Social action projects
07 November 2018 IN: National News
More than 33,000 social action projects - from food banks to debt counselling - are run or supported by churches, according to figures setting out for the first time the full scale of the Church of England’s service to communities.
The findings – which amount to the largest survey to date of the extent of the Church of England’s work with some of the most vulnerable in society – show that 80% of congregations are involved in one or more forms of social action.
Data gathered from 13,000 churches shows that the biggest area of work is in food banks - with 60%, or nearly 8,000 churches - involved in either running or supporting food banks through volunteers, donations and providing venues.
Nearly a third of Church of England churches run or support parent and toddler groups; just over a quarter lunch clubs; and just over one in five community cafes. Holiday clubs and breakfast clubs, often providing meals to children from low income families, are supported or run by nearly 17% of churches.
Other community action projects supported or run by the Church of England’s churches involved a range of activities from bereavement support and community gardens to music events and English language tuition.
The figures on the extent of social action by Church of England churches were collected as part of the annual Statistics for Mission 2017 survey.
The Bishop of Manchester recently announced awards for churches that have developed new and innovative projects that put community and tackling social injustice at the heart of their work. Find out more.