Except for football matches churches are one of the few places in the UK where different ages, ethnic groups, and financial situations meet and get to know each other. Church Times reports the research results:
Churches are among of the few places in the UK that successfully bring people together from different ethnic backgrounds, and from different financial circumstances, new research for the Social Integration Commission suggests.
The commission appointed Ipsos Mori to carry out a study of the social habits of a cross-section of 400 people, aged from 13 to 80. Its survey suggested that attending a place of worship was the most “socially integrating” activity that people could take part in – bringing together people from across the divides of age, income, and ethnicity.
Attending football matches also ranked highly for bringing together people of different ages. The commission said that activities such as attending a place or worship, or a football match, were often seen as “tribal”, but actually helped to encourage mixing between different groups.
Michael Arditti, in his preface to his 2000 novel Easter, wrote, “One of my aims in writing Easter was to paint a comprehensive social portrait of a kind that has largely disappeared from the contemporary novel. Nowhere but the church could I find an institution where all the different classes and racial and sexual groups stood (and sat and knelt) side by side”
Do you see that in US churches? Your church?
Posted by Ann Fontaine
Photo credit: Harriet Evans for Church Times