TLT Survey 2014

TLT Survey 2014

Firstly, a massive ‘Thank You’ to everyone who filled in the TLT survey earlier this year: 129 responses were received from churches and projects throughout the diocese; this represents a response rate of 49%.

The overall picture the survey provided was deeply encouraging and painted a picture of our diocese that’s rich and heavily engaged in tackling poverty in all its various forms at a local level. 92% of the churches (and projects) which responded had already established a regular activity which met a need in their local community. 70% of were working with frail, elderly people, 31% were working with families with complex needs and 22.5% were working with unemployed people over the age of 18. The table below (Fig. 1) shows the different areas of work as well as the level of interaction our churches have with the individual issues. And we’re generally good at sharing our work – 70% of respondents were working in partnership with other churches and organisations in their community.

Figure 1.

Q11. Are you addressing any of the following issues in any of the ways specified?

Issues

Signposting to other agencies

Allowing community groups to use your premises

Running a project

Addiction

43 responses

15 responses

6 responses

Health & Well being

42 responses

41 responses

10 responses

Domestic Abuse

45

2

6

Homelessness

54

7

10

Mental Health problems

41

14

10

Debt &financial hardship

50

12

17

Relationship/ family breakdown

42

6

11

 

Across the Diocese, issues within local communities which were highlighted by the respondents as causing greatest concern were loneliness and isolation (58.4%), debt (32.8%), family and relationship problems (32%), health and well-being (28%) and alcohol and substance addiction (27.2%)

The data provided for the issues which respondents felt caused most concern were broken down by local authority areas. On the Wirral the top 3 concerns were lonliness and isolation, family/relationship problems and health and well-being. Churches within Cheshire East identified the loneliness and isolation, and family and relationship problems as the top two most pressing issues.

The priorities were slightly different in CWAC: loneliness and isolation, poor transport links, debt and family/relationship problems were highlighted.

So the survey highlighted both the pressing needs of communities and also brought to light the exciting and diverse work being done by our churches in this diocese to tackle poverty and alleviate these needs. It’s an amazing picture!

So What?

What difference will this actually make?

Well, firstly, let’s just take a moment to think about what we’re a part of. The report published in June this year by Church Urban Fund and Theos (which you can find here) highlighted the ongoing impressive work of the church in England. The sheer number of people reached, outside of ‘familiar’ church activities is staggering – 10 million people each year access some form of social welfare through a Christian community. Churches play a pivotal role in enriching their community and helping it to flourish, with a particualr emphasis on encouraging neighbourliness by developing relationships and social connections. The experience of those benefiting from the churches outreach is overwhelmingly positive, with the majority finding the care provided by the church to be empathetic, trust-worthy and personal. As such, church-based social action is more likely to be embedded in the local community, and share a sense of joint ‘ownership’.

And of course, this is just the beginning of the picture. The thing which makes us truly unique is the awesome task we have been entrusted with to share the love of the risen Christ in our communities and for the welfare of our cities. I think what’s truly exciting is how in our diocese the shared understanding our survey highlighted is that we offer the love of Christ through our actions and outreach as part of our proclamation of the Gospel.

The survey is going to assist Transforming Lives Together to equip and enable more people and churches to reach their communities in new and exciting ways through the start of a really useful database. The information provided has not just already helped shape the initial direction of TLT, but also enabled the beginnings of a diocesan wide connection of those on the ‘front line’. Through offering support and encouragement, prayer and time and money, TLT hopes to see these connections flourish in order to see the work of each individual and church flourish and grow.

So What’s Next?

Perhaps the most exciting response of all was that 98% of those surveyed wanted to do more to reach their communities. As God’s people we collectively recognise the need to grow and reach out and do something more to reach our neighbours with Christ’s love, through loving word and loving action. In this way together we will see the Kingdom grow and be a positive force for good in our local communities.

Over to you – what do you want to do? What’s your dream for your community and your church? What part of God’s mission have you caught a vision of? What do you want to do about it?

Contact Jenny Mayo-Lythall to talk further on 01928 718834 ext. 261 or email  jenny@transforminglivestogether.org.uk

Author: Rev Jenny Mayo-Lythall

Date: 11 November 2014

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