The Bishop of Durham has called for action to combat an increase in child poverty.
The Rt Revd Paul Butler is among several Anglican bishops calling for action in response to a report by the End Child Poverty coalition.
The report finds that nearly half of all children in some areas are living in poverty - over three and a half million.
Bishop Paul said: “This report is deeply concerning.
“Rising living costs are already making it incredibly difficult for many families and will only be exacerbated by the four-year freeze on most children’s benefits.
“This is on top of the reduction in the benefit cap, which came into effect on Monday.
“Behind these poverty figures are the stories of individual families who are unable to meet even the basic essentials of life.”
He added: “As a society, we owe these children more.
“In light of these figures and recent inflation forecasts, I encourage the Government to end the freeze on children’s benefits and consider reversing the cuts to in-work benefits being introduced under Universal Credit.”