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25 September 2014

What difference do faith groups make?

What difference do faith groups make?

The Cinnamon Network, the social action organisation, is setting out to answer the question: What difference do faith groups make to society?

This month the network launched its Cinnamon Faith Action Audits at Lambeth Palace, which is a national initiative to capture the work done by local churches and other faith groups across the UK. Carried out by a network of hand-picked 'local champions', Cinnamon Faith Action Audits will record faith-based social action in up to 50 regions, creating an extensive picture of faith in action in 2015.

Taking just 15 minutes for each organisation to complete, the audits will collate responses from local churches and other faith groups across villages, towns and cities to present a report of the time invested, resource created and the impact on communities.

The Cinnamon Network is a not-for-profit organisation helping local churches across the UK to run projects for those most at need in their communities. The Cinnamon Network's menu of 24 social action projects are implemented through more than 3,500 local churches and the work of over 50,000 volunteers.

Cinnamon Network Founder, Matt Bird, said: "Through the Cinnamon Faith Action Audits, the Cinnamon Network wants to help local church networks capture the excellent work already going on in our communities and enable churches to engage even more with local authorities, police and other agencies. The audits will also provide an extensive national picture of the benefits that faith groups offer the community, raising the profile of faith based social action and advancing the unique role that faith can have in restoring communities."

Starting in January 2015, each champion and their local church network will be equipped with an online survey, a template for their audit report, case studies, promotional materials and professional support to resource their audit. Over eight weeks, local champions will speak to all of the faith groups working in their area, gathering everything needed for the audit to be completed.

In May 2015, shortly after the general election, the Cinnamon Network will present an overview of Cinnamon Faith Action Audits showing the value, impact and potential at local and national level for faith groups to change their communities. The results will be presented to church and community leaders, local authorities and government bodies, presenting a compelling case for the continuing role of churches and faith groups in changing society for the better.