08 February 2002

Faith and Community: a good practice guide for local authorities

The Local Government Association has this week published guidelines aimed at "overcoming misperceptions, publicising good practice and promoting better community relations" between faith communities and local authorities.

The guide acknowledges that in the past there have been "difficulties and misunderstandings", but says that it is in the interest of local authorities to work with faith communities.

Rachel Lampard, Methodist Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs, commented on the guidelines:

"Churches and other faith groups across the country are committed to working with their local communities in a variety of ways, from participating in regeneration schemes to providing drop-in centres. Whilst many have received support from their local authorities in this work, others report that the relationship has been less co-operative.

"Although these guidelines do not guarantee a problem-free future, they do at least lay down good practice for local authorities in areas such as regeneration, education and funding to which authorities and faith communities will be able to refer."

Note: 'Faith and Community' is available from LGA Publications, Local Government Association, Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ Tel: 020 7664 3000

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