Sixteen faith groups working with the most vulnerable people in their communities will receive help to support their work through the government's £1.3m Faith New Deal pilot scheme.
The groups, which include Christian, Jewish and interfaith organisations, will work with councils, schools, police, health providers and voluntary groups to develop ways to tackle social issues.
Projects will include providing debt and employability advice, tackling food poverty, providing support for mental health issues and combatting loneliness and isolation.
The fund will also help faith groups to build on the collaboration with national and local government that happened during the pandemic.
The Faith New Deal Fund will also inform the development of a Faith Compact that will set out key principles to aid engagement between faith groups and government.
Faith Minister Paul Scully said: “We saw the instrumental role that faith organisations played in supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic. Working closely with local partners, councils and government, they supported communities where they need it most.
“This pilot scheme will build on that vital work, so that faith organisations and their partners can continue to support communities as they recover.”
Mr Scully recently visited the Church Revitalisation Trust based in West London, one of the faith groups awarded funding of £200,000.
Through their nationwide Love Your Neighbour project, they work with volunteers and public services to provide debt advice, employment training and other community care.
Rev Tom Jackson, chief executive of Love Your Neighbour said:
“Love Your Neighbour is delighted to be a partner in the very significant and timely launch of the Faith New Deal.
“We look forward to working with churches and local partners including statutory authorities across the United Kingdom to increase the impact of the crisis food support, debt advice, employment training and other wrap-around care this ground-breaking initiative will enable”.
Other projects the Faith New Deal fund will support include The Cinnamon Network’s Church Mental Wellbeing and Loneliness Project and an initiative by City Life Church Southampton called Love Southhampton.