Christian Comment with Richard McDermott, parishioner at Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stroud IN our society we are sometimes encouraged to judge people exclusively by what they achieve, by their school, their job, their wealth, their position, even by where they live.

Therefore, to have no job, to be poor, to be old, to suffer from a chronic illness, to be visibly disabled, or to be without a home any or all of these can make a person feel useless and rejected, of no value to society, and a burden on others.

Each of us is made in the image and likeness of God and should be given every chance to live a life in which his or her basic needs are provided for and in which, so far as is reasonably possible, their full potential can be realised.

Every person matters, no human life should be redundant. Indeed, the Gospels tell us that it is particularly in those who are pushed to the margins where Christ is to be found.

Sadly, hunger, homelessness and drug abuse continue to be pressing social problems in many parts of the country.

Indeed, it would appear that the situation is getting worse by the week. Here in Stroud we have the opportunity to support, in a variety of ways, the Foodbank, the Salvation Army and the Marah Trust amongst others.

Please take that opportunity if you can.

For many, it seems there is no sense of hope.

Yet, behind each face is a personal story, ie the circumstances that brought that individual to their present state.

These people are precious in the eyes of God and thus should be precious in ours.