Swindon Churches Together
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Church Audit Report

Churches in Swindon contribute over £6m-worth of voluntary effort to the local economy every year, according to a new survey of church activity in the Borough.

The Swindon Churches Audit, launched at an event for community, church and political leaders on Monday, 16th January 2012, was commissioned by the umbrella group Swindon Churches Together and undertaken by the Churches’ Council for Industry and Social Responsibility (ISR).

The audit reviewed 49 churches and church organisations of all denominations across the Borough and found that a total of 4,800 of their members were involved in church based voluntary work, and a further 3,000 in voluntary work outside their churches. This equates to a total of approximately 610,000 hours of voluntary labour offered per year which, if valued at £10 per hour, represents a £6.1m contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of the area.

Other key findings included:

  • 16,000 people attend 670 church-run activities each week, giving an annual footfall of 832,000
  • 360 non church-run activities take place in church premises
  • 325 community projects or activities are supported by churches and 280 are run by churches themselves. On average each church in the Borough supports or runs six such projects.
  •  There are 180 active partnerships between churches and other organisations; and 60 partnerships with schools

Audit launch
Bishop Lee

Commenting on the findings, the Rt Rev Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon and also Chair of Swindon Churches Together, said:  “The picture painted by this audit is very encouraging and describes in a meaningful way the true impact of the work done by churches across Swindon in support of our corporate wellbeing as a Borough. In the direct provision of activities and services, in sharing their resources and buildings and in working in partnership with other agencies, Christians in Swindon and the surrounding area are making a real difference to people across the Borough and a significant contribution to our economy and the strength of our communities.  Of course there is always more that could be done and I am confident that this report will provide the impetus for further discussions and a springboard for new ideas and partnerships in the future.”

 

“The Audit reinforces the evidence that Christians are highly motivated to make a difference in their communities, stepping forward in response to need and in obedience to Jesus and his cause.  It clearly demonstrates the tremendous range of activities supported or sponsored by churches and raises the question of how we might work more fruitfully with the Borough.  The Report also prompts uncomfortable questions about sustainability and how effective churches have been in drawing others to faith and belonging.”

To see the full report click Swindon Churches Audit Report

Audit report front page