The Church in Wales has a parish in every part of Wales. We believe that this local presence is an important sign of our desire to serve and work with local communities and organisations, not just those people who come to church.
We have a deep belief that God is present in the lives of every one of us whatever our situation, age and background – whether or not we belong to a faith community.
We believe our purpose is to connect our faith in a God who creates, redeems, loves and inspires all people, with the realities of life in Wales today.
We therefore take very seriously the economic, social and environmental needs of the communities of Wales and we recognise that sustainable communities depend upon job opportunities, wealth creation, social inclusion and economic development.
We know that there are particular challenges to face in the parts of Wales that receive Convergence funding – where there is continuing deprivation, economic inactivity, poverty, debt, ill-health, limiting lifelong illness, anti-social behaviour, poor educational performance, low skills and attitudes which make some people hard to employ.
We believe that underneath the problems of poor housing, lack of infrastructure and poverty, there is a need to value and support individuals’ ability to do extraordinary things in difficult situations. We need to listen and learn from their stories.
We also recognise the importance of offering more support to individuals, families and groups who feel isolated, un-loved, lonely, ignored and who are low in self-esteem and confidence. Early prevention, community development, regeneration, training and enterprise are all important factors in making a difference to peoples’ lives.
No one agency can solve these problems working in isolation and, as a Church, we are already collaborating with others to find new and imaginative solutions to the many challenges we face across Wales in both our rural and urban communities.
As a Church we believe that we are called to make an authentic and practical connection between our worship and the lives of people and organisations throughout Wales. We are committed to seeking ways of developing our church buildings for greater community use and working more effectively with local organisations.
Through our existing projects and partnerships we:
- help families (young mothers, fathers and children) with parenting skills and domestic pressures
- work with vulnerable young people and the elderly
- support those with problems with
- encourage people into training, employability and jobs
Much is being invested in communities across Wales through different kinds of programmes, including Communities First and local strategic partnerships. The Church in Wales welcomes the opportunities that the partnership approach provides for people to work together across boundaries.
Our local communities in Wales deserve the very best and we know that own future as a Church is closely linked with their wellbeing and regeneration. God calls us to be involved at every level of life and in the example of Jesus of Nazareth shows us how this is possible.
Community doesn’t just happen. It has to be worked for and sustained so we all have our part to play and our contribution to make.