, and welfare.
Can you stand in the gaps with us? Can you join the kids in prayer? Why not commit to praying for the children every day this week? If you’re not a believer, please spare some time to take a few moments out of each day to think about how to tackle the problem of child poverty and send your thoughts to Pastor Mick.
(2) Tutty, S. One-third of children in Burnley living in poverty. Burnley Express, 2023