Churches Cooperate to Undertake Major Review
1 July 2002 at 1:07 pm
The faithful are remaining faithful….and six out of ten church-goers agree that their local church is always willing to try something new. This is one finding from the 2001 National Church Life Survey (NCLS), the largest survey of its kind in the world.
The NCLS is a co-operative venture of 19 denominations across Australia.
Over 435 000 church-goers completed the survey. They were joined worldwide by churches in England, USA and New Zealand.
The Most Rev Dr Peter Carnley, Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, launched the ‘Connections for Life’ resources.
He says the survey has gained wide acceptance as a credible and penetrating analysis of one of the nation’s most enduring and influential social institutions.
Dr Carnley says that recent controversies involving most denominations had affected confidence in the Christian churches, but those most familiar with congregational life remained committed and strongly supportive.
He says they know the extent to which their local church and its people are involved in promoting community cohesion, supporting young people and children, and in care for the disadvantaged.
He says that for the sake of this work and the committed Christian people who do it, the institutional Church must get its house in order.
During May and June, over 7000 participating Churches received a report that profiles their local situation.
Commenting on the first national results, Rev Rod Bullpitt, NCLS team member says the national profile of the churches shows solid foundations to build on. Most report very favourably on their faith and worship experience and their sense of belonging.
He says thousands make a highly significant contribution to the wider community in terms of social action, care and welfare. At the same time, there is a challenge to strengthen effective connections with the wider community, and being willing to try new initiatives will be an important starting point.
NCLS RESEARCH is a partnership between the Uniting Church Board of
Mission (NSW), ANGLICARE (NSW), and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
If you would like to comment on this report why not join our on-line Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.