My mother was a daughter of the East End of London, living through the devastation of WW2.  Her family had been through much in her life.  A sister dying at the age of 11, a brother dying from diphtheria and her father dying young, amongst other family tragedies, had left her with an outlook on life that I have attempted to follow.  I was wondering what she would say about the present situation in our country, and I could imagine her voice quite clearly, “we are where we are, Peter.”  Her attitude was quite simple and straightforward, “we will just get on with it.”  So, how would she confront the problems?  She was very much, ‘work for the best, but prepare for the worst,’ and so would always be ready to face future eventualities. 

 And so I thought of her (as indeed I so often do) but especially this time when I sat down to decipher, for the third time in the Parish News, what the latest Government action from the UK's third Prime Minister in 2022 and fourth Chancellor in 2022 was for the country’s finances and future.  There is little doubt that there are difficult times ahead, interest rates have gone up, along with food prices, and there are threats of power outages and a period of austerity.

We all use energy, and so need to save wherever we can regarding this.  First of all, the ‘Price Cap.’  The price cap is not a maximum limit on consumer energy bills, but rather a cap on how much suppliers can charge per kWh of energy used and a maximum daily standing charge.  So, the more you use the more you pay, and the less you use, the less you pay.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the government's two-year Energy Price Guarantee, originally stated to last for two years from October 2022, will now only last for 6 months.  This means that the Energy Price Cap (not the guarantee, but the price cap underneath) will be back from April when the Energy Price Guarantee ends.  The projected new energy price cap, which will start in April when the price guarantee ends, will be up 73% taking a bill for typical use (but please don’t forget, use more pay more, use less pay less) from £2,500/yr. to £4,350.

The analytics firm, ‘Cornwall Insight’ which makes predictions based on energy costs, such as the price of gas and oil on the open market, thinks the price will then drop slightly in July 2023, although it would still be up by nearly 60% overall when the cap will then be down 15% in July, to £3,700 a year for typical use.

We live in uncertain times, but when I take services at our two Churches, I am standing in the footsteps of those that also lived in and through uncertain times.  They faced the Civil War, The Plague, and The Black Death.  Two World Wars, the great depression, and the Spanish Flu epidemic. 

Yes, we also live in uncertain times, as indeed did my Mum, and she managed not only by being very frugal but also by being a part of a caring community.  A community of family and friends that were a supporting group, a caring and sharing supporting group.  So, what would my mum's (Helen) response be to what appears to be a disaster.” “This isn’t a threat, it’s the chance of an amazing new start, so let's get on with it.” 

She would, undoubtedly, be right.

Rev Peter