Leaders from across the political spectrum across the UK have commended the efforts made by local British churches to support and care for their communities throughout the pandemic, as a new poll finds perceptions of the role of the Church are improving.
The survey conducted by Savanta ComRes and commissioned in partnership by YourNeighbour and international Christian children’s charity World Vision, found that those who do not identify as Christian were more likely, since the COVID pandemic, to agree with the statement that the UK Church is making a positive difference in the world – 25% today compared with 19% three years ago. More than one in three (36%) of the total UK population agree that Christian churches are making a positive difference in the world.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor of the London-based Jesus House, church who is supporting the YourNeighbour initiative commented, “Tens of thousands of local churches across the UK have been at the frontline of the community response to the COVID pandemic, and it is encouraging to see that the impact of that work is improving public perceptions of the Church. But there is still a lot of work to be done to fully reveal the pivotal role the Church continues to play in modern society.”
The study, which surveyed 2,170 respondents, also found that 42% of UK adults agree that local Christian churches are making a positive difference in their community with 24% disagreeing. When asked what community needs Christian churches could provide for, events for the elderly and homeless services were selected most often, with both chosen by 1 in 4 UK adults (24%), closely followed by shelter for the homeless (22%) and food/clothes/toy collection and distribution (20%).
UK Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove have both spoken out in support of the UK Church on the launch of the Give Hope campaign, which has been organised by charity YourNeighbour and supported across the denominations, aiming to profile and resource the work that local churches have been doing to serve their communities during the pandemic. The campaign is aiming to help raise the resources for the continuing work needed to bring practical help and real hope to help those most affected by the crisis.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service