We need people to give more time and money to church, says Bishop

15/2/2012 (SM)''The Bishop of Portsmouth Christopher Foster.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120532-1287)
15/2/2012 (SM)''The Bishop of Portsmouth Christopher Foster.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120532-1287)
Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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THE Bishop of Portsmouth hit out at consumerism and selfishness during a speech to church representatives today.

The Right Reverend Christopher Foster said that more people needed to give to the church – either by donating money or by investing their time – at his presentation to the Diocesan Synod.

The meeting, in Cathedral House, St Thomas’s Street, Portsmouth, was to bring together 60 clergy and 60 lay worshippers from churches across the area to decide policy and discuss issues.

As he reflects on 18 months in the role, Bishop Christopher was due to outline what he sees as the main issues affecting the diocese.

He said: ‘Our society is often marked by a competitive consumerism which sometimes becomes aggressive or selfish.

‘When times get hard, like in the recession, we can become self-competitive and continually think about what we want.

‘But in times like this, we should be reminding ourselves to look out for others, as we all have a responsibility to look after one and other.’

The bishop went on to urge people to get more involved in the Church of England and donate money and time to the cause.

‘The level of commitment here in the Portsmouth diocese to giving our money to God is notably good,’ he said.

‘We need to build on this, first by improving the modest individual level of giving in the diocese, and second by looking to become self-sufficient in budgeted income and expenditure.

‘If we had more resources then we could support people in different ways – but that doesn’t have to be through money alone.

‘It could be through care or time, or by using our talents to help others.’

‘We are limited only by the generosity of our commitment.’