A Good Society Workshop

Posted by Helen Clifton on Thursday 8.5.2014

“Faith for me is not in a religious context; it’s more to do with a faith in people’s ability to change.”


Faith leaders and community workers from across the North East attended a workshop to discuss what makes a Good Society.

The event, held at St James’ URC Church Hall, Newcastle, was organised by the local Churches Regional Commission (CRC), as part of their drive to understand the economic and social problems facing communities across the region.

Susan Johnson, a Darlington District Mission Enabler, was keen to remind other workshop participants of the importance of preserving faith – whatever that faith looks like – during difficult times.

“Faith is the counter culture, the thing that says to be the best that you can be as a human being you need to care for the other.

The event heard from a number of spokespeople, including several leaders from non-Christian faith groups.

Deanna Van der Velde from the North East Council of Christians and Jews, said there were positive signs that the foundations of a good society were already present in communities across the region.

“I think a good society is there; it’s there at the grassroots, it’s there in the caring and sharing and the working together.”

Another workshop participant argued that faith groups should become more pro-active in speaking out about important issues.

“We need to develop more opportunities for faith communities to raise issues through the telling of positive stories by using Twitter and YouTube, and engaging directly with MPs.”

Everybody present at the discussion was in agreement that a good society is one in which values of diversity and community spirit are fully embraced, a sentiment which was encapsulated well by one of the participants.

“A good society is one where people accept others for their humanity and welcome the stranger.

“It is important for us to provide safe places for people to come together, and build friendships and connections that cross boundaries.”



  1. Syd Bill says…
    Sunday 8.6.2014

    These are very valid and good points. Currently I am pressing for more Local Action on Loneliness and am pleased to be getting support. Hoping that Faith Groups will come on board to tackle this great need.

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