Growing church through social action

A national survey of church-based action to tackle poverty

February 2012

There is a hypothesis that when a church looks outward - actively loving and serving its neighbours, especially the 'least of these' - then the church will be healthier and will grow.

Comissioned by Church Urban Fund and conducted by Christian Research Consultancy, the aim of this research is to explore the impact that social growth has on churches, as well as on the communities they serve. How does active engagement in the community help to stimulate church 'growth'?

This project combined face-to-face, in-depth interviews with a selection of clergy from churches that were known to be active in tackling poverty in their communities with an online survey of around 900 Church of England clergy. 

Church growth is a priority within the Church of England. In their report entitled Challenges for the New Quinquennium, the House of Bishops and the Archbishops' Council outline their vision: to take forward the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church of England, including the growth of its capacity to serve all communities throughout England.

This research gives some insight into how this can be acheived.