Bishop Egan calls on Portsmouth community to 'pull together'

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has expressed his dismay over the announcement that BAE Systems is cutting 940 staff posts and 170 agency workers at its site in the city. The cuts will bring an end to shipbuilding in Portsmouth and it follows a drop in demand after the end of aircraft carriers work.

Bishop Egan said his “prayers and sympathy” were with those who had lost their jobs and called on the local community to “pull together”.

“The news of the impending job losses at the BAE Shipyard in Portsmouth is a cause of great sorrow for the whole city and surrounding region. My prayers and sympathy are with those most directly affected, for whom the next few weeks will be a time of great worry and uncertainty,” he said.

“It will be important for the whole community to pull together in solidarity with these, our neighbours, friends and families, to ensure that hardship is avoided and the necessity and dignity of new work can be found. The loss of such an historic part of the life of the city and region will leave many bewildered and lost.

“The Catholic Community stands ready to work with other Christians and people of goodwill to do whatever it can to help, to bind up the wounds and restore the resilience of the City and surrounding areas. We will pray especially for those affected at Masses this Sunday in St John’s Cathedral.”