As Wales faces another year of austerity and severe cut-backs in services for the elderly and the vulnerable, the challenges to charities and churches alike will be considerable, said Dr Geraint Tudur, General Secretary of the Union of Welsh Independent churches in his New Year’s Message, delivered to the press and media.
“We must not forget that Wales is one of the poorest countries in Europe. According to Save the Children, around 200,000 children – one in every three – live in poverty. Hardship is a daily fact of life for a huge number of families and for the elderly in particular. With the government grant to Welsh councils being cut by almost £150m. the effect on children’s services and social care for the elderly and infirm is bound to be severe. The closure of day centres and curtailing meals-on-wheels services will commit many elderly people to a life of extreme loneliness.
“Although Wales has always been materially poor, we have as rich a spiritual heritage as any other country in the world. I call on our churches to draw strength from that heritage, to look around and to help people who are in hardship. Jesus spent much of his time in this world amongst the sick and the poor. In 2015, there’ll be even more need and an opportunity for us to follow his example in our own communities,” said Dr Tudur.