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Government gives financial boost to multi-faith community projects

Church groups carrying out work in the community are being offered money from the Government to develop new local projects. The social programmes will have to be rooted in multi-faith based values, and will build on 2012's 'A Year of Service' scheme where Christians, Muslims and Sikhs together led volunteering efforts for good causes, like feeding the homeless.

Now, the two year 'Together in Service' scheme; managed by Faithaction, a national network, with over one thousand members from faith-based and community organisations.

Faithaction is being given a £180,000 pounds in grant aid from the Department of Communities and local government to administer up to £5000 pounds to each project based on merit. Secretary of State, Eric Pickles tells Premier why he's decided to back the scheme:

 The national executive director of Faithaction, Daniel Singleton, tells Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden why he's pleased the Coalition's allowing them to choose who gets the money.

Speaking at the launch of today's Faithaction project, Labour's MP Stephen Timms welcomed the idea.  Mr Timms, who's a Christian said it builds on the former Labour government's 'charter of excellence' that set out how the relationship between government and religious charities should work.

Today's news comes as Peers and Bishops are set to debate the findings of what is being described as a 'ground breaking' report by a Westminster think-tank on unleashing the power of the church to boost community action.

Members of the House of Lords will debate the ResPublica report in an unprecedented parliamentary move later today. 

The report urges the Government to end the state of "Cold War" between State and Church and work with the millions of regular churchgoers to galvanise the thousands of existing social action projects and develop new services and facilities for the poor. Meanwhile, Prince Charles has joined the country's political leaders to get more young people volunteering.

He's met David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at Buckingham Palace to launch his 'Step Up To Serve' initiative. Prince Charles said the "bravery and courage" of Catholics, Barry and Margaret Mizen following the killing of their 16-year-old son Jimmy in South London in 2008, prompted him to act with 'Step Up To Serve'.

The campaign aims to get more than £1.7 million 10 to 20-year-olds to volunteer.

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