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Scottish faith groups give equivalent of £100m in time and resources

Tue 12 Sep 2017
By Premier Journalist

Churches and Christian charities in Scotland will be praised in the Scottish Parliament for giving almost £100m worth of time and resources to social action projects every year.

Drawing on research published by the Cinnamon Network, the figure is calculated from 9,028 social action projects, 4,535 paid staff activities, 74,544 volunteer roles, 2,212,491 paid staff hours and 9,012,457 volunteer hours.

If applying the current Scottish living wage of £8.45, it is thought this figure would exceed £100m. This generosity will be commended by Christian MSP Kate Forbes in Holyrood late Tuesday afternoon.

She will open the debate by commending and encouraging 'Serve Scotland', a body of Christian organisations, who have contributed to 9028 social action projects.

Forbes told Premier: "The vast majority or churches have projects to meet social needs, putting it into figures just highlights how much they're doing.

"I think if you look back at the history of Scotland at the way Christian groups have been behind education reform and relieving poverty, you can see that on a much grander scale Christians have led the way in transforming Scottish society to a place where there is more help for the marginalised".

Forbes said the actions of these churches "follows a long tradition of faith-based community work with roots in theology".

"Throughout the Old Testament we see God again and again condemning his people for not caring for the widow or the fatherless, for not bringing an end to injustice," she said. 

Forbes added that the volunteer hours have made a big impact in Scottish communities.

She told Premier: "You'd only need to ask the specific individuals or families who've benefited from this work to realise that even if one person has been helped by this work, it hasn't been in vain.

"The great hope in all of this is of course that God's name will be honoured and glorified".

Listen to Kate Forbes speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:


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