Bishop Steve hits out at benefit cuts

The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell

The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell

First published in News
Last updated

THE Bishop of Chelmsford has criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for his “scandalous” welfare reforms.

The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell joined 26 Anglican bishops and 16 other clergymen in signing an open a letter to Mr Cameron.

They said benefit cuts had caused a national crisis.

The letter said 500,000 people had visited food banks across Britain in the past year, and 5,500 people were admitted to hospital last year due to malnutrition.

Rev Cottrell said: “Food banks provide a fantastic service, but it is scandalous, in our society, that we should need a single food bank, let alone hundreds of them.

“It feels to me we areamore divided society than even a year ago and that troubles me deeply.”

The letter, written as part of the national End Hunger Fast campaign, was signed by 27 of the 59 Church of England bishops.

It said Mr Cameron had an “acute moral imperative” to take action to help hungry families.

Latest figures suggest 818,000 benefit claimants across the country have had their payments docked because of changes which were introduced in October 2012.

Reforms include the spare room subsidy, dubbed the bedroom tax by campaigners, and a cap on the total amount of benefits any household can receive.

John McKay, 64, runs a food bank at Lee Chapel North Community Centre in Ballards Walk, Laindon.

He has seen a 30 per cent increase in needy people coming through the door since January this year.

Mr McKay said: “Two or three years ago, food banks were just something the churches did, but it has really changed since the welfare reforms.

“We see people all the time who have had their benefits cut or stopped altogether, been hit by the bedroom tax, or in work, but on a real low income. That's when they need to turn to food banks.

“The Government needs to take stock of just how much impact the welfare reforms are having.”

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:48am Tue 29 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Less going in the plate, as it's passed around, thanks to the last lot, now off the soapbox, and back to the pulpit...
Less going in the plate, as it's passed around, thanks to the last lot, now off the soapbox, and back to the pulpit... sesibollox
  • Score: 1

9:44am Tue 29 Apr 14

eurodoomed says...

Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU?
The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break.
The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.
Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another. eurodoomed
  • Score: 5

10:15am Tue 29 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

eurodoomed wrote:
Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU?
The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break.
The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.
Pratt...
[quote][p][bold]eurodoomed[/bold] wrote: Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.[/p][/quote]Pratt... sesibollox
  • Score: -6

10:55am Tue 29 Apr 14

JayRSS1 says...

How about making these massive religious organisations pay corporation and income tax like averyone else. Maybe these free loaders could then contribute to this country instead of just preaching on their soap box.

Until you pay your way- Shut up!
How about making these massive religious organisations pay corporation and income tax like averyone else. Maybe these free loaders could then contribute to this country instead of just preaching on their soap box. Until you pay your way- Shut up! JayRSS1
  • Score: 2

11:36am Tue 29 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

why is everyone Bashing the Bishop..?
why is everyone Bashing the Bishop..? DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 2

11:45am Tue 29 Apr 14

eurodoomed says...

sesibollox wrote:
eurodoomed wrote: Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.
Pratt...
Yes, I am afraid that the right reverend gentleman, and his colleagues are indeed prats, and just like the BBC, are exrtremely selective in their judgements. We have been through the worst economic crisis since 1931, not entirely caused, but certainly greatly aggravated by Gordon Brown's prolonged incompetence. Where was the church's protest then?
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurodoomed[/bold] wrote: Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.[/p][/quote]Pratt...[/p][/quote]Yes, I am afraid that the right reverend gentleman, and his colleagues are indeed prats, and just like the BBC, are exrtremely selective in their judgements. We have been through the worst economic crisis since 1931, not entirely caused, but certainly greatly aggravated by Gordon Brown's prolonged incompetence. Where was the church's protest then? eurodoomed
  • Score: 4

12:50pm Tue 29 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

eurodoomed wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
eurodoomed wrote: Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.
Pratt...
Yes, I am afraid that the right reverend gentleman, and his colleagues are indeed prats, and just like the BBC, are exrtremely selective in their judgements. We have been through the worst economic crisis since 1931, not entirely caused, but certainly greatly aggravated by Gordon Brown's prolonged incompetence. Where was the church's protest then?
'never a frown, with gordon brown'
[quote][p][bold]eurodoomed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurodoomed[/bold] wrote: Where is the bishop's magic solution? How does he propose that we get out of the disastrous debt that Labour left? I don't remember hearing the church complaining too loudly at the immoral increase in overseas aid, much of it going to countries with nuclear arms or corrupt governments, the eye-watering amounts of money wasted by Gordon Brown on the NHS, which wrecked the GP system, or the destruction of our pensions by Labour's greed. Has the church spoken out against the flood of immigrants still pourting in, many of them claiming benefits for relatives back home? Has it campaigned against green taxes or the scandalous corruption and financial incontinence in the EU? The party is over. The something for nothing culture has to change. Of course the welfare system should act as a safety net for those in genuine need but those of us who have been struggling to make ends meet because of rising taxes and falling incomes in real terms deserve a break. The church cannot rail against the actions of one government, while ignoring the appalling failures of another.[/p][/quote]Pratt...[/p][/quote]Yes, I am afraid that the right reverend gentleman, and his colleagues are indeed prats, and just like the BBC, are exrtremely selective in their judgements. We have been through the worst economic crisis since 1931, not entirely caused, but certainly greatly aggravated by Gordon Brown's prolonged incompetence. Where was the church's protest then?[/p][/quote]'never a frown, with gordon brown' pembury53
  • Score: 1

4:16pm Tue 29 Apr 14

local_guy says...

