I suppose it’s just in me, but I follow the news most days whether it’s radio, television or the newspapers. We regard this as a holiday period, possibly quieter than usual; but there’s plenty happening in the wider world.

Obviously the allegation that £7million was set aside in a fund in the NAMA is sensational and, trust me, this is a story which is so explosive that it has opened up a very big can of very large worms and I am sure there is much more to come.

But two other stories I want to explore the significance of are: the 150th anniversary of the Salvation Army, and the referendum in Greece when people voted no to the EU bailout conditions.

You may well wonder how I manage to see a link between these two stories; but stay with me!

I admire the Salvation Army as an organisation, and indeed have many happy childhood memories from it locally. The Army hall used to be in Henry Street, opposite Enniskillen Castle on the Sligo Road side. In the early 1970s someone had the bright idea of building a large filling station right beside it; and as I was walking into town one Saturday morning I noticed the hall had gone – it slipped into the lake when the land subsided.

It was a hall I knew well having attended services there many times. I recall fine preachers such as Captain Sam Ennis (the Salvation Army use such titles instead of traditional church Reverend etc.). Instead of an organ, praise was accompanied by a silver band which would also go around playing music in care homes, or old people’s homes as we used to call them. Worshippers in the hall were enthusiastic, with girls playing tambourines and generally the services were lively reflecting a real zeal in the love of their God.

This zeal wasn’t limited to Sunday services; the Salvation Army took their passion out into the community. Many people of my age (and younger) remember Francis Allett and Maggie Cox going round the pubs selling the War Cry and, generally, living out their faith in all sorts of ways which helped others in the community.

Helping others is in the DNA of what we affectionately call the Sally Ann.

Founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth in the east end of London, after Booth’s son came home and told his father about homeless people sleeping rough and the banks of the Thames. Booth’s advice was “Go and do something.” And the Army has been doing something about those less fortunate ever since, across the world helping in a practical way the poor, homeless and destitute.

I often wonder if those of us in other churches keep our compassion and love inside the church on a Sunday morning and revert to living selfish lives the rest of the week.

And so to Greece. I’m not sure if we have even taken much notice of what’s going on in that country, never mind feeling any compassion for the plight ordinary people.

Much of the media coverage has focused on the political issue; Greece is portrayed as an economic basket case. Sure, they borrowed the money, spent it foolishly and have to pay it back. And if they don’t, what will other countries do?

Of course, Greece has got itself into a mess. But, did you know that a former Minister, Akis, is serving 20 years for corruption which led to his lavish lifestyle. This was funded in part by the eight million Euro he received from a German arms dealer in “appreciation” for his role in the Greek government purchase of submarines.

Greedy politicians and bankers getting the country into a mess and the people having to pay for it? Now where have we heard that before?

On a practical point, it seems that European bankers insisting on payback may have difficulty getting their money back because austerity policies in Greece won’t work and the economy is not producing the growth needed to make the money. And anyway, what does the harsh attitude of Germany’s Angela Merkel and her supporters say about the benign attitude of the EU towards its less well-off member states?

The EU shouldn’t just be about a free market where the bigger and richer nations can open up borders to sell their goods and make more money. That is capitalism at its most cruel; and most of the coverage I’ve seen in the media is focusing solely on the political game while ignoring the plight of 11 million Greeks.

As Independent columnist, Colette Browne asked: “Why don’t EU leaders hound tax-avoiding corporations with the zeal they reserve for Greek pensioners?

I recently listened to a speech up in Derry given by Marina Prentoulis, a Greek commentator and opponent of austerity.

“People are going to die because of these policies,” she said. “Austerity is measured in blood.” A tad dramatic, you might think? And yet we hear, for example, of increasing numbers of suicide in Greece.

And what about closer to home; we’re a long way from the poor situation that the Greeks find themselves in. But even here, with increasing reliance on food banks and families struggling more and more (and with more cuts to come) I wonder if we even find any compassion for people who are our neighbours.

I understand the definition of austerity to mean severity of life; and it’s pretty severe for many people nowadays. Yet many of us lucky enough to have plenty don’t seem to want to even recognise the hardship of others, never mind help them.

I wonder if William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army in hard times 150 years ago, would ever have thought in times of plenty in 2015 that so many would still need the helping hand that his Christian love for others gave all those years ago.

Be harsh and look down your nose at the Greeks, and those across Europe, who have found themselves on hard times. But I think William Booth’s brand of Christianity would say don’t look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.