CARE of the poor is a priority of the Church, the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, reminded his Diocesan Synod in Corfe Mullen at the weekend.
The Bishop told bishops, clergy and laity: "The care of the poor is a priority for the Church and in an economic downturn we have a special responsibility. The provision of food banks is a positive charitable response but raises questions about how we have come to depend on them and questions the nature of justice and equity in our society."
Bishop Holtam also urged his parishes to continue to talk about their priorities.
He also supported those parishes who keep their buildings open during the day for people to find sacred space in the community.
He reported on progress in talks to allow women to be ordained as bishops.
"We need to be careful with one another, perhaps especially when there are still strong disagreements, but we also need to be clear that the basic decision to have women bishops has been made and the discussion is now only about how best to do this."