Religious leaders support campaign to help others through cost of living crisis

The ongoing cost of living crisis has affected people from all walks of life and faith across the West Midlands.

Union of Muslim Organisations interim-chair Mohammed Arif said mosques were there to help people regardless of faith
Union of Muslim Organisations interim-chair Mohammed Arif said mosques were there to help people regardless of faith

Around the different communities across the region, there have been stories of people struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes and an increase in use of food banks and other places offering help.

Within these communities, however, there have also been initiatives and projects from places of faith that have helped people to find what they need to live.

Churches, mosques, Gurdwaras and temples across the region have been working to help people who are struggling, with religious leaders keen to offer their own time to help and also support the Feed A Family campaign.

In Walsall, the Union of Muslim Organisations has been working with the different mosques in the borough to support families, with interim chair Mohammed Arif saying the pressure of the current crisis had really increased on people.

He said: "On a daily basis, people are struggling and are finding the pressure on them has increased, particularly with the prices of electricity and gas really skyrocketing up.

"If you then add the increasing prices of food and the basic necessities, then people are definitely struggling."

Mr Arif said that, as an umbrella organisation, the Union of Muslim Organisations was doing what it could to help the mosques and said it supported any initiative that could help people to live.

He said: "I think that if anyone is struggling, then they should contact the appropriate place of worship and talk to them about help.

"We are dealing with a humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and a lot of the Pakistani mosques are collecting for people affected by that, but we are always collecting and mosques have funds they can help individuals with, regardless of faith or religious persuasion.

"I would advise people to donate to food banks and mosques to help the campaign and to help people."

The Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave, said the Diocese of Lichfield was doing everything it could to support the community

Two major Christian leaders in the region, the Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Rev. Dr Michael Ipgrave, and the Bishop of Worcester, Rt Rev. Dr John Inge, both offered their own support for the campaign.

Dr Ipgrave, said: “Many churches across our diocese, including those in the Black Country, Shropshire and Staffordshire, are already on the front lines of serving and working with their communities, with many hosting food banks, Places of Welcome and other practical initiatives of support.

"As energy bills and inflation increase, we know things are going to get harder and initiatives like the Express & Star’s Feed A Family are more needed than ever.

"I urge everyone who can to support Feed A Family by donating to food banks in their area.”

Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, said initiatives like the Feed A Family campaign were needed more than ever

Dr Inge said: “It is a sad fact that with the cost of living continuing to increase, more people will need to turn to food banks to be able to feed their families.

"For those of us in the fortunate position not to have to worry about how we will afford our next meal, giving something to a food bank each time we shop will make a big difference to those who do.

"Please do support this campaign from the Express & Star if you’re able to.”

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