National Church and Social Action Survey Results Launch EventFebruary 17, 2013
On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2013, the 2012 National Church and Social Action Survey Results Launch Event was held in the Houses of Parliament. Lord Wei, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Faith and Communities Minister and Martin Charlesworth, Team Leader, Jubilee+ addressed a audience of representatives from Parliament, Church denominations, Faith Charities and the media.
Lord Wei, patron of ACT Network, co-publishers of the report, introduced the meeting and said, “At a time when, in the last few weeks, the role of faith in public life has been one of heightened debate, and in which Christians or followers of Jesus find themselves at times portrayed unfairly as out of touch with society, we have found evidence that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of believers are in fact serving in countless ways, giving of their time and resources however they can, and that indeed this activity has increased significantly over the last two years.”
He concluded, “For hundreds of years in this nation, churches have formed the bedrock of community, of social solidarity, and of service to those in need following Christ’s example. I am glad today to note and to highlight the great contribution they and their members continue to make in knitting together the fabric of our society. We should never take their role for granted nor dismiss Christian faith and action to the dustbin of history, but show tolerance and respect for a radical movement of compassion that has been instrumental in helping to keep this country together.”
Baroness Warsi, Faith and Communities Minister, congratulating Jubilee+ for pulling the research together, said, “There is one big reason why I have made the case for faith. Why I continue to do so in my role as Minister for Faith at home… And why, as a Foreign Office Minister, I have made freedom of religion and belief a priority… And that’s because people who do God do good. In other words, very often faith is the basis for good deeds.It influences, it inspires, it impels at every turn. We may see the manifestation of faith as a crucifix around a neck, or a spire on a skyline – which of course it is. But too often we overlook the practical manifestation of faith. The mother and toddlers’ groups, the school assemblies, the fundraiser days, the 98 million hours churchgoers spend volunteering each year. For me, that’s the most powerful manifestation of faith; the collective demonstration of people’s individual beliefs.”
Martin Charlesworth, Team Leader, Jubilee+ commented on the research itself and the tremendous social capital that churches have built and are building.
An active question and answer session followed.