As the Bishop of Bradford officially opened a food bank on a local council estate, volunteers from local churches said that they would be praying and working for the day when it would no longer be needed and could close again.
The comments came as Bishop Toby Howarth cut the ribbon on the door of the Wyke Food Bank – and are recorded on a video diary of the week (click on picture, left, to watch).
It was part of a week of visits across the Bowling and Horton Deanery, meeting with clergy and laity, visiting foodbanks at both Wyke and Great Horton run by churches, as well as visiting local church community projects, youth clubs, and meeting with leaders of other faiths (see picture below).
The visit is the fifth and final week long visited that the Bishop has made to the five deaneries – administrative units – of the Bradford Episcopal Area within the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
Speaking at the opening of the Wyke Foodbank, Bishop Toby said, “We had the Budget yesterday and we are into a very different time in the life of our city.
“I have come here starting as bishop in January and I have spent a week going around the different areas getting to know the churches, getting to know the communities - and it is very significant the number of foodbanks I’ve visited. It is interesting talking to people there, just how much the demand has gone up – so they have often started really small and they are doubling, tripling the amount of food they are having to give out.”
Speaking of the growing need Bishop Toby added, “I was here to open the food bank but actually we pray for a different day when we can put this ribbon back together and close it (the foodbank) up”.