Bishop says government must fund churches to remain open

The Bishop of Exeter has said today that state funding must be used to help keep churches open. “I really do think that because we have a wonderful heritage, which we’re rightly proud of,” Bishop Robert Atwell told Times Radio earlier today.

The Bishop, who was born in Ilford, Essex in 1984,  Also spoke out against rural poverty in the House of Lords earlier today.

“One of the things that concerns me at the moment, and the government’s so called levelling up agenda is the fact we hear an awful lot about the great North South divide,” he explained in a later radio interview.

“But I think there’s another divide and that’s the urban rural divide…because rural poverty just doesn’t appear on government indexes of deprivation, mainly because it’s small, and then little pockets. So what I would hope to be is to be a voice for those people. “

“I was really concerned to see that the worst place in the United Kingdom for NHS dentistry is Devon. And here it is, at the moment, there are no vacancies in NHS dental practices for children or adults. And I think that is shameful. I really do.”