Diocese of Blackburn

Bishop slams Church for preferring the rich

Tue 16 Feb 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The Church has taken a preferential option for the rich, the Bishop of Burnley has claimed at the General Synod.

Rt Revd Philip North accused the Church of England of not investing enough money in poorer areas and instead focusing on the rich.

He said that the Church spends £7.87 per person nationally but only £5.07 on those living in poorer estates.

“The Church on outer estates is dying and it’s dying very quickly,” he said.

He said closing struggling churches that were not able to pay for themselves, most likely to be in poorer inner city areas, was a “betrayal of the Gospel”.

In a passionate General Synod speech during a debate on Evangelism he called on the Church to put more resources into council estates that had been neglected.

“If we abandon the poor we abandon God,” he stressed.

He said the Church should invest more resources in bringing poorer people to Christianity.

During the debate the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group outlined ways to evangelise poorer people.

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