*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Aid cuts not worth the damage, say bishops

07 May 2021

Britain’s influence in the world will be curtailed, they say

Alamy

International Covid research is said to be under threat from government aid cuts

International Covid research is said to be under threat from government aid cuts

REDUCING Britain’s international-aid budget will be a false economy, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, said in the House of Lords last week.

Speaking in a debate on the Government’s decision to cut overseas aid by £4 billion (News, 27 November 2020), he said: “What is lost could far outweigh the relatively small financial gain.” Other countries, especially China, were seeking to increase their involvement and consequently their influence. “When we withdraw, others are poised to come in,” he said. “We take care that our involvement is well motivated and for the good; that of others may be less so.”

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked how, in the light of the cuts and an increased emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region, Britain could have a positive influence in areas such as the Middle East and Africa. “How do we project ourselves with greater effect around the globe if we cut aid, have a historically numerically small military force, have a reduced diplomatic presence, and operate one of the most expensive immigration and nationality systems in the world?” he asked.

Others have joined in voicing opposition to the cuts. They threatened work on combating Covid-19, said Professor Oliver Pybus of the University of Oxford, one of the team who identified the Kent and Brazilian variants of the virus. Funding for his £20-million international research project to examine emerging epidemics and antimicrobial resistance was being reduced by up to 70 per cent, he said, making his project unviable, and in effect “killing it dead”. It would take years to rebuild fractured international networks and relationships, even if the cuts were reversed, he warned.

The cuts will also affect the United Nations global family-planning programme. The UN Population Fund says that the UK pledged £154 million, but now it will give just £23 million. The decision would be “devastating for women and girls and their families across the world”, the fund’s executive director, Dr Natalia Kanem, said. She estimated that the money lost would have helped to prevent about 250,000 maternal and child deaths, 14.6 million unintended pregnancies, and 4.3 million unsafe abortions.

The Government has said that Covid meant that tough but necessary decisions were needed, and temporary reductions in aid spending were vital as the pandemic had badly affected public finances. The Prime Minister has said that he hopes that the cuts can be reversed “when the fiscal situation allows” (News, 19 March).

Appointments

Clerical

Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Situations vacant

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.