• An audience with the Pope. Exclusive Big Issue interview

An audience with the Pope. Exclusive Big Issue interview

Issue 1179

An audience with the Pope. Exclusive Big Issue interview

In this weeks issue…It’s Pope Francis.

This is an interview we’ve been chasing for some time. Thanks to the combined efforts of street papers globally – directed by the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) – it has happened. Our colleagues from Dutch sister street paper Straetnieuws travelled to Rome to meet the Pontiff, and we carry the exclusive this week. The Pope reveals details of being a football-mad child in Buenos Aires, of what he dreamt of growing up to be, about why he is focused on beating poverty and there are interesting lines on whether he might start selling off the Vatican’s assets to make money and give to the poor.

In a zinger of an edition, our Letter To My Younger Self is with iconic British artist Sir Peter Blake. Also football obsessed, shy but driven, he reveals who he would have liked to have included on the Sgt Peppers album cover – and why it couldn’t possibly happen now.

We also update our Fill ‘Em Up Campaign – our call to bring empty buildings and houses across Britain back in use. It’s gaining momentum.

Our featured vendor this week is Robin Price, who sells in Weston-Super-Mare. Out of care and homeless in London at 13, he felt institutionalised by life on the streets. But he’s finally building a normal life now, he says.

This week John Bird looks at borrowing and debt – what works, what is manageable and why we need to stay in control of it.

Samira Ahmed, meanwhile, returns with a column looking at motherhood and what mothers can and can’t pass on to their daughters.

I also direct you to author Ann Walmsley who has an eye-opening piece on the importance of reading groups in prisons.