The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

Latest News

Jeremy Corbyn praises churches for their work in helping the poor


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has praised the work of the churches in helping the poor and homeless.

Speaking at an event in Liverpool organised by the Christians on the Left group – formerly the Christian Socialist Movement – Mr Corbyn thanked local churches in his own Islington North constituency in London.

He said he recognised their work in fostering good relations, helping the homeless and for advocating fair trade.

Mr Corbyn added: “We have a rota for evening meals for rough sleepers in my part of London and it goes between churches, mosques and so on and the food comes from different places at different times.

“There was quite a fascinating evening I spent at the mosque with a number of homeless people where the work to serve up the food had been done by a Church of England church, and the food had come from a Catholic church down the road and it was being served in a mosque.

“Isn’t that a good example of the community working together to help poor people and to bring those people together?” he said.

Mr Corbyn, who has described his religious beliefs as a “private thing, while denying he was an atheist, also told the group that he has met the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss “social justice and inequality”.

“I had a very interesting meeting with Justin Welby a couple of months ago and we discussed many things about social justice and inequality within our society,” said Mr Corbyn, who from the age of seven grew up and was educated in Shropshire.

He that said at the heart of his discussions with Mr Welby was a common desire to give “everyone a chance”, especially the young.

“We can never pass by on the other side when somebody has problems,” he said in a reference to the Good Samaritan, a parable of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of St Luke.

“That approach to the whole person and the whole community is so important,” Mr Corbyn continued.

“One thing that really annoys me is the way that, in my own view, our over-competitive education system starts disregarding troubled 13, 14 and 15 year olds who are under-achieving in schools for many, many, many reasons,” he added.

“They get disregarded, they then get suspended and they then get removed from school and they then end up in a PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) and, you know what, a whole disproportionate number of those end up on the criminal justice system or in mental health institutions.”

Mr Corbyn said: “Our approach on education, which Angela (Rayner) is leading us on, is very much in the direction of the whole schools, the whole child and the whole community, as with housing and everything else.”

During the meeting at the Anglican Church of St James in the City, Mr Corbyn also thanked Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, for his work in liaising with Christian and Jewish groups on behalf of the Labour Party.

Later in the Labour Party Conference, however, a senior delegate apologised after he made a disparaging remark about a woman seen to be making the sign of the cross.

Andy Kerr, chairman of the National Executive Committee for Scottish Labour, said that he “might not” call a female delegate to speak after he saw her cross herself.

He later apologised “unreservedly” for the comment, which he said was “ill-judged”.


(Photo by Simon Caldwell)