Category Archives: Places of worship

Faith and Place network members speak out on planning issues

A number of Faith and Place network members have contributed to recent press stories about noise pollution. Yemi Adedeji, of the One People Commission, and Dr Andrew Rogers, University of Roehampton, spoke to the planning issues faced by new black majority churches for the December 2014 – January 2015 edition of Environmental Health News (EHN) (subscription only). Entitled ‘Peace on Earth’, the piece addresses issues around ‘noise pollution’ and planning more broadly, identifying a number of good practice cases.

A Sunday Times article on 21st December 2014 (today) takes a less eirenic tone, headlined ‘“St Boombox” ruins silent nights‘. Largely focussing on noise issues for new black majority churches, it nevertheless quotes from Ade Amooba, Danny Webster and Dr Andrew Rogers on the growth of new black majority churches and their exuberant worship, as well as the need to review planning policy for such minority faith groups.

“Places of worship most potent at mixing people from different social classes and races”

Recent research by the Social Integration Commission has identified churches and other places of worship as more successful than any other social setting at bringing people of different backgrounds together. This is ahead of gatherings such as parties, meetings or venues such as pubs and clubs. The caveat is that spectator sports were the most successful at bringing people of different ages together.

Reported in the Sunday Telegraph on 7/12/14,  the chair of the Commission said:

“Institutions play a huge role in determining how and with whom we interact. Our research shows that, perhaps contrary to perceived wisdom, activities such as attending a place of worship or a sporting event can bring people from all sorts of backgrounds together.

“These institutions could play a leading role in promoting social integration. Sporting and religious bodies should explore what more they can do to help build a better integrated society.”

You won’t find these points about places of worship and social integration in the downloadable reports by the Commission, but they have sent the Faith and Place network some of their data sets, as such a finding resonates with themes raised at our first Perspectives event.