There have been a series of reports published recently, including one examining the increase in collaboration between faith groups and local councils during the pandemic, one looking at the value of churches’ contributions to community support, and two others looking at Islamophobia and the rise of religious intolerance over race intolerance.

Keeping the Faith – report

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith & Society has recently been published, highlighting how collaboration between local authorities and faith groups has dramatically increased in the pandemic.

Transformation Cornwall and Cornwall VSF contributed to this report, and it makes interesting reading. You can download the full report from Transformation Cornwall’s website. Among other headlines:

  • 67% of local authorities report that there has been an increase in partnership working with faith groups since the start of the pandemic;
  • 76% of local authorities expect that new partnerships undertaken with faith groups during the pandemic will continue afterwards. 47% of them want these partnerships to continue on a changed basis after the pandemic;
  • 91% of local authorities describe their experience of partnership with faith groups as ‘Very Positive’ or ‘Positive’.

Cornwall VSF is working increasingly to include faith groups in our Membership and activities. if your faith-based organisation is interested in becoming a Member, please visit this page to find out why, and fill in your details here.

The value of the church to society

The Church of England has published a report putting a figure on the social efforts of churches and congregations, including food banks, mother-and-toddler groups, homeless outreach and more. The total comes to a staggering £12.4bn, which includes Christian denominations of all kinds, but not any other religious group.

The Church of England said its 16,000 churches were running or supporting 35,000 projects before the Covid-19 pandemic, including 8,000 food banks, 4,000 parent-toddler groups, 5,000 lunch clubs or coffee mornings, 2,700 community cafes, 2,400 night shelters and 2,300 breakfast or holiday clubs for children.

You can read the full report which was commissioned by the National Churches Trust, here.

Working towards a better understanding of Islamophobia – report

The British Journal of Community Justice has published a paper investigating Islamophobia, and wider issues of racial and religious hate crimes. It examines the experience and impact of anti-Muslim hate and Islamophobia on Muslims, and those who are ‘misidentified’ by perpetrators as being Muslim, and the consequences that this experience can have upon victims and their wider community.

You can read the full report here.

Religious intolerance is ‘bigger cause of prejudice than race’, says report

How We Get Along, a two-year study of diversity by the Woolf Institute, is due to conclude that most people are tolerant of those from different ethnic or national backgrounds, but many have negative attitudes based on religion.

Muslims were most often the subject of negative attitudes held by other faith groups, but were also the group most likely to hold negative attitudes towards people of other religions.

The Guardian has an interesting article giving a summary of the report, which you can read in full on the link above.