IT IS Christmas again and again we find more people sleeping on the streets, more people living in poverty, more people struggling to make ends meet, yet the rich getting richer and refusing to pay their due taxes and more children without a roof over their heads and this is the 21st century.

We think it is clever not to pay our taxes; there are many charities saying they make a difference; they do for a few but they will be there next year, rattling a can and the chief executives taking home hundreds of thousands of pounds because he or she ‘is worth it’.

Why not tens of thousands because they believe in the cause?

It will go on and on. I once applied for a job with an international charity and I assured them that we could eradicate the need for the charity; needless to say I didn't get the job.

When asked why, I was told because you want to make us all redundant!

Yes I did. I was being rather naive and I still am, but I want to solve the problems not keep the people suffering, but then again I'm a Christian — see a problem, solve it.

I don't want a big car, I don't want people saying he is a good man, he works for a charity. We should all pay our taxes, eradicate poverty and solve the problem; that’s what the Christian does.

Homelessness can be solved, not for everyone because some people have problems which will always be with us, but we can help the vast majority.

Christians don't look the other way; Christians give practical help but they do not condemn; they do not say they smoke so I shall give them nothing. You should try walking in their footprints for three months before you make comments as we can all fall on hard times.

I lost my Christian beliefs a long time ago and organised religion did nothing for me, but I found it again through Johnny Cash.

I recommend anyone to listen to him reading the new King James Bible, yes, all 29 hours of it and in his religious songs, but remember this Christmas the greatest gift you can give is love because love is the best.

May God bless us all.

Ian Greenhalgh