Government and churches 'share sense of mission' over social problems says Cabinet minister
The Government wants to work with churches and Christian organisations to encourage social enterprise, a networking forum heard recently ...
Cabinet Office minister Nick Hurd MP has underlined the Government’s desire to work together with churches and Christian organisations to promote social enterprise.
Speaking at the Cinnamon Network’s latest networking forum, Mr Hurd spelt out his threefold vision for transforming communities across the UK using this method.
Firstly, he identified a current "crisis of trust" in how we look after people in society – especially amongst young people – and he congratulated Cinnamon and others for being in the vanguard of change as they are unquestionably "sitting on something powerful".
Secondly, he stressed that the government has precisely the same sense of mission as many churches as both – from their different perspectives – seek to tackle the huge and expensive social problems all around us. The age of transferring total responsibility for them to government has, he warned, gone forever.
Finally Mr Hurd emphasised that the government also believes that social enterprise and investment, in its various forms, was the sustainable way forward, pointing out that the Cabinet Office was very active in encouraging social enterprise. The time to do this is right now, he concluded, since the current system has already "failed too many people".
The Cinnamon Network is a loose affiliation of leaders of churches and Christian organisations with a heart to make a difference to society. It encourages replicating and scaling up successful local projects, and has just announced a new venture through which church-based social enterprise projects may obtain Cabinet Office-funded £2000 seedcorn grants.
Matt Bird, chairman of The Cinnamon Network, commented: “We are delighted that Nick Hurd was not only able to set out his vision for social enterprise with us so clearly but has chosen to back it up with the small cash grants, for the lack of often tiny sums of money is the only factor preventing otherwise viable and desperately-needed local church initiatives from getting off the ground.
“We are very much enjoying working in tandem with the Cabinet Office to get life-changing local church community transformation projects up and running in every neighbourhood in the UK.”
Photo: Nick Hurd MP (right) and Matt Bird, chairman of The Cinnamon Network