This article tells us that we can. Here we have two bishops in the Church of England, the Right Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, and the Right Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester are speaking in the House of Lords today about the cuts and the effect they will have on individuals around the country.
Bishop Packer will challenge the language used my members of government when speaking of those who claim benefits. The language of shirkers, skivers and lazy creates splits in society at a time when inclusion and community is needed more than ever. He also raises the impact of the cuts on child poverty in England.
Bishop Stevens will challenge the impact of the welfare cuts on working families, on the poor and the Bill’s long-term implications.
The challenge of these two bishops in this area show that the church is seeing the problems arising and raising awareness of them within government. The church in England is the only organisation with a ‘franchise’ in every community, sometimes you can have 3 or 4 churches in one community. It is the church that can see the greatest effect of these cuts, and it is the church in the unique position of being able to have the most consistent impact throughout the country.
The question that then must be asked is, are we having the impact we should? What can we do to follow up on what the bishops are campaigning for in government? Many churches are already doing this, many could do more.
What does your church do and how are you working with other churches in your area to ensure that as a body we are providing the best care possible.