Suffolk: Bishop urges people to help those in need this Christmas by supporting food banks, night shelters and credit unions

Bishop Rt Rev Dr David Thomson

Bishop Rt Rev Dr David Thomson - Credit: Archant

People are being urged to help others this Christmas through food banks, volunteering for night shelters for the homeless, and supporting credit unions that lend money to those in need at low interest rates.

The Acting Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, the Rt Revd Dr David Thomson, believes the services play a vitally important role in the county.

He said: “Jesus came into the world to show the warmth of God’s love for us. Right at the time when we are most vulnerable.

“When we draw close to him, regular churchgoers or individuals on our journey of faith, we find the strength and inspiration we need to help others at their most vulnerable, too.

“One of the great things about food banks is that we have a way of helping that is really easy for people to get involved with, whether it is leaving a box of teabags at the church collection point or buying an extra bag of sugar at the supermarket and leaving it in a donation trolley.

“Night shelters too are so vital. There is a chill in the air and being outside with poor clothing and a frost or snow on the ground is frightening.

“So I feel for those who are homeless from the bottom of my heart.

“Many church doors from all denominations in Ipswich are open as night shelters for the homeless with beds, warmth and food again this year and we are looking for those from all faiths or none to help support rough sleepers in these shelters.

“And if everyone gives a little time to help others, through food banks, supporting night shelters and credit unions, we will surprise ourselves by what a good time we will have helping others, too.”

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Bishop David said investing Christmas money with the Credit Union would provide “an enormous social return” and do real good.

He said: “The Credit Union will then use your money to lend to those in need who need a loan.

“I will be giving money that my dad gives me at Christmas to the Credit Union until I need it and hope to save with them throughout the year.”