Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Bishop offers prayers to jobless

The Bishop of Worcester Rt Rev John Inge
The bishop has offered to pray for people who have lost their jobs

The Bishop of Worcester has stood outside a Jobcentre taking requests for prayers from unemployed people.

The Rt Rev John Inge collected prayer requests and handed out copies of the Church of England's prayer for those affected by redundancy in Redditch.

The bishop said he planned to say prayers for those who took up his offer at the Ash Wednesday service at Worcester Cathedral later.

He said he wanted people hit by the recession to know help was available.

'God cares'

Dr Inge, whose visit to Redditch coincides with the beginning of Lent, said: "People often ask me to 'say one for them'.

"So many people have been affected by the financial crisis and I want to let them know that their local church is there to offer support and prayers.

"By collecting people's concerns I can pray for them at the cathedral and let them know that God cares and is watching over them however difficult their situation."

A spokesman for the Church of England said Dr Inge would not read out individual names during the Cathedral service.

He said: "He will make a collective reference to them during the Ash Wednesday service and he will then place the completed cards on the altar during the service so that they are remembered in prayer collectively by those present.

"He will pray his way through them afterwards."

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Around 204,000 people are now unemployed in the region



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