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Youth Groups

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent discussions the Church Commissioners have had with local authorities on Church-sponsored youth groups.

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church of England has a long history of delivering youth work and currently provides activities outside church for over 439,900 children and young people. At a local level, the church has seen extensive growth in the number of churches employing youth workers in recent years and the establishment of some key projects, often with the financial support of local authorities.

At both national and local levels the Church has had a long history of delivering youth work collaborative working partnerships with national and local government. Currently there are approximately 440,000 children and young people up to the age of 25 attending church-based activities and youth groups which are staffed by 116,000 volunteers and an additional 4,900 employed adults.

There is still a desire to work in partnership but most recent conversations have inevitably focused on how reductions in their budgets will impact on projects undertaken by the Church and other voluntary sector organizations. In Lincolnshire the county council is proposing a 60% cut to the youth budget of children's services and there are similar stories from across the country. The Church's concern is not only for young people within it but also those in the wider community.

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