THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham, will fast from dawn until dusk on Thursday (March 6) to raise awareness about the hundreds of thousands of people going hungry in the UK.

Bishop Michael will be participating in the first week of the national fasting relay, which has been organised by the End Hunger Fast Campaign.

Other well-known figures taking part include the comedian Eddie Izzard, Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, general secretary of the Quakers Helen Drewery and the Bishops of Salisbury and Wakefield.

Today, Ash Wednesday (March 5) the Government will face calls from End Hunger Fast to do more on welfare, wages and food markets in the 2014 budget.

As part of the group's campaign the fasting relay has been organised to highlight the need for the Government to take action to deal with growing hunger.

Since Easter last year 500,000 people in the UK have visited food banks.

Bishop Michael said: “Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline that brings us closer to God. By fasting on Thursday, March 6, it is also a witness to the issue of hunger in our world and my desire to address it.

“I would encourage others to fast in the most appropriate way this Lent.

“Not only is it a way of raising awareness of hunger in this country, but also a chance to help those in need, by either giving them the food you would have eaten or the money you would have spent on food during the fast.”

To find out more about the End Hunger Fast campaign visit: