New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
UK >

Church sets young people right

by Paul Wilkinson

Posted: 17 Jan 2014 @ 12:23

NATIONAL CHURCHES TRUST

Click to enlarge

Calming: the Beauchamp Chapel at St Mary's, Warwick, has received £40,000 for urgent repairs, part of a £645,000 "rescue package" for places of worship, granted by the National Churches Trust this week

Credit: NATIONAL CHURCHES TRUST

Calming: the Beauchamp Chapel at St Mary's, Warwick, has received £40,000 for urgent repairs, part of a £645,000 "rescue package" for places of worship, granted by the National Churches Trust this week

YOUNG people who regularly visit a place of worship are less likely to be involved in petty crimes such as shoplifting, vandalism, and illegal music-downloading, and they are also unlikely to use drugs, a study led by Mark Littler, a Ph.D. student at the University of Manchester, suggests.

"This research implies that the act of visiting a place of worship may trigger a significant reduction in the likelihood of involvement in certain types of criminal and delinquent behaviour," he said.

In the study, Mr Littler questioned 1214 adults aged between 18 and 34, last July. "In line with existing American research, my results suggest that it is the act of mixing with fellow believers that is important, regardless of whether this is via formal worship, involvement in faith-based social activities, or simply through spending time with family and friends who share your faith. The important thing is exposure to people who encourage pro-social behaviours, and can provide sanctions for their breach."

Full details of his work, which was funded by the Bill Hill Charitable Trust, which works for the relief of poverty and the promotion of the Christian religion, will be published later this year.

The survey gathered information on littering, skipping school or work, using illegal drugs, fare-dodging, shoplifting, music piracy, property damage, and violence against the person. More serious crimes were too rare to be able to show a significant pattern.

"These results suggest a more positive picture of Britain's religious life than the doom and gloom you might read about it in the newspapers," Mr Littler said. "But they are not necessarily a blow to the proponents of atheism: religious practice is just one way of gaining exposure to the pro-social behavioural norms that are at the heart of this relationship; other, more secular activities may equally serve a similar role."

Job of the week

Archdeacon

Europe

Diocese in Europe The Church of England Archdeacon of Germany & Northern Europe and Archdeacon of the East (with a diocesan brief for mission) This is a unique opportunity to contribute to th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

The advocacy and the ecstasy

The advocacy and the ecstasy

St Teresa, born in Avila 500 years ago this weekend, is often depicted in a religious fervour. But there was much more to her than that, writes Laurie Vere  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Can Christians be trendy?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Lessons from history can teach us how to live

The long shadow of the past can not only illuminate the present but also point to a more hopeful future, writes David Monteith  Subscribe to read more

Sun 29 Mar 15 @ 9:38
RT @MadsDaviesV sad piece by Christina Patterson in S Times. Have any youth leaders read it? http://t.co/irRPTqNfgr http://t.co/Nz5GUM9SeU

Sat 28 Mar 15 @ 17:15
"Crude, insensitive, and paternalistic" - Franklin Graham condemned by Evangelical leaders http://t.co/fxGu6MbYWG http://t.co/HDgzZphVEz