LETTER: Bishop isn’t living in the real world

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THE comments in the Observer by the Bishop of Chichester on the benefits system show his complete lack of understanding of the problem.

The benefits system does not consist of a bottomless pit with an endless amount of money in it, the task of finding a just and fair solution for those with genuine need as apposed to those who have no intention of finding work and supporting themselves is almost impossible.

Surely no-one can believe that a system that allows a family to receive handouts that are above, in many cases, what a hard-working and caring person can provide for his family by gainful employment, is right.

This is what has prompted the radical changes to the system and clearly not before time.

The Archbishop of Westminster says much the same on behalf of the Catholic Church, by what right do these two pampered men make these comments, living as they do in their opulent palaces, perhaps they need to take a step back, stop fanning their own supercilious egos and look at the real world where most of us live.

I cannot recall a palace Jesus Christ lived in! I do not suggest bishops must experience poverty to understand it, but I do feel they should stop meddling in politics until they are certain of all the facts.

As for the sudden rise in food banks, these are not some 21st-century phenomenon, they have existed for many years in caring communities and have provided great comfort to those with genuine needs, many needy families having such pride as to only take essentials with no frills this, of course, in the days before it was suggested it was a right to have it all whether you earned it or not.

Might I have the temerity to suggest that instead of calling for a day of fasting, all bishops Catholic and Church of England throughout the country resolve to live a less lavish lifestyle and to renounce the trappings that go with it for just one month each year and donate the proceeds,if not to the benefits purse, to another cause to help the plight of those they perceive to be in dire straits?

Who knows, it might even gain them a place in heaven, 
or is that simply their right due to their exalted position within the church?

Maura Field

Grosvenor Road

Chichester