THE CONTRIBUTION of faith communities to the economy of the Yorkshire and Humber region amounts to almost £300 million per annum, the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum (YHFF) announced last week.
Launching Grace and Generosity, a report on economic-impact assessment undertaken on behalf of the YHFF, Isobel Mills, deputy regional director of the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, said that the report documented “in a practical and concrete way” the contribution of faith communities to the region.
“What is particularly striking is the enormous diversity of this contribution, which ranges from sharing with national and international visitors the majesty of York Minster, to helping the homeless help themselves through projects such as the one St George’s Crypt in Leeds runs.”
The YHFF commissioned the report, believing that the faith communities’ economic contribution has “largely been unquantified and undervalued”. Among other findings, the report says: “Faith communities employ the equivalent of 540 full-time staff and give one million hours of time on a voluntary basis. This has an economic replacement value of around £282 million.
“Adding to this the £10 million in equivalent rent by the use of faith buildings for social projects, and £4 million from day-visitors and tourists to faith heritage sites, the total contribution to the Yorkshire and Humber economy is around £300 million per year.”