BISHOP BERNARD Pearson, Bishop in Cumbria, was one of three church leaders who this week launched an interdenominational group to take action on unemployment in Cumbria.
A statement signed by Bishop Pearson, Bishop DaiitraHalsey, Bishop of Carlisle, and Mr Norman Pickering, chairman of the Cumbria District of the Methodist Church called it "an insult to human dignity to deny an individual the right to work" and "the opposite of Christianity".
On Monday, the church leaders launched an interdenominational group to advise ministers, clergy and the church leaders themselves on what action can be taken.
They have established resource groups in Carlisle. West Cumberland and Barrow-in-Furness, which are working to stimulate action and give direct help and advice. More groups will follow.
The church leaders urged the Government, educational, industrial and other organisations to act immediately. They were concerned that opportunities to alleviate unemployment were not being taken.
"We wish to stimulate action," said the statement. "As a community, we should pool resources to guide our society to face radical changes in attitudes to work."
Bishop Pearson said later that next to the North East, Cumbria had some of the worst unemployment figures in the country. In Workington, the steel works had recently closed, and one person in nine was without a job. Carlisle also had a high rate of unemployment.