I really don't see how the blame games help deal with the situation at hand.

You can all argue all you like over who was responsible for creating the mess. Whether is was incompetent governance, or greed of banksters playing stock markets over subprime mortgage derivatives bubble, or even incompetence of governance at allowing poorly thought through banking lobby/thinktank policies.

This does not solve anything, it merely seeks to pretend it's someone else's problem.
I really don't see how the blame games help deal with the situation at hand. You can all argue all you like over who was responsible for creating the mess. Whether is was incompetent governance, or greed of banksters playing stock markets over subprime mortgage derivatives bubble, or even incompetence of governance at allowing poorly thought through banking lobby/thinktank policies. This does not solve anything, it merely seeks to pretend it's someone else's problem. local_guy
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Tue 29 Apr 14

profondo asbo says...

local_guy wrote:
I really don't see how the blame games help deal with the situation at hand.

You can all argue all you like over who was responsible for creating the mess. Whether is was incompetent governance, or greed of banksters playing stock markets over subprime mortgage derivatives bubble, or even incompetence of governance at allowing poorly thought through banking lobby/thinktank policies.

This does not solve anything, it merely seeks to pretend it's someone else's problem.
it is instructive. we need to isolate the policies and therefore the individuals that caused this mess so we can learn from past mistakes ie spend, spend, spend is unsustainable and disastrous. we then need to teach the electorate never to vote for those jokers again. in identifying the cause we thereby identify the solution.
[quote][p][bold]local_guy[/bold] wrote: I really don't see how the blame games help deal with the situation at hand. You can all argue all you like over who was responsible for creating the mess. Whether is was incompetent governance, or greed of banksters playing stock markets over subprime mortgage derivatives bubble, or even incompetence of governance at allowing poorly thought through banking lobby/thinktank policies. This does not solve anything, it merely seeks to pretend it's someone else's problem.[/p][/quote]it is instructive. we need to isolate the policies and therefore the individuals that caused this mess so we can learn from past mistakes ie spend, spend, spend is unsustainable and disastrous. we then need to teach the electorate never to vote for those jokers again. in identifying the cause we thereby identify the solution. profondo asbo
  • Score: 2

5:43pm Tue 29 Apr 14

John Bull 40 says...

The church with all its wealth and trappings seems to have short arms and
deep pockets. Salvation Army excepted, who seem to practice what they
preach.
The church with all its wealth and trappings seems to have short arms and deep pockets. Salvation Army excepted, who seem to practice what they preach. John Bull 40
  • Score: 2

9:39pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

...and who created the benefit culture as we know it now.. top heavy and loaded in the wrong direction.. That's right, Labour.

We are now, it seems, paying benefits hand over fist to half of Europe and those who turn up willy nilly expecting hand outs. That was obvious from the series Benefits Street as well as being self evident as it's in the news every day.

We fork out millions also in Foreign Aid, often to countries that don't need it like India - whose prime minister even admitted they didn't need it any more.

Then we pay for translators, forms to be printed in multiple languages, signage and all manner of related expenses..

The Tories don't need any lectures from the Left on profligate spending, not when we have all had to suffer a recession after the Tories came to power and had to repair the damage left behind by Labour's "everyone except the English" politically correct spendathon-largely on minority groups and the nine unelected regional assembly quangoes imposed on us by Brussels but that Labour went along with in order to exact a wholesale destruction on the English nation - which now apparently does not appear on EU maps. They colluded with the EU to make this country the dumping ground of the EU and a place where terrorist scum can flourish under the apparent ECHR "human rights" travesty. Look how much we fork out for them - 30 grand a year plus for the hate preacher Anjem Choudary for example - and we fork out for the entourage of police who protect him..

And clergymen need to keep out of politics. There are too many "opinions" from such people and really, the only opinions that count should come from the voting public who I hope will get off their backsides on May 22nd and get out there and stick it up the usual complacent career politician cronies. If they are not doing their jobs, GET RID.

You know who they are - and if you don't, you darn well should make it your business to find out.

