Houses of faith in Eindhoven are worried about rising energy costs. There are not yet acute financial problems.
“We see in our community that more and more people are struggling,” said Sevket Tahtali, a director of the Mevlana Mosque. “But the need is not so high that we should immediately start organizing all kinds of actions to help people.”
Should the need arise, that wouldn’t be easy either, Tahtali says. “On the contrary, we see donations decreasing precisely because people have to watch their spending more. Even though you would actually want to do more to help those in need.”
The problem at the El Madinah mosque on Castle Square is greater. “We only have a small community. As a result, we ourselves struggle to keep our heads above water. The energy costs are so high, while we depend on donations from our members to make everything financially possible,” said a spokesperson.
Tightening your belt
René Wilmink, the pastor of St. George Parish, also sees that people are struggling. The parish itself needs to tighten its belt. “We are very aware that we have to be frugal this year. That is always good of course, but now it is necessary,” Wilmink said.
“And the churchgoer is also understanding. The usage of energy is less at home, also in the church,” Wilmink continued.
“That’s the only way we can cope. We’re an independent parish, so we can’t rely on subsidies or things like that. We urge people to dress properly and warmly when they come to Mass. Whether we hand out blankets? No, but if people want to bring their own, of course, they can,” Wilmink said.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.