Message Raughton Head Parish Magazine Rose Castle
According to the latest global report by the Charities Aid Foundation, the UK has dropped from 8
th to 11th place in the international league table of charitable giving and voluntary activity. The survey measures 3 things: the proportion of our income we give to charity; the hours of volunteering we do; and the number of random acts of kindness we do to strangers.

Who is at the top of this world-wide league table? The people most likely to help a stranger (81%) are to be found in Sierra Leone; those who most volunteer their time (55%) are in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation; and the world’s most generous nation (for the 4
th year in a row) is Myanmar – previously known as Burma and in the news at the moment for reasons that are far from generous!

What does this say about our world? Paul Vallely, writing in the Church Times, notes that, by those 3 measures, the world has become less generous everywhere –apart from Africa – and concludes that the world is becoming an unkinder place. Are we in fact becoming more self-centred and less likely to consider others needs? The response to the Grenfell Tower disaster and the terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena seem to indicate otherwise, although the broader picture still seems pessimistic in that regard.

King Solomon, who was rich beyond compare in the ancient world of Old Testament times, recognised that his riches weren’t actually his – they belonged to God. As he dedicated the Temple, built with much of his wealth as part of his worship of God, he prayed “All things come from you, and of your own have we given you”! Perhaps where we have gone wrong is that we have forgotten that fact and treat everything we have as ours by right rather than by gift. But if God has been so generous to us, ought we not to be generous towards others – especially those in need.

Steve Carter – 01228 710215