Thought for the Week – by the Rev John Bennett

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Football’s coming home. The Premier League has some of the best clubs in the world but Brazil can claim to be the greatest footballing nation in the world.

Brazil is also the fifth largest country in the world and it is rapidly becoming one of its wealthiest.

But, even more than in our country, there is a huge gulf between those who are very rich and those who are very poor.

Football offers the dream to every boy growing up that he can be successful and wealthy playing for Manchester City or United, Chelsea or Liverpool and bring his family out of poverty.

The government of Brazil is battling corruption and criminal gangs. It has made progress in providing free education and healthcare, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that children are safe. North-east Brazil has become a centre for sex tourism and thousands of children have been caught up in it.

It will be easy to watch the World Cup on television and not spare a thought for what is happening a few miles from the stadiums. Poverty fuels dreams of a better life, but for children it can also lead to a living nightmare.

Rev John Bennett

St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding