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You all probably remember the photos that Eve [our former children’s worker] brought back from Zambia of bags of grain lying in church as people had brought a true tithe, ten per cent of their crop to give to God. People in Africa have very little and yet are very generous.

In this country surveys have revealed a similar result - that those on the lowest incomes are proportionately the most generous when it comes to giving to church and charity. Bill Gates may have given his fortune to help the poor, but among millionaires he is the exception rather than the rule. Millionaires may do impressive looking bank transfers with a lot of noughts on them, but proportionate to their income, they are positively stingy. It is those on the minimum wage or state pension who are often the most generous proportionately.

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