Friday, 11 July 2014

Good Neighbours

The Church Urban Fund and Theos yesterday published a report Good Neighbours: How Churches Help Communities Flourish. From the press release:

10 million rely on church community, new research shows

New research conducted for Church Urban Fund, shows that 10 million adults a year use community services provided by churches and church-run organisations. This is more than half of all those who access these services. The wide range of support includes food banks, luncheon clubs and night shelters along with relationship courses, financial advice and access to computers and the internet.

In a foreword to the Church Urban Fund/Theos report Good Neighbours: How Churches Help Communities Flourish, launched yesterday in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “This report demonstrates the scale and nature of that love for neighbour in practical action. It shows that relationships are at the heart of every community, and that churches are at the heart of local communities. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Church is part of the solution for building community blessing at every level.”

The full report and an executive summary can be downloaded from the Church Urban Fund website here.

In this new piece of research, Church Urban Fund and Theos set out to understand the impact of local churches in deprived communities in England. We sought to explore what churches do to support people in their communities, and also how and why they do it.

This research project is a ‘critical appreciation’ of what churches offer their communities – it argues that church-based activities offer both breadth of national reach and depth. It shows that:

  • The Church in England reaches approximately 10 million people each year through its community activities, even excluding ‘familiar’ church activities – Sunday services, Christmas, Easter, Harvest, baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
  • Churches reach people in a uniquely relational way, building platforms for neighbourliness and relationships to grow.
Posted by Simon Kershaw on Friday, 11 July 2014 at 1:01pm BST | TrackBack
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