Thousands attended a service on Saturday to pray for an end to world hunger

The Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury have challenged world leaders to tackle global hunger at this month’s G8 summit.

Speaking at an ecumenical service on Saturday at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: “That millions go hungry every day is a responsibility we all must share. These are our brothers and sisters and their suffering is also ours. There can be no excuse that in a world of plenty, so many go without. We have gathered today to show our solidarity with those millions who are made to have less because the food system is skewed in favour of those with both financial and political power.”

Archbishop Nichols said: “There is little justice in a world where the few are allowed to hoard spoils earned on the backs of the many. And a world where human flourishing, the opportunity to reach our full potential, is the preserve of some and not others is a place that has failed to put people at the heart of politics and business.

“The G8 leaders’ meeting in the coming days must tackle the issues at the heart of this unfairness – from tax, to transparency, to resource grabs, to aid that must be carefully and specifically targeted so small farmers can benefit.
“Our world and our global family were not made so that some could feast while others hungered. Everyone has a right to his or her daily bread.”

More than 3,500 people from all over the UK attended the service before joining thousands more in Hyde Park for a rally, which was part of the wider ‘If’ Campaign.

In a video message to the congregation, Archbishop Justin Welby said: “The G8 is the centre of financial resource and power, in all kinds of ways. Many members of the G8 are increasingly deeply committed to using that power for the global good, and our own government is one that has very courageously, at a time of austerity, increased its giving in aid.

“But it’s important that we put before them the needs of the global community in which we live, with which we are interdependent.

“My prayer would be that in this country, and across the world, that we are deeply committed to enabling people to be self sustaining, so that global hunger can be ended in our lifetimes.”