CHURCH community projects
in the diocese of London benefit the capital by £33 million a year,
a new study suggests.
The report Beyond
Sundays says that more than 1000 such projects, involving
about 10,000 volunteers, helped 200,000 Londoners. It suggests that
church groups raise £17 million a year, but that their involvement,
often volunteer, almost doubles the projects' value - and that is
without costing the use of church premises.
The Bishop of London, the
Rt Revd Richard Chartres, said that the report illustrated "the
remarkable support that churches provide for so many in their
parishes: practically, for the mother who can't afford to put food
on the table; emotionally, for the young person who is being
bullied; spiritually, for the family who have lost a parent.
"The church community
gives the opportunity to belong, to be known, and for lives to be
transformed in a unique and sustainable way."
The projects include the
IntoUniversity Hammersmith centre, which provides support and
guidance to help disadvantaged young people - about 10,000
school-leavers annually - to enter higher education. Last year, 77
per cent went to university.
The SPACE Project at St
Peter's, West Harrow, offers a listening and mentoring service for
young women and girls who struggle with issues of self-esteem; and
a partnership between St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, in the City, and
the charity Suited and Booted, provides interview clothing and
interview-technique training for the long-term unemployed.