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Church social action projects making a difference

14th December 2023 | From our team

The Clewer Initiative

Statistics for Mission 2022 was published in November 2023 and is an annual report looking at attendance and participation across the Church of England.

This year’s summary is illuminating as it contains figures showing the impact of the pandemic on the worshipping life of churches. As many of you will have already heard, levels of attendance and participation in 2022 were higher than in 2021 but still lower than in 2019, pre-pandemic.

Of particular interest to the team at The Clewer Initiative was the number of Church of England churches heavily involved in social action and community outreach.

It revealed that:

  • 77 per cent of churches were involved in one or more forms of social action in 2022.
  • Churches reported they were involved in 31,300 social action projects – with churches running 14,100 social action projects themselves and hosting another 3,400 projects. A further 4,200 projects were carried out in partnership with other organisations and 9,700 projects were supported by churches in other ways.
  • A remarkable 2,000 of those responding reported that they ran three or more different social action projects.
  • Churches were particularly involved in running or supporting food banks, hospitality for older people, and parent and toddler groups.
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These findings underline the vital role the church plays in reaching out to the most vulnerable in society. Up and down the country, every week, clergy, staff and volunteers are pioneering social action projects and coming into contact with the sort of people that could be vulnerable to exploitation. It is crucial that these grassroots volunteers know what signs to look out for and what to do if they have any suspicions.

That is why The Clewer Initiative exists. We are unique in our position, serving and equipping Church of England parishes as they press on in reaching out to their communities.

Our safeguarding courses, training seminars, toolkits and posters contain everything someone in a social action project would need to know about modern slavery and exploitation in the UK. We have posters that can be displayed in food banks, cafes and toddler groups to inform potential victims about their rights and about exploitation and we also have posters suitable for behind the scenes to equip volunteers and leaders.

Help us share this information with church social action project leads - we are here to provide support, training and signposting.

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Parish Safeguarding Newsletter

The Clewer Initiative publishes a newsletter update every two months for Parish Safeguarding Officers. This provides information on our latest work, resources and training courses, equipping PSOs to recognise and respond to modern slavery in their local community.

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