A number of leading UK based Christian charities have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the government to pledge financial support for the faith-based charitable sector, as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
"Our world is in the thick of a crisis like no other; our families, our society, our economy are being challenged in previously unimaginable ways," they wrote in its letter. "Thankfully, this country has a resource which is used to stepping up, supporting and finding solutions. This resource is the Church: a body of people who know all about compassionately supporting people in their communities and inspiring others to do the same."
The letter which has been signed by Christian Aid and Christians Against Poverty, amongst others, added that a "myriad of Christian charities" have been working round the clock to "equip and support the Church as they look after those around them."
"Right now, in the most difficult of times, we are doing what Jesus told us to do: to love our neighbour," they added.
Now, with the financial impact being felt by so many, they insisted that its work "will be needed more than ever," and urged the government to do more to help.
"The challenge is seeing our income plummet at the same time as circumstances dictate we step up, which diminishes our ability to support local churches in doing what they do best.
"We appreciate the ways the Chancellor has helped families and businesses in this time of crisis and urgently ask that the same support may be found for the vital work of the charitable sector and the Church, as we continue to do all we can."
A recent survey published by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) has suggested that coronavirus could trigger a global economic slump "bigger than the Great Depression of the 1930s."
According to the Financial Times, the virus has already wiped out "years of employment growth" in the United Kingdom. In addition, figures show that around a million people have signed on to the government’s universal credit benefit system since the UK’s lockdown began on March 16. Despite the Department for Work and Pensions deploying more than 10,000 staff to deal with the surge in claims, the system has been completely overwhelmed.
The UK now has almost 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with just under 5,000 deaths.