Isle of Anglesey
Faith in Wales: Counting for Communities:
Summary of Findings for the Isle of Anglesey
Until now, Wales has lacked statistical evidence about the role of faith communities in the wider communities of which they are a part. The Gweini report, Faith in Wales: Counting for Communities, provides new information on the services provided by faith communities to the wider community, including: the numbers of volunteers they mobilise, the numbers of staff they pay to work with the wider community, the rooms and halls they make available, and their impact on tourism.
The survey on which it is based achieved an exceptional response rate of just over 49%, (over 52% for the Isle of Anglesey), and this allows summaries to be made for each of the unitary authorities. Here are some of the highlights of the information available for the Isle of Anglesey.
The Isle of Anglesey has over 190 active faith communities (individual congregations, or parishes in the case of the Church in Wales). Apart from one Bah¡ community, all faith communities identified in the survey are churches. This represents roughly one church for no more than 350 people in the Isle of Anglesey.
Every week, roughly 8% of the population of the Isle of Anglesey is estimated to be present at a church service. However, this figure understates the numbers who attend over the course of a year. Taking the single largest service in each faith community over a year raises the figure to over 19%. A considerably higher proportion that this must attend one or more religious services over the course of a year.
The range of services churches provide in the Isle of Anglesey is enormous, including many services governments are not well equipped to deliver. The top five are Social activities (lunch club, coffee bar, etc.); Marriage preparation; Children's work (under 14 year olds); Support for older people; and Support for bereaved; in which the number of churches involved is estimated to be 44, 43, 27, 23 and 22, respectively.
In addition, a number of churches are already working in areas of emerging need and opportunity; around 8 churches are already working in at least one of the areas of employment training, alcohol and drug awareness, and personal finance issues and another 4 hope to work in these areas in the future.
Around 50% of the churches in the Isle of Anglesey are active in one or other area of community services, with an average number of around three areas of activity each.
Around 1,100 volunteers are estimated to work on behalf of the wider community in activities organised by churches in the Isle of Anglesey. This represents around 1,700 hours a week, equivalent to over 40 full-time workers.
In addition, churches in the Isle of Anglesey employ around 10 paid staff to work with the wider community, representing a further 120 hours a week, equivalent to around 3 full-timers.
Many churches provide accommodation for the wider community. In the Isle of Anglesey, around 25 are estimated to operate purpose-built community centres; around 65 rent out rooms to outside groups; and around 35 supply some accommodation free of charge.
Churches offer support for the Welsh language: around 50 churches in the Isle of Anglesey are estimated to be involved in running classes in Welsh, or involved in activities for Welsh speakers.
Using standard techniques, the economic benefit impact of just part of the services provided by churches to the Isle of Anglesey can be estimated at £1.9M per year.
And, of course, this is only part of the impact of churches. For example, around 7 churches in the Isle of Anglesey are estimated to be strongly involved in their local Community Strategy.