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Community Spirits - an essay by Stephen Bates

One of a series of essays written by independent thinkers exploring how people and places are changing through Big Local

May 2018

“People are suspicious of faith groups in communities. If you become too open about your faith you risk losing people. But getting people out of their homes and working for the good of the area is important. We are trying to do this together.” Mark Pulford, One Palfrey Big Local

In this compelling tour of five Big Local areas, Stephen Bates interviews a range of people about how faith motivates and sustains their involvement in community. From Middlesbrough to Walsall he reveals the common ground shared by people from different religious traditions, as well as the deep commitment they bring to the dual roles of active citizen and believer.

Read the essay

Other essays in the series

'The grammar of change: Big Local neighbourhoods in action' - David Boyle

'New seeds beneath the snow?' - Julian Dobson

'Skittled out? The collapse and revival of England's social infrastructure' - Dan Gregory

'Designs on the past' - Carey Newson

'Building wealth' - Hazel Sheffield

Local Trust podcast - Community spirits

Faith is a powerful motivator, and the latest podcast from Local Trust explores how this shapes the way both individuals and religious institutions interact with deprived communities. Representatives from Big Local areas, Theos and Church Urban Fun tackle issues of debt, inter-faith cooperation, secular versus the sacred and the tension between helping a community in need without stepping into a space previously occupied by the state.

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