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The Bishop of Penrith signs pledge to support social justice

The Bishop of Penrith has added his support to a cross-denominational pledge for social action and social justice in Cumbria.

The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Robert Freeman signs the pledge for social justiceThe Rt Rev Robert Freeman joined a party of Cumbrian church leaders for a joint signing of the pledge at Kendal’s Manna House, a charity which supports homeless and vulnerable people.

The pledge signing event was organised by Churches Together in Cumbria.

Bishop Robert said: “I was delighted to be offered the chance to help reaffirm the need for all of us as church families to protect the marginalised in our society.

“We must never forget that there are those in our county who are desperately trying to make ends meet, those who don’t have enough to eat, and those who face the real prospect of losing their homes.

“It’s vitally important as Christians, both individually and collectively, we do all we can to reach out to those that need our help. There’s tremendous work going on in our county already through organisations such as the Foodbanks and Credit Unions to provide those people in need with the support.

“But we must not lose sight of the fact that these problems are real and are still being played out in many people’s lives on a daily basis.

“By signing this pledge we’re demonstrating our acknowledgment that more still needs to be done to help and support those in need as well as showing our commitment, through Christian love and support, to those who remain marginalised.”

The Church Leaders who signed the pledge were:

Bill Bewley, representative of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers);

Bishop Michael Campbell, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster;

Rev Andrew Dodd, Network Minister for Cumbria of the North Western Baptist Association;

The Rt Rev Robert Freeman, the Anglican Suffragan Bishop of Penrith;

Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader of the North Western Division of the Salvation Army; 

Rev Jennet McLeod, Deputy Chair of the Cumbria District of the Methodist Church; and

Rev Sarah Moore, Area President for Cumbria of the North Western Synod of the United Reformed Church.

The pledge reads:

“As we celebrate the inspiring work of Manna House with some of the most marginalised members of our community, we the leaders of the Churches in Cumbria together pledge our continuing support for faith-based social action and community initiatives around the county, both rural and urban.

We will seek to listen to and prioritise the voices of poor and marginalised people in our communities.

We call on policymakers to tackle the problems of poverty, hunger and isolation. We particularly highlight the need to: pay a living wage, review zero hours contracts, ensure that the welfare state once again provides a robust defence against destitution, and protect the viability of rural and isolated communities through the retention of services.”


Note for editors
Manna House is a registered charity providing advice, advocacy, training and a drop-in support centre for the residents of South Lakeland including those who are vulnerably housed, homeless, lonely or generally in need of help.


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at

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