Loving Thy Neighbour is Priceless – But It’s Also Worth £3 Billion

On Saturday, The Times newspaper ran an article about Cinnamon Network, and the results of the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits.

Street Angels

Street Angels

The article began, “If you are drunk, disorientated and alone in Watford on a Friday night, the chances are you will be helped by Christian in a black jacket. The modern day “good Samaritan” will try to find your friends, give you a blanket if it is cold, and may even pay for your taxi home. The figure’s jacket will bear a logo that says “Street Angels”.

The article quotes Debbie Sharp, a local Watford chaplain, who says how she loves the work, because “every single time we will have made a difference … it’s where Jesus would be.”

The Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust

The article goes on to report, “the charity the Cinnamon Network – that partners with UK churches to set up charitable projects – has presented research which demonstrates that this rising tide of faith community volunteering is worth £3 billion a year”. It quotes the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech to Cinnamon on May 20, that faith groups have responded to austerity “in the most extraordinary way, offering not just provision but provision wrapped up in love.”

The article describes the nature of Cinnamon’s Recognised Projects, pioneered by organisations such as The Trussell Trust and Christians Against Poverty (CAP). It quotes David McCauley, the CEO of the Trussell Trust who emphasises the social aspect of the gospel message.

Christians Against Poverty

Christians Against Poverty

CAP’s London partnership manager, Helen Norris says, “We have found that more and more churches are really looking for resources to be able to meet the needs that they see, so that [local churches] do not have to reinvent the wheel and can take what works for the community.”

The article continues with the statement “it is hoped that the report will encourage civic body such as councils, NHS trusts and police forces, to not be wary of faith groups but to recognise the power of their contribution to social action”.

You can read the full article HERE (behind a subscription paywall). You can read the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit UK report HERE. You can read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s message about the report HERE. You can see a report by BBC London News on the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits HERE.

 

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