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World News

Hikes in energy prices could see churches lose £20,000 a year

by Sophie Drew

Kingdom Bank - a Christian banking service - has released a new report suggesting that the rising cost of living - including rocketing energy bills - could have a monumental effect on churches. 

Places of worship are likely to see their overhead costs escalate over the coming months, but this isn't the only problem facing church coiffeurs. 

According to Kingdom Bank, the typical church may face a £22,000 bash to their income, as congregations are likely to cut back on their tithes. 

The rising cost of energy bills is likely to have an impact on everyone, meaning many churchgoers may be unable to donate, as much of their income to the church. 

Paul Houghton, chief executive officer at Kingdom Bank, said: "Our forecast is that the current rising cost of living will be a greater financial challenge for UK churches than the COVID pandemic, which sounds quite scary, but I think it's likely to be true.

"Yesterday's reports from the CEBR, their forecast, said that there would be a typical fall in living standards or annual disposable income of just over £2,500 per household in the UK. 

"That's the biggest fall since records began in 1955.

"It's roughly £200 per month per household worse off. 

"For those in bigger houses with a couple of petrol or diesel cars, the number will be bigger than that. 

"For those in a small flat relying on public transport, the number will be smaller, but it's going to affect all of us. 

"We know that it's not just theoretical, we started to see the impacts in our utility bills and food bills and petrol station forecourt prices. 

"The easy part is that there's no surprise that churches are going to see their energy prices rise in a similar kind of way.

"So a typical church will be paying £2,500 in gas and electricity per year, and that utility bill is almost certainly about to go up to between, let's say, £3,000 and £4,000 a year. 

"But actually what we're wanting to say is that that's not the big issue here; our expectation is that the really big impact will be from squeezed gift income."

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