As a follow-up to the launch of the Theos report, The Problem of Proselytism, at an event hosted by the APPG and FaithAction at the House of Commons in October, Theos’ Director of Political Programme Peter Bickley has written a companion piece to the report, which is available via the FaithAction site.
In our research with the Church Urban Fund, published last year, we found that roughly 10 million people in England were using church or church-based community services every year. Faith-based services are amongst those being forced to step into the breach as the state is reshaped – the demand for church and faith-based social welfare services will be ever greater in the future. With a quiet revival in faith-based social action underway, perhaps supply will grow too.
This forces us to re-address the questions around terms and conditions. How does faith shape services which were previously delivered by allegedly ‘neutral’ state agencies? Are there things that faith groups shouldn’t do when providing public services (or even services to the public, if you see the distinction)? These are the questions which we attempt to answer in the report we recently launched at an event in the House of Commons co-hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society and FaithAction. That report is called, The Problem of Proselytism.