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Help to recover

04 April 2014

WHEN you live with narrow margins financially, it is all too easy to get into debt - and much harder to get out of it. That is why the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster (left in photo), has designated those suffering from debt and food-poverty as the subject of this year's Bishop's Lent Appeal.

The money that is raised will be split between the charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and the local foodbanks. In too many cases, people's situations have been made worse when they have gone to payday lenders, or online firms that promise to help with their debts, but then they find that the interest charged, or the fees, simply makes matters worse.

Gary Miles (right in photo) and his partner, Chris Fry, had to sell jewellery and other valuables to buy food. They tried an online firm to help them manage their debts, but were charged so much in fees that little of the debt was paid off. It was only when staff and volunteers from their local CAP offered free advice and support that they were able to work out a realistic budget, and negotiate affordable payments with each creditor.

It is such people as Mr Miles and his partner, and Zeta Bishop (centre), who is in debt because her husband's work is seasonal, that the Bishop wants to help. His Lent Appeal usually raises about £20,000. He is hoping that donors from across the diocese will be very generous this year.

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