Faith in England’s Northwest: How Faith Communities are Adapting to the Current Economic and Political Climate (Liverpool Hope University, 2012)
I write to invite you to the launch the above report. This event will be held at Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD on Thursday 8th March from 12noon until 2.00pm.
As Churches’ Officer for the North West in 2000 I spent eleven years based with the North West Regional Development Agency in Warrington and undertook research into the contribution made by faith communities to civil society in the region. This was followed by an Economic Impact Assessment of that contribution. This evidence enabled faith communities to make the case for a voice in the region’s decision making processes. It also led to the public funding of several faith based initiatives and the setting up of the North West Forum of Faiths. The decision to wind up regional structures by the Coalition Government in 2010 prompted the NW church leaders to undertake a review of my post. They agreed that it should continue. I currently work from a desk at Liverpool Hope University, the only ecumenical university foundation in Europe.
The Big Society has highlighted the role of faith groups and the wider voluntary sector. However, at the same time as it is being encouraged to respond to increasing levels of deprivation, civil society’s own capacity is diminishing. The new report is published on behalf of the North West Forum of Faiths in partnership with Liverpool Hope University. It takes the existing sample of faith based organisations from the Faith in England’s Northwest: How faith communities contribute to social and economic wellbeing (NWDA 2009) and asks how they are adapting to hard times. How are they managing when existing funding streams are drying up? What are their survival mechanisms? The projects considered are drawn from a spectrum of major world faiths and from all parts of the region.
The event on 8th March will commence at 12pm. After a welcome from Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University, Kathy Pitt, Chief Executive of the Nugent Care Society will give a keynote address. This will be followed by a presentation on the findings of the new research. Lunch will then be served in the EDEN Arbour room.
Copies of the report will be available on the day.
Please let us know by 1st March 2012 if you are able to attend by contacting Ms Jacqui Sanders, Corporate Events Officer at Liverpool Hope University, on 0151 291 3567 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to seeing you on 8th March.
Monsignor John Devine, OBE