Diocesan press releases

Faith in Families: a call to action to parishes

Faith in Families has issued an urgent appeal for help in safeguarding its Swansea centres, after the Welsh Government announced it is considering the future of its Communities First programme.

The charity relies on the flagship anti-poverty programme for 79% of its funding for the Penplas, Clase and Bonymaen family centres, and is calling on all parishes in the diocese to help the fight to keep them open.

In an open letter, Faith in Families’ company secretary Sharon Atkins said: “We have recently had the news that a significant part of our funding is potentially being cut at the end of the financial year by Welsh Government, putting our Bonymaen, Clase and Penplas family centres at a real risk of closure.

“This comes at a time when we received news only a few weeks ago, that our Capital Builds project to develop St Teilo’s Church in Portmead into a church/family centre was finally approved and the first spades have been dug into the ground. With funding being cut so dramatically, we may well be in a position of having a wonderful purpose built premises, with our services being unable to run.

Together we can work to improve the lives of children and families living with disadvantage in our Diocese, giving them the hope, skills, confidence and self-belief that they need to reach their full potential

“Our service users are at a real risk of losing out on the much-needed help and support that we provide.

“We call all of our parishes in Swansea and Brecon to help us in our efforts to keep our family centres open. Even by helping in a small way, it can make such a big difference. There is a public consultation being undertaken by the Welsh Government about the impact of withdrawing the Communities First programme. Please can you encourage parishioners to complete this and have their say. For details on how to go about this please click here.

“Please continue to support our work, whether this is ensuring that you order your Christingle supplies and envelopes, have collection boxes in place, have a bake sale, a coffee morning etc.

“Together we can work to improve the lives of children and families living with disadvantage in our Diocese, giving them the hope, skills, confidence and self-belief that they need to reach their full potential which will not only impact on their lives and those of their families, but generate a pride in the communities that they live in. Thus enabling us to deliver social responsibility as an integral part of the church’s mission as our constitution expresses.

Parishioners are also invited to Faith in Families’ Christmas concert which will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Swansea city centre on Friday, December 16 at 10am.