September 2022

The so-called cost of living crisis is real and has power. As the pandemic still lingers, we lurch into another life challenge which requires steadfastness, leadership, generosity, and self-discipline. The cost of living is something relative though, depending on our individual resources and even where we happen to have been born. The cost of living in the Sudans means something very different than heating bills.

I wish to draw your attention to the Warm Welcome initiative which can be found at This states; We are determined to equip and support thousands of free, warm, and welcoming spaces in communities across the UK. Working with churches and other faith groups, civil society organisations, businesses and Local Authorities, we want to make sure that nobody is left to suffer on their own this winter.

The cost of living for Jesus was to lose his earthly life for you and for me. We are called to live his risen life, bringing warmth and welcome to all whom we meet and serve. The reality for us, as it was for God in Christ, is that living does cost, whether that is in the face of naked aggression such as in Ukraine or in poverty in Africa. We have the ability and the resources (especially in this country and this diocese) to make a difference. These are matters of will and priority rather than desperation or being ‘done to’ by others.

The Kingdom of God is a place of warmth, welcome and wonder. It exists where we allow it to, and where God’s loving nature is enabled to shine. The cost of this gift has been paid in full. Our task, as Christians, as a Church, and in our communities, is to share that gift with all without a cap and with joy.

+ Stephen, Bishop of Salisbury

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