To all clergy in the Diocese of Southwark, copied to Lay Ministers, Parish Secretaries, Churchwardens, Deanery Lay Chairs, Deanery Secretaries and Treasurers

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As you are aware, Bishop Christopher has established the Cost- of-Living Task Group, chaired by Bishop Rosemarie, to provide you with a digest of guidance and resources from JPIC, Government and National Church initiatives through this bulletin. We hope you will find it a valuable resource in much the same way as the Coronavirus Task Group Bulletin.

Resources to Support you

JPIC have written a series of blogs which provide information and access to resources for churches

Warm Welcome/Warm spaces – how can the church respond (8 September)

Cost of Living (13 September)

Keeping Warm this Winter (20 October)

Events and meetings

Nelly MisengaTogether Southwark Development Worker, and Nicola Thomas, Head of JPIC, attend a wide variety of events both to learn about what is available and to communicate this, as well as providing ad hoc support. There is a considerable amount of information available online, and this is changing all the time, so please do get in touch if you are looking for specific information such as funding opportunities in your borough. Good places to start for background information and research are the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trust for London which provides a breakdown of a number of social indicators by borough.

Practical tips and financial support from the CofE

Find out more about the £1400 Energy Grant, how to reduce your energy bills and advice for meeting clergy household bills:

Resources to support your parish

The Together Southwark website has a wealth of resources, most notably the newly updated ‘Signposting People in your Parish’ resource pack which has a new section at the beginning directing people to a wide range of national and local resources and funds about cost of living support. This document is kept under constant review and Nelly Misenga, Together Southwark Development Officer, is currently working on additions around food budgeting and employment support.

Nicola Thomas, is preparing a ‘reverse Advent calendar’ to encourage people to give to local food, hygiene and baby banks in Advent instead of buying Advent calendars which contain gifts. This is an easy thing that will work well for families and schools and requires only a small amount of co-ordination from a church or school to liaise with their local food bank.

Love in action

It goes without saying that these are indeed trying times. We are reminded of the following verses in Matthew 25 V35-40.

‘..for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave mesomething to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked andyou gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison andyou visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that wesaw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked andgave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison andvisited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did itto one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Be assured of our prayers and feel free to let us know what activities you are doing. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask.


Best wishes,

Cost of Living Task Group

The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon (Chair); Janet Boyce Parish Finance Officer; The Revd Canon Jay Colwill, Canon Missioner; Nicola Thomas, Head of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC); The Venerable John Kiddle, Archdeacon of Wandsworth; Sophia Jones, Director of Communications