Churches as a means of improving health in African and Caribbean communities
Food for Purpose has produced a new report, Nutrition & Wellness Roadshows for Black African & Caribbean Christian Leaders.
The findings come from a project with Black African-Caribbean church leaders, Sunday school teachers and others from Pentecostal churches in south London, which aimed to “highlight the need for the church to be part of the solution towards prevention of avoidable chronic illnesses which are prevalent in the Black community.”
Among the report’s conclusions are:
- Black church leaders and their teams are influential in affecting the lifestyle habits and choices of congregants.
- The church is a positively powerful environment regularly attended by thousands of people across South London. It offers an ample opportunity for sharing balanced spiritual, emotional and physical health messages for both children and adults.
- There is a need for more ethnically and culturally diverse resources designed to reach the Black community. There remains an inequality in terms of resources and access to treatments for both physical and mental health in South London.
- Healthy cooking sessions which reflect the food and culture of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are needed. Sessions run by African and Caribbean people would appeal to the Black community and should be funded in proportion with local demography.
- Black leaders would benefit from tools and education to help them to prioritise health in their congregations.