Atfield, Tom David (2011)
Th.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The Church of England's approach to urban regeneration has been shaped by government-led regeneration and its own social, political and financial situation, rather than its theology. The encouragement towards partnership working as a means of financing parishes in deprived areas in its 2006 report Faithful Cities is a result of the Church's inability to finance its work in deprived areas using its own resources. This thesis evaluates the impact of Faithful Cities within the dioceses of Worcester and Birmingham. It does this through geographical mapping of deprivation in each parish; review of diocesan policies on urban regeneration; the assessment of resource allocation to parishes with differing degrees of deprivation, and through in-depth interviews with key stakeholders (Bishops, Archdeacons, Diocesan Staff, Parish Clergy) in each diocese. Barriers to resourcing parishes in deprived areas through redistribution of internal resources are noted in both dioceses. However, partnership working is found to be impractical for overworked and untrained parish clergy to manage, and volunteers from churches lack the skills and interest to deliver projects which have partnership funding attached. Partnership funding is therefore potentially as problematic as the reallocation of internal resource as a way to fund Church presence in deprived areas.
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