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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 00:26 GMT
Churches make hidden contribution
Queen's Park Baptist Church (Pic courtesy of Derek MacIntosh)
City churches recorded more than 2.5 million visits to projects
Churches across Glasgow make a "hidden contribution" to the city, according to a year-long study.

The Salt of the Earth report said local communities benefited from 1,899 projects run by 315 churches.

Lord Provost Bob Winter said: "The result is staggering, in terms of the amount of work that is under way and the range of people who benefit."

The report, by Glasgow Churches Action, found more than half of churches were in the most deprived areas.

More than one fifth of all activities within churches were targeted at people in need and facing challenges such as homelessness, addiction, mental health issues and disability.

Church-run local services range from computer classes and lunch clubs to badminton, mother and toddler groups and belly dancing.

There were more than two-and-a-half million visits to the range of these services.

What is clear is that this potential needs to be nurtured
Meg Lindsay,
Report author

Meg Lindsay, the report author, said: "What shines out through the information gathered for this report, is the humanity and commitment to their communities that the churches display.

"They are embedded in those communities in a way that few - if any - other organisations are.

"What is clear is that this potential needs to be nurtured."

The report also highlighted what it called the strain on churches in providing services.

It found maintaining church halls presented a financial challenge.

Some church leaders said they felt isolated and under pressure and the work of their churches was "not recognised or valued".

Glasgow Churches Action is a partnership of the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Church, United Free Church, Free Church, Scottish Episcopal Church, Baptist Church, Congregational Church, United Reformed Church, Salvation Army and Methodist Church.

It also has support from other Christian organisations working in the city.

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