Birmingham Churches Together are hosting a night of prayer for the city, following its council’s effective declaration of bankruptcy. “It is time for us as people of faith to show leadership as we are the custodians of Birmingham,” the invitation reads. Birmingham City Council formally recently declared itself in financial distress announcing that all but essential spending had to stop with immediate effect. The announcement will have wide-reaching implications, particularly for the poor and vulnerable. The news came after the city’s council was hit with a £760m bill to settle equal pay claims. It’s currently in a shortfall of around £87 million but says the gap’s getting wider each month. It issued a section 114 notice, confirming that all new spending, with the exception of protecting vulnerable people and statutory services, will be halted in an effort to balance its budget.
A statement from the council has ensured that “senior officers and members are committed to dealing with the financial situation and when more information is available it will be shared”. Bishop Anne Hollinghurst, Suffragan Bishop of Church of England Birmingham and Acting Bishop of Birmingham, told Premier Christian News her prayers are with the people of Birmingham following this difficult news: “The churches and faith communities will continue to play their part in supporting those in need throughout our communities.” “My prayers are with all those who will be directly affected by the unfolding measures. Prayers too are with our new Council Leader, John Cotton, and his Deputy, as with colleagues they commit to doing everything they can to protect essential services and seek to have the city back on a firm financial footing,” she added.
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