Faith Groups in the UK Provide over £3 Billion Worth of Support
Last night, 400 people attended the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster to hear the results of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits, which FaithAction have sponsored in line with their ‘Faith Too Significant to Ignore’ campaign.
A total of 57 towns, led by community champions, took part in the audits and the results show evidence of the impact and value of faith based social action in the UK.
Of 2,110 faith groups that responded, last year they contributed a total of 21,074,100 hours of volunteering, saving a total financial value of £234,866,800. “There are around 60,761 faith groups in the UK. If only 47.5% delivered what the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit’ average group did, this would mean collectively the faith sector gives annually over £3 billion worth of support.” Cinnamon Faith Action Audit National Report.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who provided the key note speech for the evening said, “The faith communities in this country have risen to the challenge in the last seven or eight years in the most extraordinary way, as they had done before, and will continue to do whatever happens in the future with the economy – because there will always be people in need, there will always be people who need not just provision but need provision wrapped up in love. And it’s when they get that that human dignity is preserved and humanity is lifted. That is why faith is a force for good in our society.”
Over the next few months, local events will take place in all the towns that participated. This will give the groups the opportunity to publicise their findings to local MPs, faith groups and public service providers.
FaithAction will provide advice and guidance on how participants can use this information and build stronger partnerships with local government, policy makers and funders. This will include adopting the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society’s Faith Covenant, a framework for local authorities and faith groups to work better together.
The landscape is changing for the voluntary sector, making the need for faith groups supporting their communities ever more essential; “they are always the first in and last out” said Daniel Singleton, National Director for FaithAction.
Anthony McKernan, Project Manager of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits said, “What has been thrilling for me is to see that in every town and community there are people of faith selflessly serving. These 57 audits have given everyone a new evidence base that I hope will foster greater partnerships for social action across the UK.”
FaithAction would like to congratulate the faith groups and community champions who participated in the audits for helping to show that faith is too significant to ignore.
Read the results and report from last night’s event for the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits here http://www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/cinnamon-faith-action-audits/
Faith Too Significant to Ignore is FaithAction’s national campaign that highlights the invaluable work of faith groups serving their communities. FaithAction announced their sponsorship of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits during this conference in November 2014. See the report
Cinnamon Network began at the end of 2010 in response to growing social need, public sector reform, increasing recognition of the role of voluntary organisations and the economic cuts. Since the early days, Cinnamon Network has partnered with projects like Christians Against Poverty, Trussell Trust Foodbanks and Street Pastors. And now Cinnamon champions over 25 church-based community projects, both big and small – aiming to provide practical support and a strong network for them to rapidly expand and grow in impact.