Millions are looking ahead to this winter with ‘fear and anxiety’ about the cost of heating their homes, the Archbishop of York has said as he backed the launch of a campaign to provide a network of warm spaces for people who struggle to pay their energy bills.
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell is encouraging churches to consider getting involved – if they are not already – in the Warm Welcome campaign, a network of venues from community centres to churches providing warm spaces over the winter for people struggling to heat their homes.
In a video message to support the launch, Archbishop Stephen said: “Sadly, what began as a cost-of-living crisis has simply become the new normal for many.
“Millions of people will look ahead to this winter with fear and anxiety, wondering how they are going to cope with high living costs.
“That is why I am proud to endorse the Warm Welcome campaign this winter.
“But a warm welcome isn’t only about the temperature. It is about kindness and community, giving people the chance to be seen and known, to belong and to be part of something. It is about celebrating the God-given value and dignity of every single person, finding hope and community together. But of course none of that will happen if people are cold.
“So, I warmly encourage all churches – alongside other faith groups and community organisations – to consider getting involved.”
The Warm Welcome campaign is led by a coalition of over 50 charitable organisations who joined together in response to the cost of living crisis to provide emergency support to communities struggling to pay for rising food costs and to heat their homes. The Warm Welcome Campaign is delivered by Good Faith Partnership in collaboration with partners and the Warm Welcome Spaces.