The Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has called for leadership from politicians in a society overreliant on food banks, uncertain over Brexit, and juggling with health, education and welfare pressures.
In an ecumenical message, issued with the leaders of the main Christian churches, Archbishop Martin urged political parties to come together and give hope to those citizens suffering most due to society’s failings.
The Derry-born leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland declared that congregations were enduring “a lack of security and an absence of hope” in a message that was co-signed by the President of the Methodist Church, Rev. William Davison, the Presbyterian Moderator, Rev. Dr. Charles McMullen and the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Clarke.
“The ongoing uncertainty of Brexit has added to those worries, both for businesspeople and ordinary citizens alike. Many businesses fear for the future, while many families, struggling to make ends meet today, are anxious about what that future might hold,” they stated.
“It is a great encouragement to see the willingness of people in our local communities to reach out to their neighbours in need through initiatives such as food banks. However, the marked increase in people needing to avail of such facilities is a worrying trend.”
They warned the Stormont stalemate, “drains hope from our society, but also has meant an ever increasing pressure on our schools, our hospitals, our welfare system and many other aspects of society’s infrastructure”.
“It is the vulnerable and the marginalised that suffer most and they should be at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers as we enter into a new year,” they said.