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If you need help, turn to a churchgoer

14 February 2014

THE Church Times readership survey has indicated a high level of volunteering by C of E clergy and congregations.

More than 4500 responded to our survey last summer and autumn. One question we asked related to unpaid work. Two-thirds (66.6 per cent) said that they were currently involvedin some form of unpaid community work. More than one-third of respondents (34.5 per cent) said that they were involved in two or more fields.

Education and children's work were the most common, followed by community action (18.2 per cent), cultural activities (17.6 per cent), and social welfare (9.5 per cent). Health, the environment, human rights, world development, and political activity all scored about five per cent.

Church volunteers are at least twice as active as the general population. The last Government's citizenship survey, in 2010, found that 29 per cent of respondents were engaged in some form of volunteering at least once a month. The degree of civic participation was 34 per cent.

These national figures include a proportion of churchpeople. One third (36 per cent) of volunteering was with religious groups. The degree of community engagement among non-churchpeople, therefore, was considerably lower.

The fourth and final part of the health check appears on 28 February.


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