Politics begins and ends at local level in this country and all those who don't bother to register their vote but moan like hell need to remember nothing will change until they get down to the ballot box EVERY election, not just once in a blue moon - or worse still, never.
...and who created the benefit culture as we know it now.. top heavy and loaded in the wrong direction.. That's right, Labour. We are now, it seems, paying benefits hand over fist to half of Europe and those who turn up willy nilly expecting hand outs. That was obvious from the series Benefits Street as well as being self evident as it's in the news every day. We fork out millions also in Foreign Aid, often to countries that don't need it like India - whose prime minister even admitted they didn't need it any more. Then we pay for translators, forms to be printed in multiple languages, signage and all manner of related expenses.. The Tories don't need any lectures from the Left on profligate spending, not when we have all had to suffer a recession after the Tories came to power and had to repair the damage left behind by Labour's "everyone except the English" politically correct spendathon-largely on minority groups and the nine unelected regional assembly quangoes imposed on us by Brussels but that Labour went along with in order to exact a wholesale destruction on the English nation - which now apparently does not appear on EU maps. They colluded with the EU to make this country the dumping ground of the EU and a place where terrorist scum can flourish under the apparent ECHR "human rights" travesty. Look how much we fork out for them - 30 grand a year plus for the hate preacher Anjem Choudary for example - and we fork out for the entourage of police who protect him.. And clergymen need to keep out of politics. There are too many "opinions" from such people and really, the only opinions that count should come from the voting public who I hope will get off their backsides on May 22nd and get out there and stick it up the usual complacent career politician cronies. If they are not doing their jobs, GET RID. You know who they are - and if you don't, you darn well should make it your business to find out. Politics begins and ends at local level in this country and all those who don't bother to register their vote but moan like hell need to remember nothing will change until they get down to the ballot box EVERY election, not just once in a blue moon - or worse still, never. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

12:56am Wed 30 Apr 14

ThisYear says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
...and who created the benefit culture as we know it now.. top heavy and loaded in the wrong direction.. That's right, Labour.

We are now, it seems, paying benefits hand over fist to half of Europe and those who turn up willy nilly expecting hand outs. That was obvious from the series Benefits Street as well as being self evident as it's in the news every day.

We fork out millions also in Foreign Aid, often to countries that don't need it like India - whose prime minister even admitted they didn't need it any more.

Then we pay for translators, forms to be printed in multiple languages, signage and all manner of related expenses..

The Tories don't need any lectures from the Left on profligate spending, not when we have all had to suffer a recession after the Tories came to power and had to repair the damage left behind by Labour's "everyone except the English" politically correct spendathon-largely on minority groups and the nine unelected regional assembly quangoes imposed on us by Brussels but that Labour went along with in order to exact a wholesale destruction on the English nation - which now apparently does not appear on EU maps. They colluded with the EU to make this country the dumping ground of the EU and a place where terrorist scum can flourish under the apparent ECHR "human rights" travesty. Look how much we fork out for them - 30 grand a year plus for the hate preacher Anjem Choudary for example - and we fork out for the entourage of police who protect him..

And clergymen need to keep out of politics. There are too many "opinions" from such people and really, the only opinions that count should come from the voting public who I hope will get off their backsides on May 22nd and get out there and stick it up the usual complacent career politician cronies. If they are not doing their jobs, GET RID.

You know who they are - and if you don't, you darn well should make it your business to find out.

Politics begins and ends at local level in this country and all those who don't bother to register their vote but moan like hell need to remember nothing will change until they get down to the ballot box EVERY election, not just once in a blue moon - or worse still, never.
Yes vote for those picked for you to chose from, who then owe their loyalty to the party before the electorate..very clever Mrs Bond.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: ...and who created the benefit culture as we know it now.. top heavy and loaded in the wrong direction.. That's right, Labour. We are now, it seems, paying benefits hand over fist to half of Europe and those who turn up willy nilly expecting hand outs. That was obvious from the series Benefits Street as well as being self evident as it's in the news every day. We fork out millions also in Foreign Aid, often to countries that don't need it like India - whose prime minister even admitted they didn't need it any more. Then we pay for translators, forms to be printed in multiple languages, signage and all manner of related expenses.. The Tories don't need any lectures from the Left on profligate spending, not when we have all had to suffer a recession after the Tories came to power and had to repair the damage left behind by Labour's "everyone except the English" politically correct spendathon-largely on minority groups and the nine unelected regional assembly quangoes imposed on us by Brussels but that Labour went along with in order to exact a wholesale destruction on the English nation - which now apparently does not appear on EU maps. They colluded with the EU to make this country the dumping ground of the EU and a place where terrorist scum can flourish under the apparent ECHR "human rights" travesty. Look how much we fork out for them - 30 grand a year plus for the hate preacher Anjem Choudary for example - and we fork out for the entourage of police who protect him.. And clergymen need to keep out of politics. There are too many "opinions" from such people and really, the only opinions that count should come from the voting public who I hope will get off their backsides on May 22nd and get out there and stick it up the usual complacent career politician cronies. If they are not doing their jobs, GET RID. You know who they are - and if you don't, you darn well should make it your business to find out. Politics begins and ends at local level in this country and all those who don't bother to register their vote but moan like hell need to remember nothing will change until they get down to the ballot box EVERY election, not just once in a blue moon - or worse still, never.[/p][/quote]Yes vote for those picked for you to chose from, who then owe their loyalty to the party before the electorate..very clever Mrs Bond. ThisYear
  • Score: -3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree