Belonging and Serving
This chapter examines perceptions of the quality of church life and the extent to which lay participants in the surveys were involved in their churches and in their communities. Churches are important institutions for encouraging people to socialize and serve those around them, and this has been a key emphasis for the Church of England over the last decade or more. Church Times readers had a strong sense of belonging to their churches, and this did not change between surveys. Church was more likely to be an important part of the social life of older people, though older people were less likely to feel they could influence decisions, which may have been related to their less active participation in church groups. Voluntary service beyond the church improved significantly between the surveys, perhaps reflecting the Church’s emphasis on serving the common good in this period.
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