Can churches have a role in local economic development? A new project – Unlocking the Next Economy – will help churches renew their social purpose through community wealth building, as Jonny Gordon- Farleigh explains Where did the idea for the project come from? I’m the director of Stir to Action, which publishes the magazine Stir and also supports community economic development projects. A big part of that work is about looking at local assets and seeing how they can support local economic development. Whether it’s looking at how land could be used to grow food, how roofs could host renewables or under-used buildings could be used for community activities. In the Church of England network alone there are an estimated 16,000 churches nationally and many have dwindling congregations. These are unique local assets but many are struggling with high maintenance costs and a lack of income generation, with the buildings becoming … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Clare Goff
Clare Goff is editor of New Start magazine