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Churches failing to promote blood and organ donations, says report

Churches are not doing enough to encourage worshippers to donate blood and organs, according to a new survey.

That's despite figures showing Christians donate more blood on average than the general population. The survey shows that close to 10% of Christians have given blood in the last year compared to four percent of the general public who have given blood in the last two years.

Almost half of all Christians are registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, compared with 31% of the general population. However, the overall findings in the report by Christian Research reveal that many churches in Britain do not yet see blood and organ donation as a part of its giving.

An extremely low 0.3% of respondents stated that either blood or organ donation was a frequent part of their church's teaching.  Over 75% said that neither blood nor organ donation was ever mentioned or encouraged by their church. The research also revealed that 70% of Christians already consider blood and organ donation as a part of their Christian giving, or are open to the idea.

The study was carried out to gauge reaction to the recently launched 'fleshandblood' campaign that was launched earlier this year.

The initiative aims to promote the issue within churches in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

Premier's Victoria Laurence asked Campaign Director Juls Hollidge on the News Hour if she feels let down by the churches response.  

Sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations including the Church of England, Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain, Hope and Evangelical Alliance, the fleshandblood campaign marks the first time NHS Blood and Transplant has worked alongside the Church on a national initiative of this kind.

Revd David Mayne, lead pastor at Shoeburyness Thorpe Bay Baptist Church, tells Premier why he has been supporting the idea:

The Rt Revd James Newcome, Lead Bishop on Healthcare for the Church of England said:

"Extending our understanding of the central Christian themes of generosity and stewardship to include blood and organ donation has the potential to tangibly transform the giver and the receiver.

"The benefit to others is not only life enhancing but can mean the difference between life and death."

The research was conducted by Christian Research on behalf of Kore for the fleshandblood campaign by online poll between 10th December 2012 and 9th January 2013.

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