Book News: July 10th, 2008

Faith communities are increasingly recognised as significant partners in working for the common good in their localities. Strong leadership from faith communities has a key role to play when large scale incidents trigger concerns about social cohesion. This document is intended to help emergency planners and faith communities explore partnership working. It deals with principles and provides tools and a roadmap for good practice.

Research has demonstrated that faith communities instinctively respond to the needs of their neighbours in times of crisis. They have the resources in terms of both buildings and volunteers to do so. Forward planning will ensure that rather than working in parallel, or even in competition, faith communities and statutory providers work in partnership.

The document illustrates the importance of the partnership between emergency planners and faith communities and demonstrates the principles and practice for responding to civil contingencies. It argues that because seventy seven per cent of the UK’s population identifies as having some kind of religious faith or link to a religious tradition, faith communities should be regarded as key communities and a crucial resource for emergency planners. They have networks of people, resources, equipment and competencies, networks of employed and volunteer skilled staff and networks used to dealing with people in crisis. In times of crisis, faith communities also have a role to play in terms of victim support.

The document is available from Communities and Local Government.