As I listen to Alex Attwood on the needs of the disadvantaged and vulnerable, I have to ask myself: who does he mean?
As a society, we have preconceived notions of those who fall within these categories. Their needs are real and, for the most part, are addressed by the state.
Importantly, however, there is a growing need within a sector of our society which I believe is neither fully recognised by our politicians or churches.
It is the growing body of people in middle suburbia who cannot make ends meet. They are parents wondering how to put food on the table for their kids, how to catch up on their mortgage arrears, how to keep their homes and how to have a life for themselves and their families.
This is real. I was particularly struck by a headline on our church notices last week. We are asked to forego our Sunday roast in aid of those in the Third World. Yet there are families in my town unable to afford a Sunday joint.
It is time for more of society to wake up to the reality of the needs of those who are around us. So I applaud the work of small charitable groups, such as House of Hope in Dromore, Co Down, who reach out to ease the burden of those whom I talk about.
Dromore, Co Down