The Church of England must be “more up-front” about the dangers of alcohol abuse, a leading Anglican Bishop has argued.
Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch said: “The Church of England continues to encourage the biblical principle of moderation. But the Church must be more up-front about alcohol’s insidious and evil effects.”
“This is an important moral issue and a matter of social conscience”, he added.
The Bishop, writing in his diocesan magazine, criticised the havoc wrought by excessive drinking.
Families were being destroyed by the bottle when his grandmother was a child, and lives are still being wrecked by drunkenness, he pointed out.
The “destructive effects” of drunkenness, such as crime, violence, broken homes and damaged health, remain “alarmingly high”, he warned.
The Bishop also said that recent television coverage of Manchester’s Chief Constable on duty and his own daughter’s experience as an accident and emergency nurse both “point unmistakeably to alcohol abuse and misuse as the biggest social problem we face”.
He concluded: “If the Church is serious about addressing the problems of society, then it needs to get more serious about the destructive powers of alcohol”.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Labour’s disastrous 24-hour drinking laws look set to be ditched under new coalition Government plans.
The previous Government hoped to create a ‘café culture’ with its all-day drinking laws, but there is now widespread agreement that this failed to materialise.
Now the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has released a consultation document that could help councils tackle the problems caused by 24-hour drinking.
In May, a senior judge said that Britain’s binge drinking culture is to blame for the rise of violence plaguing our communities.
“Ordinary, decent people” have been left too scared to walk the streets at night because of alcohol-fuelled yobs, warned District Judge Alan Berg.
Judge Berg, speaking after jailing a female student who he labelled a “drunken barbarian”, raised concern that young people, especially women, were now going out with the “sole purpose of getting hopelessly drunk”.
In April, ex-Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair said the effects of Labour’s 24-hour drinking policy had been disastrous.
He said he believed that the policy of all-day drinking was a “serious mistake”.
Sir Ian, who left the Met Police in 2008, said the hoped for café culture was never achievable for Britain and now our cities need to be saved from the chaos left behind.