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UK News

Leeds pastor urges churches to look out for people who may be struggling as energy bills expected to soar further

by Alex Collett

A pastor from Leeds has said to be vigilant and take action to help if a church sees members of their congregation suffering due to the rising cost of living.

Forecasts are suggesting the average household energy bill could hit £3,600 a year this winter. 

Consultancy firm Cornwall Insight says its estimate has leapt by around 300 pounds in just a month.

It says surging gas prices and concerns about the war in Ukraine will push up costs further.

David Flowers, Pastor of Leeds Vineyard church and director of a financial advisory business tells Premier this is a great platform where Christians could help:

"I think churches should have some sort of mechanism in place for knowing what's happening amongst their family, their church family and are they looking around? 

"Are there people who are obviously struggling? 

"Other people who are not able to turn up to things because they can't afford the fuel, because there's a cost involved, and they haven't got the funds for it? 

"If people with larger families and are on a lower income, they're going to be in obvious need. 

"So I would love churches to be on the front foot, looking and scanning their brothers and sisters to see whether there's any need."

The government has announced a package of measures to help households with the rising cost of living.

Last week, the government announced how households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive that £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn with the money paid in six instalments, Premier asked pastor Flowers if this is enough:

"More support will be needed in the sense that there's a gap between what people can afford and what the cost of living will be. 

"The political question is whether or not the country can afford it either. 

"It's really difficult and it's going to mean people are going to have to look after one another, which is where the church and Christians should really be, should be excelling."

Pastor Flowers also says he has a specific prayer in mind for those who may be struggling:

"I think one area that we could pray for is loneliness, because when these things hit people, when they struggle financially, often, we retreat, there's shame involved, as well as fear.

"As we pray for them, pray for those people that they would indeed be able to rely more on the Lord's provision, and defeat this thing of fear and anxiety that the enemy would use over and over again."

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