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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
MPs under orders to drop the debt
Abbot Christopher joins anti-poverty campaigners
Abbot Christopher warned that world poverty was getting worse
The Abbot who stars in TV reality show The Monastery joined a delegation of nuns, monks and friars at Westminster to call for an end to world poverty.

Worth Abbey Abbot Father Christopher Jamison joined 1,000 of his brethren to urge the government to address the plight of the world's poor.

The key question was whether Britain's leadership of the G8 of top industrial nations could "turn the tide", he said.

The protesters want governments to drop Third World debt and make trade fair.

The protest, organised by Catholic aid agency Cafod, was part of the Make Poverty History campaign which has won support from all political parties.

The Benedictine monk said the hundreds of members of religious orders around the UK who joined the protest "really knew about poverty at the grass roots".

"We have brothers and sisters who work in poor countries around the world.

"We want to make sure our MPs and government keep to their commitment to the millennium development goals which all the leaders of the world signed up to in 2000 to achieve by 2015."

We are all one world, they are human beings like us and we have taken their wealth
Sister Ethna Dempsey

But Father Christopher warned that the situation for the world's poor was getting worse rather than better.

Fellow campaigner Sister Ethna Dempsey of the Faithful Companions of Jesus in Salford said she had seen the misery of poverty first hand in Kenya.

She wanted to challenge the government to halt the liberalisation of trade laws.

"When you work in Africa and see women working the land and carrying water it really brings it home to you.

"We are doing nothing for them, that's what brought me here.

"We are all one world, they are human beings like us and we have taken their wealth."

The monastic delegation lobbied constituency MPs in Westminster Hall before heading to a service at St Mary's Church at Westminster Abbey.

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