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03 April 2017

Passing on the faith: charities publish report for Christian parents

Passing on the faith: charities publish report for Christian parents

A new report will give fresh insight for helping Christian parents pass their faith on to their children.

The report, published by Alliance members Care for the Family and HOPE, revealed that 92 per cent of parents felt they could be doing more to share their faith with their children.

Less than three-quarters of parents said they shared Bible stories with their children and only 27 per cent found it helpful talking about faith with them.

Roy Crowne, executive director of HOPE, said: "If we are to see children and young people continuing in faith in our churches, we need to help Christian parents to nurture their children's spirituality.

"Most children spend only an hour or so a week in a church context compared to, probably, 30 hours with their parents – and that creates a challenge when we consider the balance of resources going into nurturing children directly through the church compared to helping parents nurture their children's faith at home."

According to Christian Research, the Church in the UK will have lost an estimated 1.1 million children between 1990 and 2020 and that by 2020, 183,700 children aged under-15 will attend church compared to 375,300 in 2010.

Care for the Family, a national charity that aims to strengthen family life and supports families of all faiths and none, now plans to produce more resources specifically aimed at parents to help them gain confidence in sharing their faith with their children.

They will also produce resources to help churches understand better how to encourage Christian parents to pass their faith on to their children.

Katharine Hill, UK director at Care for the Family, said: "By working with churches to give families encouragement, ideas and resources, we hope to see a significant increase in the number of children from Christian families who grow up to have a vibrant, personal relationship with God as adults."

The new research builds on earlier findings from a study by Barna on behalf of HOPE, the Church of England and Evangelical Alliance in 2015, which estimated that only 50 per cent of the children of Christian parents grow up with a personal faith of their own as adults. 

Image: Caleb Jones