In many ways, we find ourselves working in difficult times. As a result of recent economic troubles and spending cuts, many communities are experiencing hardship and an uncertain future.
Yet it is also a time of hope. It is a privilege that, as part of my role here at CUF, I get to meet and speak with so many people who are committed to bringing about positive change in their local community. It is always energising and humbling.
Churches in particular are responding to recent events by becoming even more involved in the life of their local neighbourhoods. Some of our recent research shows that around 10 million people rely on activities provided by churches – a staggering number. Through our Near Neighbours programme, we also work alongside people of other faiths and none, who share the same enthusiasm and passion for building flourishing communities.
2015 WAS A YEAR OF GROWTH FOR CUF.
Our values shape all aspects of our work. We are inclusive, relational and effective. We take an asset-based approach which means that we start with what is already present in communities, and seek to enable people to use what they have and what they enjoy to make a difference.
Looking back, 2015 was a year of growth for CUF. Our Together Network has grown in size, and also in the depth and breadth of the work being carried out. We’re seeing change at very local level, in the activities of individual churches, and across regions through joined-up and strategic responses to current issues. Our Near Neighbours programme is also thriving in its eight locations across England, and has funding to continue into 2017.
As CUF has gone through this period of growth and flourishing we have decided to refresh our look. The impact report captures the reason for the new look. It explores the ways in which communities have used the best of their talents and skills to build stronger neighbourhoods. As we work together with communities towards these goals we feel that is right that our image reflects one of celebration; of the light of Christ shining into communities.
At the top of the impact report is our new logo. The colours in the logo are what we are calling the ‘sunbeam’ – the light of Christ working in communities across England. This sunbeam permeates our new look. If you want to see more, take a look around our new website. On there you can see even more of the great work that is taking place to transform lives and communities.
We could do none of this work without the committed and generous giving of our supporters. Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this work. It is good to reflect on, and give thanks for, what has taken place and also to look forward to what can be done in the years to come.