Norfolk Bishop speaks of Church's hidden role
2009: A Norfolk
Bishop has spoken out about the often hidden role of Christian organisations across the county and county in tackling the problem of homelessness and other social issues, at a major national conference.
“In Norwich it is absolutely clear that support and provision for the most vulnerable in our society would be radically reduced, probably decimated, if one removed the church and church-related groups,” The Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Lynn told the Housing Justice National Conference.
“It is also clear that, while there is an actual cost to all this work, it would be multiplied many, many times if it were not for all the volunteer hours contributed through these projects and organisations. Strangely, the church-relatedness of all of this is not always realized,” said Bishop James, who is Chair of Housing Justice.
“The Archbishop of York quotes an estimate of 23 million hours of voluntary service offered each year just by members of the Church of England let alone other churches and faith traditions. Much of that will be alongside vulnerable people.”
The Bishop said: “A Christian actually has no option but to be on the side of the vulnerable. And my perception is that in our present circumstances we are going to see the numbers of the vulnerable increasing.”
He concluded: “The bottom line is that we are inspired and motivated by a vision of love which is given unconditionally – and that means that we cannot walk away.”