Christians and members of the public are being encouraged to have their say on the role of the church post-pandemic.
A research team set up by the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture (University of York) in partnership with the Association of English Cathedrals, the National Churches Trust and other Christian organisations, has launched a new survey asking people how places of worship can best help their communities once the pandemic is over.
"We want to get a snapshot of where churches are now, where their communities are now, and what their plans are for the future and what support they'll need to play a vital role in the rebuilding of the country, of people's lives, as individuals and communities," director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture, Dee Dyas told Premier.
The survey aims to capture the experiences and opinions of the public and thus help to identify the current needs of their communities. It will also seek to understand how individuals have been personally affected by the restrictions on church buildings and activities, the role that church buildings have played to support communities through lockdown, as well as asking what should happen next as we move towards a post-pandemic recovery period.
"The reason we're now wanting this is because we're moving towards recovery. We feel that what churches normally offer, plus what churches have been offering during covid-19 in amazingly creative ways fits them very, very well to be core networks for helping everybody recover," she continued.
Last year, the research team launched another survey which provided evidence and analysis of churches and communities during the pandemic and gathered testimonies highlighting the human cost of the lockdown.
The findings from both surveys will help shape church and government decision-making and will be published in a centralised resource hub for creative ideas and examples of practical help.
The survey takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete and will close on 28th February.
Take part here.