Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 6 Jan 2013.
According to new research, churches and other faith communities are still the strongest centres of public good in modern society.
The latest National Church Life Survey found that more than 25 per cent of attendees are involved in their church’s “welfare or justice activities” – volunteering with groups such as St Vincent de Paul, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, World Vision or Caritas – and 23 per cent are involved in broader community activities.
As journalist Andrew West observes:
For tragic and understandable reasons, it is unfashionable right now to speak well of the institutional church. It will remain so for quite a while. But when someone with a friendly face delivers a meal to your aged parents’ door, or dresses your wounds in an emergency ward, or leads a delegation to Canberra arguing for aid for the world’s most wretched, it might be worth considering the role that faith has played in their lives and, by extension, in yours.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.