A Dundee minister has urged religious institutions to do more to tackle poverty across Scotland.
Dundee West Church locum minister Gordon Sharp admits he has seen an increase in people struggling from the effects of poverty.
Mr Sharp is said society needs a significant change in attitude to prevent more people falling into the vicious circle of deprivation.
While he believes both local and national governments must do more to prioritise caring for those in need, Mr Sharp feels the church can also do more to tackle the scourge of deprivation.
He explained: “Clearly there are lots of people who want to address poverty and make a fairer society.
“The council has their commitment, but I think we can bring something different. Does the church do enough? No, not locally, because we’re sidetracked.
“If you look a city like Dundee, the de-industrialisation has meant many people have been unemployed for a long time.
“You’ve got number of things happening which has made inequality and poverty worse in this country, and it’s getting worse.
“I served on the West End Community Council and I belong to Dundee and, yes, you can see a lot of parts in the city are worse. There are lots of problems which didn’t exist before.
“We have beggars on the West End and on the Perth Road, all the time, that’s an issue.
“The voices of those in poverty need to be heard. We’re one community, let’s listen to each other.”
At a local level, Mr Sharp believes religious groups offer a range of support services to those in need of help.
However, the locum minister argues religious institutions can still do more to help those struggling in life.
He said: “The church has a charitable arm called Crossreach which does a lot of good work, but I would like to see much more focus on building communities.
“To me, provided we have that routedness of giving, you can build that community which belongs to everybody.
“Maybe as the church declines it’ll find its true voice. And that true voice, dare I say it, isn’t to bang on about homosexuality, or sex.
“There’s one human family. People want to build walls, but that’s not the way to go.”