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Christian Aid survey shows pandemic brings increased sense of community across the East

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In the survey* by Savanta ComRes, commissioned by the aid and development charity, a further 21% of adults across the East said they felt more part of a global community than before the virus outbreak began.

The survey results are launched as Christian Aid is encouraging people this autumn to come together within their local communities, in line with restrictions, to help those worldwide who have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Half (50%) of all Christian adults questioned in the poll across the UK said they felt there had been an increase in community spirit in their neighbourhood and 31% reported feeling more part of a global community.

Responding to the poll findings, Norfolk’s church engagement and fundraising officer Julian Bryant said: “COVID-19 may have forced us to physically separate, but connection and community have been huge themes this year.

“It’s exciting to see the increases in sense of both local and global identity across the region. COVID-19 is a shared experience wherever we live in the world, but what our supporters know is that the impact on families and communities is drastically different. So many people have been left without any income and have no access to good hygiene and healthcare.

“Churches across the Diocese of Norwich have had to find new ways of staying connected and being church and have shown remarkable adaptability. This autumn we are encouraging churches and neighbours across Norfolk to help their global neighbour by celebrating, whether digitally or in person, the community they have locally in a fundraising event.”

The survey also showed that across the East, only 9% of adults felt a decreased sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood and 12% ‘didn’t know’.

Julian continued: “It has been a tough time, but what we see over and over again is how when we come together to help people who have been forced into desperate situations and stand together with them, then that connection blesses us and helps re-energise our own lives, churches and community.

“I hope we can make a real difference in the lives of neighbours near and far this autumn.”

Christian Aid is responding to the coronavirus outbreak in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is working together with partners and faith leaders to inform people about the risks, offering vital hygiene training, equipping health facilities with supplies, and providing food packages and soap to the most marginalised families.