Liveable Communities: Wellbeing friendly churches

Presented by Dr Andrew Parnham, Wellbeing Advisor, Community Mission Team, Livability


  • The vision is to engage communities around churches to enhance their well-being, based on Isaiah 58, Zech 8 and Jeremiah 29 – bringing Shalom where we are.
  • Church social engagement has tended to focus on activities that are good in themselves but don’t include anything that encourages movement towards spiritual engagement, not crossing the sacred/secular divide.
  • A ‘Happiness Course’ has been devised that (over 4x 2 hour sessions) explores with people questions around pleasure (happiness and success), engagement (relationships) and meaning/purpose, thus helping them to move towards consideration of spirituality.
  • Points from discussion : We should not hide our Christian identity in any context; The Engels scale of movement towards conversion and Christian growth although helpful has limited application in Christian community service; Eastern religious practices are better than Western Christianity at integrating spiritual and material well-being.

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