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Bishop lives on £1-a-day diet of bananas, onions, and beans

01 May 2015


Below the line: Bishop Hancock and his wife, Jane, with their five-day supply of food

Below the line: Bishop Hancock and his wife, Jane, with their five-day supply of food

FOR breakfast on Wednesday, the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, had porridge without milk, and half a banana. Lunch was a soup made of boiled onions and carrots. For dinner, he ate a jacket potato with baked beans.

Rather than attempting an especially ascetic diet Bishop Hancock and his wife, Jane, are trying to "Live Below the Line" - spending five days living on groceries worth just £1 a day, classified as the international poverty line.

Speaking halfway through the challenge, Bishop Hancock admitted that he was already feeling pangs of hunger. "But I'm still enjoying it in some ways," he said. "I'm just much more aware of how privileged we are in this country. It is much more difficult to live on a pound a day than you expect. I was amazed at how little we bought."

Unable to afford meat, fish, sugar, or dairy products, Bishop Hancock and his wife are living on a meagre vegetarian diet. "Yes, we will be very hungry [by the end], but . . . we are still spending more than the very poor, because they also have to buy clothes, housing, and fuel on their £1 a day," he said.

He said that he was hoping the experience would make him not only more aware of how hard life on the breadline was, but also more generous and more "hopeful".

At the end of the week, the money raised by the Hancocks' endeavours will be given to the charity Send A Cow.

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