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Are Churches Central to the Community?

Maxwell’s Courtyard, Kircubbin was the venue for the launch of a major research report which seeks to explore the relations between churches in the Ards Peninsula and the role they can play individually and collective in local communities.

The research was fully funded by the International Fund for Ireland.  The lead partner for the research, The Link Family and Community Centre in Newtownards, believe that churches can work together positively on social, civic and community issues.  East Down Rural Community Network and Peninsula Healthy Living, also research partners, wish to see churches fully engaged in community life and are hopefully that new and beneficial partnerships can be forged as an outcome of the research.

Speaking at the launch event Tommy Stewart, who led the research team, said that consultation had shown that churches already contribute significantly to life on the Peninsula and that a number are actively seeking to come together with the community and voluntary sector to provide support to people and help develop local areas.  It is hoped that as a result of the research a project can be taken forward over the next number of years that would promote and support churches and community and voluntary organisations to develop skills and services that will enable churches and communities collectively to contribute to and embrace a healthy, harmonious and shared future for the Ards Peninsula.

The research partners invite churches and community and voluntary groups to join with them as they seek to make this vision a reality.

Further information can be obtained from Diane Holt, The Link Centre, Newtownards Tel: 028 91 821124, Frances Hughes, East Down Rural Community Network, Tel: 028 9182 8884 Sheila Bailie, Peninsula Healthy Living Partnership Tel: 028 427 39021

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