Faithful Cities 2006
Faithful Cities: A call for celebration, vision and justice was the 2006 report from the Commission on Urban Life & Faith.
The Commission on Urban Life and Faith was initiated by the Church of England to consider the significant features of life in urban communities and the church's engagement with them 20 years on from the landmark Faith in the City report. The Commission reported in May 2006.
What was the Commission?
Chaired by Baroness Richardson of Calow, the Commission on Urban Life and Faith comprised a group of experienced faith leaders and practitioners on urban issues drawn from different communities around England. Although the Commission's origins were in the Church of England, the Commission's membership was broadened as a recognition of how urban contexts are now diverse in culture, ethnicity and faith.
Is it just about big cities?
Faithful Cities is about the places we live and the way our lives are changing. Thinking about cities, towns and other urban communities has involved us in thinking about citizenship, about politics and the challenges God's open future poses us as disciples. Getting urban policy right is of interest to all communities in our predominantly urban society.
The research for the report took place across a wide range of communities: from former mining villages and seaside towns to the large metropolises we usually think about when we hear the word 'urban'. Vital concerns of the Commission were the issues of human flourishing, how people live together and what makes a place good to live in? 'Regeneration' covers a broad range of activities (economic, social, cultural, housing, inclusion etc) across communities, whether they are rural, urban, former industrial villages or seaside communities. Issues of urban growth are critical in some parts of the UK - if we don't get things right the knock on effect for the smaller towns and villages, as well as the ecology, of those regions will be disastrous.
The report was discussed in many different places. A major strand of the report encouraged faith groups and others to initiate What makes a good city? debates in the towns, cities and communities where they lived. Churches, government and other bodies were encouraged to look at the report and its recommendations to consider how they might respond to the challenges facing their communities.