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Churches have central role as community spirit falls, says charity

A study by Aviva found that 70% of people thought that there was no bond in their local area and 30% actually felt disconnected from the community.

Nearly half of people in their survey (47%) also felt a lack of funding for community organisations is a major concern.

The report also highlighted the contributions that people make, with more than half of people (55%) lending support to their community in some way over the past year.

Daniel Singleton, the National Executive Director of Faith Action, told Premier: "Our research here has told us that, when it comes to activity for the community, 47 million people are crossing the threshold of a faith organisation every year.

"Faith institutions are huge contributors to communities today. Do we need more of it? Yes!"

"Any time where people open up community and allow friendship to happen is something which is quite powerful.

"It's not just about activity, not just about a service but there's relationship and that seems to make a difference."

Listen to Premier's Dan Golding speak to Daniel Singleton:

By Dan Golding

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