'Wrap steeples' for poverty drive

Alexander Ferguson

Churches around the UK are being urged to wrap giant wristbands around their steeples to show their support for the Make Poverty History campaign.

The Rev Albert Bogle wants to see 800 steeples wrapped in white by 2 July, when the Make Poverty History rally takes place in Edinburgh ahead of the G8 summit at Gleneagles.

The clergyman launched the Great G800 Steeplechase by adorning his St Andrew's Church in Bo'ness, which is 20 miles from Edinburgh.

Since a 20m by 1m wristband appeared around the church's steeple last week, Queen's Park Baptist Church in Glasgow has followed suit. Other churches have pledged support, leaving Bogle optimistic about reaching his target of 800 at some point this month.

The Rev Bogle denied he was going beyond his remit. "People need to realise that Christians are not jumping on the bandwagon," he said. "The Make Poverty History campaign was started by Jesus Christ himself. Bob Geldof was about 1,980 years late.

"Make Poverty History isn't a slogan - we wanted to show we are more than a slogan. After all, Jesus was pretty political, wasn't he?

"The most red-hot communist is lily-pink compared with Jesus. He would be delighted to see our wristband on all the steeples."

Churches with no steeples are being asked to put up prominent banners.

The Church of Scotland has put a banner over the front of its main building, symbolising support across its churches.

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