Letter: Churches fight social evils

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your obituary of civic Christianity (22 March) is premature. I have visited 26 cities in the last two years and can report that the churches are heavily engaged in helping the casualties of our rapidly deteriorating society.

Everywhere I've been the Church Urban Fund, set up following Sir Richard O'Brien's Faith in the City report, is doing great work; but today we are also creating networks across the denominations, in which the new Community churches play a leading part, full of Christian love and enthusiasm and often more generous with funds and people than older churches.

For all this there is broad support. Two years ago I made the case for the city networks at seminars in seven of the five-day Spring-Harvest/Word Alive conferences.

Since then 11 cities have started networks and most of the rest are following, pooling our knowledge and experience across the country in dealing with among other things, homeless teenagers, drug addiction, battered wives, single mothers, debt, and helping the demotivated young to find jobs. I think that my predecessor, the great Earl of Shaftesbury, would have approved.

Sir Fred Catherwood


The Evangelical Alliance

London SE11