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Jobcentre prayer visit receives a mixed blessing.

The Bishop of Worcester received a mixed reaction when he dropped in to a Midland Jobcentre Plus to take prayer requests from the unemployed.

The Rt Rev John Inge gave people the chance to fill out forms detailing their concerns and worries during the credit crunch, when he visited the Jobcentre Plus in Redditch yesterday. The Redditch local authority area has seen a particularly significant increases in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the past six months, with almost 1,000 more claimants in January than in August last year.

At the end of the day he took the requests to Worcester Cathedral where he made a wider mention of them during the prayers in a service for Lent.

Dr Inge said: "There is an enthusiasm for prayer among many people and lots of them want prayers said on their behalf. Prayer is effective, it works and it is also there to show that the Church cares and we are here to offer our support."

But the gesture was not welcomed by everybody.

Job hunter Kimberley Chandler, from Redditch, said: "I don't see how religion can solve our problems - only the government can do that."

But others thought the move was just the tonic.

Jennifer Hayden said: "I think it is fantastic news that we have been blessed to have somebody brought here by the Lord to pray for us."

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Bishop John Inge, collects prayer suggestions from people visiting the Jobcentre in Redditch town centre
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 26, 2009
Words:249
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