News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne header2.jpg
Credit: PA
Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne.jpg
Credit: PA
UK News

Senior church leaders say Covid power struggles will lead to ‘disillusion and unrest’

by Press Association

Three senior members of the Church of England have warned that struggles between Westminster and local leaders in the North over coronavirus restrictions will lead to “disillusion and unrest”.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said the resulting social fallout will ultimately be “more dangerous and destabilising” than the virus itself.

Writing in the Yorkshire Post with Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, and David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, he called for greater collaboration between politicians to protect the vulnerable.

It comes as more than a million people in South Yorkshire are now living under the strictest coronavirus restrictions after the county moved into Tier 3 at midnight.

The county joined Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire on the highest alert level for England.

The bishops’ letter highlighted the “terrible double whammy” of being poor: being more likely to contract Covid-19 and to be affected by newly imposed restrictions.

“If we are going to bring real equality and levelling up across the country, then people living in poverty need to be paid a sufficient wage that can enable them to feel secure by staying home,” they said.

“Blaming them for not doing so is not an option.

“They simply don’t have the cushion or the safety net that is there for people on higher wages, nor is the current benefits system the help that it should be.”

The Church called for “a collective, nationwide response” to ensure further social division is avoided.

“A divided nation where one section of society, generally wealthy, generally living in the South, is able to screen itself more effectively from coronavirus and get through to the other side of this pandemic,” the bishops wrote.

“Another section of society, generally poorer, generally in the North, suffers greatly.

“The cost of this division, particularly among younger people, will only lead to disillusion and unrest.

“It can be avoided. But it requires a different sort of vision and begins with much greater collaboration between Westminster and local, regional and devolved leadership.

“If we fail to do this, it will be measured in human suffering and may turn out to be a scourge that is more dangerous and destabilising than Covid-19 itself.”

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate