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Bishop says cost of living made 2022 'demanding'

2023-06-04 18:06:00 [Press center3] source:Reuters

The cost of living crisis has made 2022 "as demanding as anything over the last number of years", the Isle of Man's bishop has said.

The Right Reverend Peter Eagles said rising costs and the war in Ukraine had "brought new challenges" for the world.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, it had not been "without the continuing complications of Covid", he added.

But he said people "looked out for each other" during the pandemic, adding that this kindness had continued to be seen.

"In one way or another all of us are affected by it, and I think in a way issues around heating the house, food on the table, those things are just such essential basics of human living," he said.

"They're things that we've taken for granted and got very used to, and when those things suddenly become more difficult then that I think really is challenging for us as a whole community."

Churches are playing a part in responding to the crisis by continuing to operate foodbanks in local parishes, and opening up churches where people "can find warmth, where they can find food, company, even if it's just tea and coffee or if it's a lunch", he said.

The bishop said the impact of the pandemic on the community had also influenced the island's response to the war in Ukraine.

People had responded with "hugely generous charitable support and the establishment of a Ukrainian community here on our island".

The lessons of living with Covid had also "taught us that our neighbour is not just the person in our road or in our village, but is the person who lives anywhere".

Bishop Eagles said although at the end of the year "we look at the dark days and the short days and the long nights", all of that was "illuminated by the light of Christmas, by the light of the nativity story".

He said: "That's not to believe that everything will resolve itself suddenly but there is in the human spirit the capacity for resilience, for overcoming challenges and for care for one another.

"There will come a point where we can again look more confidently at the financial future.

"If you put all of that together, in terms of the experience of what it means to be human, it's been a very full and demanding year, but one with its wonderful moments as well, and I think I'd want to hold on to that too.

"So be hopeful, do not be afraid."

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(editor-in-charge:Press center6)

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