New report reveals changing shape of Britain’s families

  • Click here for the research summary booklet

A new study has raised questions about the common concept of'family'.

Through a range of surveys, interviews, consultations andresearch,
a new collaborative study, by the Consultative Group on Ministry among Children and the Methodist Church, has found that church family workers areengaging with a growing range of family types.

The 'We are Family' research has been released today at thefamily ministry conference of the same name taking place on 11 to12 September at Liverpool Hope University. Along with the launch ofthe study, the weekend will see attendees participate in a new CoreSkills for Family Ministry training course and partake indiscussions, seminars and an interview with Carrie Longton,co-founder of Mumsnet.

In addition to encouraging a greater emphasis on diversity inunderstanding what is meant by 'family', the study promotes adeeper level of ministry that embraces variety and offers supportto both church going families and those outside of the Church.

Gail Adcock, Families Ministries Development Officer in theMethodist Church, said "Our understanding of family needs to gobeyond the concept of the nuclear family to encompass a diversityof relationships. Once we recognise this, we can adopt moreinclusive language and respond more effectively to minister andsupport families in the contexts that they are in.

"If we are to be effective family workers we can't just presumeall families are the same. We must treat each family as unique andprovide relevant support to them in the circumstances that they arein."

Penny Fuller, moderator of the CGMC, added "Family ministryacross the UK is growing, with many new projects starting. It's notjust happening on a Sunday, but is taking place in a range ofdifferent contexts, engaging with a great diversity of families. Inthis growing area of ministry, it is essential that the Churchprovides suitable training and support. Our biggest challenge nowis how we enable an intergenerational engagement in all areas ofour ministries and not segregate them into silos."


  1. Click here for the full report
  2. A photo of Gail Adcock is available here
  3. Gail is available for interview - contact Toby Fairclough