Losing your job is not so bad says bishop

08:18 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Being made jobless in the recession can come as a relief, a senior Church of England bishop has claimed.

Those sacked 'seem to be relieved to get off the treadmill and to be given an opportunity to reconsider what they really want out of life', the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres said. 

Dr Chartres suggested that the credit crunch could give Britons a chance to 'reboot our sense of what a truly flourishing human life consists of'. 

The third most senior figure in the Church added: 'It is difficult to know whether to sympathise more with those who have lost their jobs or those who are left carrying even greater loads with higher targets and fewer colleagues.' 

Unions reacted sceptically. 

A TUC spokesman said: 'You don't have much time for finding yourself when you're living on £60-a-week jobseeker's allowance.' 

The praise for unemployment from the Bishop contrasts with the message put out by some of his colleagues, who have tried to sympathise with the problems faced by those thrown out of work.

Last month the Church published prayers for the recession which acknowledged the pain and confusion of redundancy, and yesterday Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu expressed his concern for 'individual hardship and families in need.'

Dr Chartres, however, said that redundancy could help ease the 'crack-berry culture' shared by many workers in his diocese.

'The 'crack-berry culture' is dangerously addictive and switching off from it is notoriously difficult,' he said; 

The bishop said his diocese was trying hard to help those laid off in the slump.

Around 150,000 people in the diocese, which covers London north of the Thames, including the City.

Bishop Chartres, whose job is not under threat because of the downturn, is paid a stipend of £57,040 a year.

However, he does not have to pay a mortgage. The bishop and his family live in a 'see house' provided free by the Church in the Old Deanery, a grade one listed Wren house next to St Paul's Cathedral.

The apartment was refurbished for him at a cost of £300,000 in 1995.

Dr Chartres, a father of four, responded to criticism of the cost of his housing by saying the accommodation used by his bachelor predecessor was inadequate and that he needed a larger residence fit for 'a public person involved in public life', rather than an 'office wallah' in a 'suburban villa'.  continues here

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